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Monday, February 22, 2010

Good start for baseball

Just about any baseball season, professional or college, is a marathon.

So it isn't too wise to get excited or disappointed in February. And it certainly isn't time to make rash judgments on a three-game weekend series against Centenary.

But that being said, here are a few thoughts:

1) Anthony Ranaudo means never having to say you're sorry. LSU has a legitimate Friday night ace and that's not exactly news after last season. But Ranaudo has more to pitch for (see the MLB draft) this year.

2) LSU desperately needs a smooth transition from No. 3 starter to No. 2 starter by Austin Ross. So far so good on that one.

3) Hard to believe an LSU-Eunice guy could figure into a weekend rotation but Joey Bourgeois looked the part Sunday. Of course, it is Centenary. It's not like he's pitching the rubber game of the series against Ole Miss or someone in the SEC.

4) Except for Saturday's explosion, the offense had the look of a February offense. Still, it's way to early to even make an evaluation there.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Boy, was I wrong

Before the SEC basketball season began, I thought LSU could finish as high as third in the West. They had taken Washington State -- the best team in the Pac-10 at the time -- to overtime basically on the road. They had played well in a couple of other gmes.

But boy was I wrong.

This team will be lucky to win two or three conference games. I say that because they still haven't won the first one.

How much worse could they have been without Tasmin Mitchell coming back?

The good thing is LSU's recruiting class for next season is rated No. 10 nationally by ESPN.com. But even then they'll have to make an immediate impact.

I think LSU fans will be patient because Trent Johnson has already shown -- last year -- that he can coach. Now he has to get the plaeyrs.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Good Morning, World Champion Who Dats

By Glenn Guilbeau
Gannett Louisiana

MIAMI - Good morning, world champion Who Dats!
This is a day like no other. No one is better than the New Orleans Saints.
Unless you count the Triple-A minor league baseball championship the New Orleans Zephyrs won in 1998, this is it. Newly elected New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu will take over the happiest town in the whole USA.
"Oh When the Saints Go Marching In," is no longer a song about what may happen one day. They've marched. They're there. They're in. That's actually a funeral song, and that fits. The Saints have made it back to heaven, and they went through about 40 years and nights of hell to get there.
My older brother Joe, an attorney in New Orleans who was at that Saints first game in 1967 when John Gilliam returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown to begin the ultimate tease, said it best.
"Next year is finally here," he wrote in an email. "For me, I still do not quite believe it. The best I can do to describe it is that it was like entering a great dream instead of waking up from one."
Enjoy the day. Mardi Gras is upon us, and Jazz Fest is not far behind.
And how fun is next season going to be? The Saints should be very good again.
Let the good team roll - in New Orleans for a change.
And this is truly a universal championship for anyone associated with New Orleans, and with Louisiana.
"Not just in New Orleans," team owner Tom Benson said. "But the whole state."
The Gulf Coast region and the Who Dat worldwide network as well.
This is much better than any LSU national championship as well because NFL teams like the Saints have far fewer team haters than do college teams. LSU is hated by many Louisianians, particularly in Lafayette and Ruston. Alabama won the last collegiate national championship, but a large portion of that state made up of Auburn fans could not be any unhappier.
Not so in Louisiana. There's not as much regional hate in the NFL. No one hates the Saints - other than some Colts fans this morning and people who are probably growing tired of how much attention the city and team is getting. And even those probably do not really hate the Saints.
The Saints are attracting new fans every day. Some may not like them. Few hate them.
But today, because of what the world saw Katrina do to the city in addition to the club's sad sack history, the Saints may be the most loved team in the history of sports.
Who Dat Saying No One Can Beat Dem Saints? Everybody is.
The Saints are world champions. Amen to Dat.


Sunday, February 07, 2010

If Landrieu wins, surely the Saints can

By Glenn Guilbeau
Gannett Louisiana

MIAMI - The third time was the charm for Mitch Landrieu Saturday in the New Orleans mayoral election. Landrieu, the son of former mayor Moon Landrieu, dominated with 65 percent of the vote and won in regulation. There will be no need for a runoff - or overtime in football terms.
Landrieu is a great guy and deserves this opportunity, but he has been about as electable as some former Saints coaches. He previously lost two elections for mayor. He even lost to bumbling incumbent Ray Nagin in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which was sort of like losing to the 3-13 New Orleans Saints in 2005.
So if Landrieu can win an election, surely the Saints can win a Super Bowl. Could it be a sign?
We are less than three hours from kickoff at this writing. Team Gannett - Brady Aymond and Brad Kemp of the Daily Advertiser, Roy Lang of the Shreveport Times and myself - have been in the pressbox here at Sun Life Stadium since 2:15 p.m. central time. Finally, kickoff is approaching. The number of pages of transcribed quotes piled on tables in the Media Center reached 286 on Saturday. It's time for a game.
Conditions are perfect for football - not a cloud in the sky, a decent wind and no chance of rain. It would be perfect for an election.
If this were an election, the Saints would win hands down. There are Who Dats all over South Florida, and with just a few thousand in the stadium as of now there is more black and gold than blue and white.
A news crew in London Saturday was asking people on the street who they liked in the Super Bowl. Some didn't know what teams were playing. American football is not much on that side of the pond. But one Londoner had two words - "Who Dat."
I picked Indianapolis in the paper today, but that was more like the flip of a coin then a strong belief. It will be a very close game. What Peyton Manning did to the New York Jets' defense, which was No. 1 in the NFL during the regular season, made me think he could have a day at the beach against a Saints defense that never really stopped Minnesota in the NFL title game. The Vikings kept coughing it up.
I'm sticking with the Colts pick, but hoping that the Saints win.
If the Saints do pull it out, Landrieu will have an advantage that no previous mayor of America's most unique city has ever had. He will be the mayor of the happiest town in the whole USA.


Thursday, February 04, 2010

Nice recovery

Give LSU coach Les Miles -- well, really assistant coaches Billy Gonzales and Frank Wilson -- credit for a nice recovery on signing day.

The Tigers signed previoulsy committed players in Jarrett Fobbs (Texas A&M), J.C. Copeland (Tennessee) and Kadron Boone (Texas Tech). LSU also signed defensive lineman J.R. Ferguson from Hargrave Military Academy.

In past years, LSU seemed to sputter at the end. It was looking that way again this year until the Tigers ended with a flourish.

I realize it's only signing day and you won't know for two or three years how good the class is. But Miles desperately needed to capture some moments after fading in each of the last two seasons.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Saints are Super Loose

By Glenn Guilbeau
Gannett Louisiana

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Perhaps no other NFL team had more pressure on it entering the playoffs than did the New Orleans Saints after they lost their last three games of the regular season. But you would not have known it being around the team.
One day in the locker rooom before the 45-14 victory over Arizona, which many in the media picked to beat the Saints, several players wrapped a young manager type in tape and threw him in a tub of water. On another day, players were dashing around the locker room because one player decided to start spraying everyone with some type of aerosol can. Last week, tight end Jeremy Shockey joked that he accidentally cut his little toe off while clipping his toenails.
On Tuesday at Super Bowl Media Day, several players gathered around a TV reporter and danced for the cameras. The players have been enjoying themself in South Beach, where their team hotel is located.
The Saints are in the Super Bowl for the first time and playing an Indianapolis team that just won the Super Bowl in this same city just three seasons ago. But the Saints are loose. They seem very happy to be here, and they are. But that does not mean they will not win the game Sunday night. The Colts have more Super Bowl experience obviously. Some two dozen players remain from their previous Super Bowl champion team. The Saints are also lucky to be here. They could have easily lost to Minnesota. Of course, had Minnesota won, it would also be labeled lucky considering how much it turned the ball over.
But none of this means the Saints will not play their best game on Sunday. Neither team should be tight, which should produce a great team. The Colts, having just won a Super Bowl, are not dealing with the Buffalo/Minnesota factor. They've won one already. They don't have to worry about going 0-for-Super Bowls. The Saints are 0-for-0 and there is no reason they will not be right back in the Super Bowl next year. It will not be a crime for the Saints to lose this game. So they should be as loose on the field as off.
There is no pressure on the Saints. Most of the pressure left when they destroyed Arizona. More pressure exited when they beat Minnesota and reached the Super Bowl, which is where the Saints should have ended up considering their 13-0 start.
Now, they're playing a recent Super Bowl champion with probably the best quarterback to ever play the game. The Saints are not expected to win, and that is a great situation to be in.
Not making my Super Bowl pick yet, however. You'll have to wait a few days. It's too early.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Somber signing day?

OK, is it because of the Saints in the Super Bowl or is there something else going on here. National signing day is tomorrow and there seems to be little buzz about it.

You could argue that this class was wrapped up early and that's why there is no buzz.

I'd argue a different point. When you lose recruits to Texas, Tennessee and UCLA, the class loses some buzz. When the top player in the state goes to Auburn , the class loses some buzz.

Going into the year, I thought this would be a tough year to have a great recruiting class because of the down year in the state.. That's proving to be true.

This will be a nationally ranked class, but not what LSU fans have come to know.