WHERE WE STAND:<br>Tiger Rag Viewpoint

There is plenty to discuss in this week's edition of Where We Stand. <br><br> Everyone is aware of the LSU football team's resounding victory over Mississippi State last Saturday. We will also take a look at some other issues in the state of college football. <br><br> Plus, those SEC officials are at it again and Oregon State's season is a growing nightmare for Beaver fans. Joe Pa needs to take a hike and the pollsters seem to be totally clueless at times. We're climbing on the soapbox.

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To the good news about Drew Hixon, a former LSU wide receiver and son of former wide receivers coach Stan Hixon. The younger Hixon, now a player at Tennessee Tech, was seriously injured in a game at South Florida two weeks ago. Last Friday morning, Hixon was taken off the ventilator and is breathing on his own. He remains unconscious, but his status has been upgraded from critical to serious and he remains in the ICU. On Thursday afternoon, nearly 1,000 well-wishers, teammates, students and student-athletes convened on Overall Field in Tucker Stadium to form Drew's uniform number "7" for an aerial photograph to send to Hixon's family.

 

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To Oregon State. After leaving Baton Rouge as owners of a last second loss in overtime, the Beavers vowed they would not experience any letdowns as they tried to re-focus on the remainder of their schedule. Unfortunately, things are not going well. A week after Alexis Serna's missed extra point in overtime, Oregon State was drummed by Boise State and most recently lost to Arizona State 27-14 last weekend.

 

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To Xavier Carter. While it was good to see he and fellow freshman wide receiver Early Doucet record their first career touchdown receptions in Saturday's win, carter catch and run covering 67 yards was most impressive. The fastest man in the country as a high school senior, Carter turned on the burners and ran away from Mississippi State's secondary. You knew he was going to score as soon as he caught the pass from freshman quarterback Matt Flynn.

 

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To Miami's offense. Ranked fourth in the country (more on the polls later), Miami was the topic of discussion last Thursday as they took on heavily over matched Houston on ESPN. A question was posed on ESPN's pregame show, "could Miami score 75 points against the lowly Cougs?" Uhhhh, no! The Hurricanes managed just 38 in a 38-13 win and scored a TD on a blocked punt. Let's just say, Miami is winning nothing as long as Brock Berlin is the quarterback.

 

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To Joe Paterno and Penn State. It is almost laughable every week how the experts say the Nittany Lions are getting it together. Each week, Penn State does what has been somewhat of a trend over the last half-decade in Happy Valley – underachieve. Is it underachievement or just a lack of talent? We think the latter, plus the fact that Joe Paterno needs to call it quits. No disrespect to Joe Pa, but his teams still play like it is the 1960s. It is time for some new blood in Beaver Stadium.

 

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To the LSU Lady Tiger basketball team. A week after SLAM Magazine dubbed coach Pokey Chatman's team preseason No. 1, Lindy's magazine says LSU is the second-best team in the land. Seimone Augustus, a junior guard from Baton Rouge, was named pre-season first-team All-America by the magazine, while senior point guard Temeka Johnson was named third-team All-America. Lindy's is due to hit the news stands this week with its annual College Basketball Preview issue. The Lady Tigers were ranked second behind Southeastern Conference foe Tennessee. LSU returns four starters from last year's team that advanced to the NCAA Final Four and won 27 games.

 

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To SEC officials. Although not as highly publicized as the two bonehead calls made by officials two weekends ago, a highly flagrant personal foul penalty was not flagged against a Mississippi State defensive lineman. In the second quarter, LSU left tackle was pinned to the ground by a Bulldog defender. Just after the whistle blew, the unidentified MSU player gave Whitworth a double-forearm jab to the small of his back. Yep, you guessed it, no flag thrown from the official standing some three feet away.

 

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To LSU fans. Morning games in Tiger Stadium are far from popular in Tigertown, much less Jefferson-Pilot games in late September, which means hot, muggy conditions. There have been occasions when the stadium had more than a few empty seats for the traditional JP contest. But over 91,000 LSU fans turned out last weekend.

 

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To the state of Mississippi. In had to be the worst day of football in the history of the state, both Ole Miss and Mississippi State were demoralized in a pair of ugly losses. A week after losing 9-7 to I-AA Maine, State came to Baton Rouge and got drilled 51-0. Ole Miss, who narrowly beat Vanderbilt last week in overtime, traveled to Wyoming…. and LOST! The Cowboys upset the Rebels 37-32. At least the state still has Southern Miss.

 

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To Stanford. Although the Cardinal lost to No. 1 ranked USC on Saturday, Stanford showed again the Trojans are human. Southern Cal escaped Palo Alto with a 31-28 victory and remains in the nation's top spot by the skin of their teeth.

 

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Finally, we attack the pollsters again. LSU would have been better playing The Citadel this week. Obviously that is a much more impressive victory than beating up on the SEC whipping post Mississippi State. Auburn was highly unimpressive in a 33-3 win over The Citadel on Saturday, but still managed to rise one spot in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll to No. 9. LSU drubs an SEC foe 51-0 and remain ranked No. 13. Go figure.

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