It's less than two months until the start of fall camp, and we've hardly heard a peep out of these Tigers. Heck, if it weren't for the Louisiana Legislature, we might not have heard anything at all until the incoming freshmen arrived on campus in August.
As it was, the Senate and the House of Representatives were kind enough to include the national champions when they recognized four other LSU teams, as well. Other then that, the football team has kept things under wraps since the close of spring practice in April.
Time was that football dominated all topics of conversation at this point.
That was then, though. This is now. Even a Bowl Championship Series title is not enough to guarantee the football team non-stop publicity. LSU has too many other successful activities going on to be stuck in one sport. Football will be here soon enough and will garner more than its share of headlines.
Anyway, beware of sleeping giants. Saban, and his staff, don't always have to be visible to know that they have the wheels in motion to put together an impressive encore to last season. They also deserve a break, too.
It's just that right now, football has been crowded out of the front pages by sports that didn't always require year-round attention. No one can ignore the accomplishments of track and field and baseball. The track and field teams fell just short of national titles earlier this month, but over the years, they'e produced 27 of them for Coach Pat Henry. What's more, they have two seasons in which to compete -- indoor and outdoor. LSU seemingly just returned from Austin, Texas, but it won't be long before Henry has his
athletes preparing for the indoor seasons.
There's no rest for the weary, at least not in the case of junior wide receiver Bennie Brazell. A standout sprinter in track, he'll report with the veteran football players in August for another crack at a national championship.
The baseball team returned to the College World Series for the 13th time -- all since 1986, which means that the season went far into June with fall ractice only a few short months away. Where athletes in other sports once used baseball as a means to stay in shape until their seasons started, the baseball team has become so specialized and powerful that only those who devote full attention to it can prosper.
Basketball doesn't begin in earnest until practice opens in the middle of October, but both the men's and women's teams have kept busy since their respective seasons ended. The Lady Tigers were in the group honored by the legislature, while the men have spent the offseason shoring up their program in the hopes that someday soon it will compete in the Final Four, as did the women.
Having sophomore forward Brandon Bass announce his return is a start. Bass, the reigning Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year, had tinkered with the idea of entering the NBA draft. His wise decision will be best both for himself and the Tigers.
Coach John Brady added a pair of assistant coaches in John Treloar and Nikita Johnson. If Brady can have the success rate Saban has experienced in filling his staff, the basketball team will be in good hands.
While the football team was laying low, even those who generate publicity for LSU made their way into newspapers and onto sportscasts. The baseball and softball media guides placed second and third, respectively, in national competition by the College Sports Information Directors Association. The softball team, coincidentally, also finished third at the CWS.
Something is always happening in an LSU athletic department that stretches far beyond football. If it's not a team drawing attention, it's an individual such as senior golfer Devon Day earning Academic All-America honors from CoSIDA --the same group that recognized the achievements of LSU's media guides.
Football will get its due in time. For now, though, it's had to punt when it comes to whetting the appetite of a sports-starved public.