The Tigers 55-24 win over the Hawgs was sweet victory in a lot of ways for coach Nick Saban and his tea">
The Tigers 55-24 win over the Hawgs was sweet victory in a lot of ways for coach Nick Saban and his tea">

Tigers take back "The Boot;" Odd's & End's

The LSU Tigers definitely sent a message to SEC, the college football world and the BCS bigshots with a thrashing of the Arkansas Razorbacks in the day after Thanksgiving "Battle of the Boot." <br><br> The Tigers 55-24 win over the Hawgs was sweet victory in a lot of ways for coach Nick Saban and his tea

Not only did the 31-point victory give LSU the SEC western division title and a berth in the title game, it kept the Tigers hopes alive for a possible shot at a trip to the Sugar Bowl and a shot at the national championship.


Plus, the win was justifiable revenge for LSU's 21-20 loss to Arkansas last season in Little Rock, a game in which the Razorbacks took advantage of two last second heaves to squeak out a win and steal the Tigers ticket to Atlanta.


Oh yeah, by the way, LSU got "The Boot" back too.


But most importantly, the Tigers notched another "W" in the win column and continued this season of destiny. LSU won 11 games for just the second time in school history and not since the national championship season of 1958.


Head coach Nick Saban praised his team and fans in the wake of a frigid victory in 21 seniors' Death Valley finale.


"This victory is for everyone in Louisiana who cares about LSU football," Saban said. "This is for everyone who has supported this team. This is for the players who I think have done a remarkable job, a lot of work, it started last year in the off-season program and it was the thought of losing in Arkansas the way we did was the first motivator for this team to get going to try to improve and I think it was a good catalyst. This has been a fine team to coach."


Kudos go out to the Tigers team for claiming the school's second berth to the title game in three seasons. But most of all, kudos to Saban and what he has done at LSU.


Since coming to LSU, Saban has preached openly about transforming Tiger football into a nationally recognized, dominant program. As this season has unfolded, Saban is proving his mission to baton Rouge a successful one.


Is it not true LSU has dominated nearly every team it has faced this season? Is it not true LSU is ranked No. 3 in all three major polls (AP, Coaches, BCS) and is regarded by some as the second-best team in the country?


In this writer's opinion, the biggest tribute to Saban and what he has done in Tigertown is helping mold a winning attitude. Remember in his first season, fans tore down the goal posts in Tiger Stadium twice that season (Tennessee, Alabama), wanted to in another (overtime versus Mississippi State) and stormed the field after clinching the western division title against Auburn in 2001.


Not the case anymore.


In the wake of last Friday's win over a very good Arkansas team, fans merely stayed in their seats, cheering loudly, but acting like they had been there before. You could sense a feeling of accomplishment, but not satisfaction among the patrons, players and coaches.


The Tigers will get the opportunity to further carry out its mission traveling to Atlanta on Saturday for an SEC title game showdown with the Georgia Bulldogs.


Stunning: Can you believe folks are still talking about Texas and Ohio State getting into a BCS bowl game?

That's right, the Longhorns and Buckeyes still have the inside track on a BCS At-Large bid, something that seems unfair due to the fact they have two losses. But the rumor is the loser of the SEC title game, either LSU or Georgia, would be snubbed for a BCS game and OSU and Texas would slip in the back door.


Does it seem fair that a team which got 65 points hung on them by Oklahoma (Texas) should get to play in one of the top four bowls? Remember, the Longhorns lost to Arkansas (much worse than the 38-28 score indicated), a team that LSU just recently pounded. Texas did not even qualify for its league's championship game.


Ohio State has the luxury of not having to play in a conference championship, which further ignites the argument that is it fair for team's to be penalized for playing in its' league title games?


Swapping: Nick Saban said in the postgame Friday he wishes the LSU-Arkansas game would be moved to a Saturday in the future.


While CBS tries to single out the annual "Battle for the Boot" due to its rivalry implications, Saban said the short week hurts both teams.


"The last three seasons, this game has determined the outcome of the SEC West," Saban said. "This game can be just as much a rivalry if it is played on Saturday. No game with that much riding on it should be determined with teams facing a short week of preparation."


Slammin': LSU hoopster Jaime Lloreda had a heckuva week.


After sitting out the season opener, Lloreda came back to score 30 points and grab 23 rebounds in his debut against McNeese State.


Lloreda scored 23 points last Wednesday against Troy State and poured on 26 more in a win over UL-Monroe last Saturday. Last week, Lloreda averaged 26 points per game.


That sounds like an SEC Player of the Week to us.


Shrinking: We don't know what is getting smaller, the crowds in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center or coach John Brady's bench?


If Saturday's actual crowd of 2,486 wasn't bad enough, Brady endured more attrition as the third player in four games has left the LSU Tigers basketball team.


Brady announced junior guard Tony Gipson's departure prior to Saturday's win over the Indians. Gipson stated his reasons for leaving were related to playing time.


"It is disappointing Tony has decided to try and continue his basketball and academic pursuits somewhere else," Brady said. "We helped Tony through some academic difficulties last year and he would have given us added depth on the perimeter. But in my discussions with Tony, he felt his role on the team should be more in terms of minutes played and would hurt his opportunity to play at the next level. Although I may disagree with his thoughts, I respect his decision and wish him well. We will help him in everyway."


Forward Tim Bush and guard Mildon Ambres have already left the LSU team this season.


As for the smallish crowd Saturday, it was the smallest in quite a while, but it was two days after Thanksgiving and many students were still on holiday break. Look for a bigger crowd when the Tigers re-take the floor on Dec. 16. LSU hosts Utah in a nationally televised game on ESPN.


Staying: LSU offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher announced last week he has no plans of following the departed Jackie Sherrill in Starkville as the next coach of the Mississippi State Bulldogs.


Fisher released an official statement last Thursday stating his intentions to stay at LSU.


"It's obviously very flattering to have your name mentioned for a head coaching position in the Southeastern Conference," Fisher said. "On the other hand, I'm very happy here at LSU and as a result I have decided to pull my name from consideration for the head coaching position at Mississippi State. Coach Saban is building something very special here at LSU and I want to continue to be a part of this program."


Fisher informed Mississippi State athletic director Larry Templeton of his decision on Thursday morning. Fisher was scheduled to interview for the Mississippi State head coaching position on Saturday, Nov. 29.


Fisher's name had surfaced for the job along with Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong, Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden and former Alabama assistant coach Sylvester Croom.

Tiger Blitz Top Stories