As temperatures dipped into the low
40s in the Baton Rouge area, the LSU Tigers enjoyed their final open date of the
2004 season. After eight games in stifling south
While it would be a nice afternoon
for football in
A full slate of games on tap for
this evening with
This time actually, this writer is cheering for the Bulldogs.
Before delving into the topic of LSU football, which has been one roller coaster of a topic this season, there are some interesting tidbits from around the league.
While many felt as if the SEC was preparing for the return of the Ole' Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier let Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley know on Thursday that he is not interested in return to Gainesville. At nearly 60 years old, Spurrier said he did not want to give the Florida program a "quick fix" in terms of coming back for only a couple of seasons.
The program which Spurrier led to six SEC titles and the 1996 national championship will never again have the visor-wearing offensive genius patrolling the sidelines. Rumor has it though that Spurrier wants to coach again, but maybe not at such a high-profile program – it might cut into his golf time.
Well, if not Spurrier, then who?
The names are out there with
Speaking of coaching, a tidbit of
information surfaced last week in terms of who will follow Kevin Gilbertsen as
the next coach at the
Gilbertsen, who replaced Rick
Neuhesial two years ago as the Huskies head man, said he would step down at the
end of the season.
With Gilbertsen's announcement, the search begins for a new coach of one of the nation's best football programs – maybe not the "best" in terms of success or conference affiliation – but best regarding facilities, fan base and location.
The first grumblings about who will
coach the Huskies back to national prominence began last week and two names that
surfaced were USC offensive coordinator Norm Chow and LSU's offensive
coordinator Jimbo Fisher. It is no doubt the powers that be at U-Dub will go
after an offensive minded coach. While owning a high-powered offense is a
necessity in the pass-happy Pac-10,
Chow would seem to be the favorite. Or would he?
Talk is that USC coach Pete Carroll
may leave the Trojans if they win the national championship this season for
another shot at the NFL. That would pave the way for Chow to assume the reigns
And don't forget who is the new
president of the
And another thing you can "bank" on, Emmert isn't too tight with the purse strings so you can guess he will ante up the cash for whoever is named the next coach.
On the SEC front, the final
ramifications of the Jackie Sherrill era were passed down last week in
It is obvious the NCAA didn't want to slam the hammer down on the Bulldog football program. Sherrill and most of the people surrounding him are no longer with the program and Croom seems to be doing whatever it takes to clean up a program which had grown into quite a mess.
Now that all the water cooler gossip is out of the way, we can address LSU football and the Tigers upcoming matchup with the Alabama Crimson Tide.
It has been awfully quiet around Tigertown over the last week or so concerning LSU football. Like we discussed last week about the effects of the national championship hangover, a four week stretch of Troy and Vanderbilt situated between a pair of open dates didn't help.
But hopefully, with briskness in the air along with a rather exciting three-game stretch to close out the regular season, Tiger fans will find a renewed interest in a season that has lacked the luster of a year ago.
While this final stretch includes
three teams which LSU should beat, if the Tigers play the way they did against
It seems as if Saban will continue to do the quarterback shuffle throughout the remaining three contests. He has been quoted that Marcus Randall is the Tigers' first string quarterback, but not the team's starting quarterback. Huh?
It is very simple. While most critics will debate that Saban is making a mistake with his quarterback revolution, Saban has said time again it doesn't matter who starts the game, just as long as the team wins. So look for JaMarcus Russell to get the start Saturday and give way to Randall sometime around the middle of the first quarter. Saban says Randall plays better coming off the bench and is more comfortable entering the game once it has already gotten started.
As LSU turns down the home stretch of the 2004 season, the bowl watch begins. While LSU has no shot of going to the SEC title game, the national championship game or even a BCS bowl, the Tigers still should be bowling on New Year's Day for the fourth year in a row.
Where LSU lands is still up in the air though.
Most folks will say the Tigers will
likely play the Big 12 North champion (possibly
How attractive is that matchup –
In the history of LSU football, not
Tiger team has ever locked horns with the Wolverines. With
In closing, we at Tiger Rag would
like to extend a fond farewell to LSU center Ben Wilkerson. The senior from
Matt Deville is the editor of Tiger
Rag Magazine. He can be reached at