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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Doing something right

LSU must be doing something right.

The Chronicle of Higher Education took a look at recruiting spending for NCAA schools. You won't find LSU on the list of biggest spenders -- but you will find Tennessee at the top of the list.

And you'll find LSU at No. 3 among school's with the greatest increase in recruiting spending over the last 10 years. LSU is third with recruiting expenses up 248 percent.

I don't think it's any coincidence that LSU's recruiting expenses are up while the school is enjoying some of its greatest success.

Anyway, LSU must be doing something. And it makes for interesting reading.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I guess LSU football has hit the big time (not that two national championships shouldn't have already done it).

LSU is getting its share of celebrity love as Snoop Dogg -- a huge USC fan -- met Les Miles at a Baton Rouge Rotary Club meeting.

What does this mean in the grand scheme of things? Not a thing.

If anything it just shows how celebrity culture has seeped into sports.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Recruiting talk

In just the last week or so, we've seen a Bastrop defensive lineman commit to Michigan, an East St. John offensive lineman commit to Texas A&M and a Byrd linebacker commit to A&M as well.

That's three players leaving the state.

The good news for LSU fans is none of the three committed to an SEC school so if any or all of the three blow up on the next level at least you won't have to see them until a bowl game.

But it does pose an interesting problem for LSU.

The Tigers' success has been built mainly on the concept of "locking up'' the state. (Yes, JaMarcus Russell is from Mobile and Dwayne Bowe from Miami and Matt Flynn from Tyler, but by and large the bulk of the classes have been from Louisiana).

Now, LSU's coaches are, apparently, so confident in their ability to draw better players from out-of-state that they are passing on some instate players. Again, this can be a dangerous game (Jamal Hill, anyone). But what could be more dangerous is missing on a Rueben Randle or Barkevious Mingo.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Miles at the mike

LSU coach Les Miles was one of the first day speakers at SEC Media Days.

And yes, he was asked about his remark about a lot of Louisiana teams beating Alabama last year.

Miles didn't take the bait.

"I want you to know something. I have great respect for the University of Alabama, the history they have presented to college football, the competition that they put on every time they take the field. I promise you that any fun and entertainment that I have with supporters is very respectful.

"I love college football, the competition and the young men that play it.''

About the only news that came out of Miles' session was his continuing to lump incoming freshman Jordan Jefferson in the quarterback competition. But let's face it, if he has to play as a true freshman LSU could be in trouble

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Big catch

The news that Chris Davenport has committed to LSU is good news for Tiger fans.

Davenport has all of the physical tools coaches look for and seems to have a good head on his shoulders as well.

I was talking to a college coach (not at LSU) who thinks Davenport is a good enough athlete to play on either side of the football.

With Davenport in the fold, LSU's top remaining instate targets have to be Rueben Randle and Barkevious Mingo.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

On the diamond

I always like seeing what different coaches use as team-building exercises.

LSU head football coach likes to use softball, dividing his team into smaller softball teams and then playing a tournament.

You've got to figure Chad Jones was a beast in this thing.

Anyway, here's what Miles had to say:

"The players have worked so hard this summer in the weight room, it’s nice to be able to get away for a few hours and enjoy a team function outside of football,” LSU coach Les Miles said. “It’s fun to watch. You can tell which players have a baseball background and which ones have never really played the game before.

“This event is a great opportunity for us to bond together as a team in a way different than what we do each day within our football program. You can watch the players and see that this is something that they enjoy and that they are really having a good time. I think it’s events like this that really brings a team closer together.”

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Football's coming

You know you're getting close to football season when LSU sends out is list of participants for SEC Media Days in Hoover/Birmingham.

LSU is set for July 23, the first day of the three-day event.

Besides LSU coach Les Miles, the Tigers will have center Brett Helms and defensive end Tyson Jackson there.

Then, 12 days later on Aug. 4, LSU will begin with its first fall football practice.

You can almost see the season from here.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Hello, Joe

Joe Alleva has already been at work at LSU. But today, July 1, is the official start of the Alleva Era.

And how does that era look so far?

Well, on paper, you have got to like the only major hire he's had to make so far -- men's basketball coach Trent Johnson.

The last time LSU had an opening in men's basketball, the Tigers settled for a coach from Samford (John Brady). This time, they hired the reigning Pac-10 Coach of the Year (Johnson).

So I'd say he's off to a better start.

The real key for Alleva, though, may not be in hiring coaches. He's been brought to Baton Rouge to get dollars pumping into the athletic department. There are construction projects and facility projects that have to be paid for and Alleva was brought in to make sure that happens.

We'll learn more about Alleva in the coming years. He certainly has big shoes to fill from Bertman. But he's off to a good start.