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Sunday, August 31, 2008

And this is news why?

In their college football coverage, the Detroit Free Press offered up a headline that Appalachian State quarterback Armanti Edwards says LSU's defense is faster than Michigan's.

And this is news why?

Did anyone outside of Ann Arbor, Mich., think otherwise?

I understand the Michigan angle on the LSU-Appalachian State game. I'm just surprised there was any question about the speed department.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday musings

OK, enough of the 10 a.m. football.

Anyway here are some thoughts:

1) LSU's defense and running game will assure the Tigers of a good season. How well the quarterbacks develop will determine if there is any greatness to this team.

2) I expected Jordan Jefferson to get on the field. While I'm not the biggest Les Miles fan in the world, I will say that I'm sure Miles has his reasons. A year ago a lot of fans screamed for Keiland Williams to play tailback, Miles went with Jacob Hester. Miles had his reason then. I figure he has his reason now.

3) The punting game needs to be addressed. If that means Josh Jasper starts handling the punting, then so be it. But you can't go into the SEC without a dependable punter.

4) Not surprised that LSU took care of business. The Tigers are familiar with this program and the Michigan upset a year ago took away any thought of overlooking this team.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

SEC vs. Big Ten

I find it funny how all of these media outlets around the country compare their conferences to the SEC.

Just a week or so ago, a Kanas City newspaper wrote about how the Big 12 was closing the gap on the SEC.

Today's print edition of the Chicago Tribune has a story about how the Big Ten has an image problem compared with the SEC.

It appears that it isn't just the chest-thumping SEC fans who think their conference is best. It appears to be a notion that is being validated around the country.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Davenport update

I talked to Mansfield coach Donald Mayweather, whose prize prospect is LSU commitment Chris Davenport.

Mayweather is hopeful that Davenport will be back playing by week 3.

Davenport had a slight meniscus tear at the LSU camp this summer.

"Hopefully he'll only miss a couple of games,'' Mayweather said. "It depends on how he rehabs and what the doctors say.''

Monday, August 25, 2008

New year begins Saturday

Get ready to yell Happy New Year!

The traditional calendar does not begin until Jan. 1, but in these parts the year really starts with the beginning of football season. And that is Saturday at 4 p.m. when LSU hosts Appalachian State. At last, there will be something on television on Saturdays.

When the Tigers take their first snap in the ESPN-televised game, look for No. 14 to be at quarterback. That is sophomore Andrew Hatch. LSU coach Les Miles will not announce the starter. In fact, he may not even tell Hatch he is the starter until Thursday. But by process of elimination, I can't see it being anyone else. Miles has already ruled out true freshman Jordan Jefferson as the starter for week one, as he is just getting to know the offense. But he has said Jefferson will play throughout the seaosn.

Hatch and Jarrett Lee, a redshirt freshman, have been working with offensive coordinator Gary Crowton's offense for a year. One of those two will start, Miles said Monday at a press conference. Since Lee has not practiced in a week, it's got to be Hatch. Lee conceivably could have a great week of practice and start Saturday, but I doubt it.

From a depth chart perspective, it doesn't matter that much who takes the first snap because both will play. But as far as LSU's performance in this game, it matters very much. And Miles should let one of the two know ASAP. Quarterbacks need to know they're starting as early as possible. That is particularly important this week as Appalachian State is a feared giant killer with its monumental win over Michigan last season. The way to beat upset-minded upstarts is from the opening bell - knock them in the mouth. The way to do that is with a scoring drive on the first possession. So it does matter who starts. I find it hard to believe that Hatch has not already been told he's the guy for now.

Whatever Miles does he shouldn't do what Nick Saban did often in the 2004 season when Marcus Randall and JaMarcus Russell traded starts. Saban wouldn't tell the guy he was starting until sometimes the day of the game. Both were struggling enough as it is, and this ploy did not work.

Meanwhile, App. State knows who it will start at quarterback. Armanti Edwards is one of the best dual threat quarterbacks in the nation, regardless of classification. When was the last time a I-AA school came to Tiger Stadium and had the best quarterback in the building?

LSU will win this game comfortably, but App. State will make it interesting early.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cannon's take

Billy Cannon was in town today to sign some autographs for LSU fans.

I had the chance to talk to him about the 50th anniversary of the 1958 national championship team and the upcoming LSU season.

His take on the current quarterback situation is an interesting one.

Here's what he had to say:

"From what I’ve seen, and I’m not there every day .... I would start the freshman (Jordan Jefferson),’’ Cannon said. "I would go on sheer talent. The other kids (Andrew Hatch and Jarrett Lee) haven’t made the practices, haven’t been able to compete. And he’s throwing the ball extremely well.

"You don’t get experience sitting and watching someone else play or I’d be great again. It’s a situation where I think he has so much talent that if we let him play the majority of the snaps the first three games then we can go into Auburn with a kid that has played.’’

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Interesting rankings

Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Mark Bradley ranks the SEC's most obnoxious fans in his blog.

I've got to say I was a little surprised with LSU's ranking and really surprised that Auburn was higher up in the obnoxious ranking. Having been to all of the SEC West schools and most of the SEC East, I always considered Auburn to be among the least obnoxious.

It's interesting reading.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Poll thoughts

The USA Today Coaches' Poll came out today and LSU is ranked sixth.

I'm sure there will be some LSU fans complaining that LSU is behind Georgia (No. 1) and Florida (No. 5), but I think sixth is probably about right. I do think Georgia reminds me of the Auburn team a few years back that got all of that hype and then fell on its face.

But more important than all of this is this nugget: LSU has been ranked in the coaches' poll for the last 84 weeks. Regardless of whom the credit should go to, that's one pretty impressive streak.