"Yeah, I know my flight from
Forget it. The airlines are tough
these days, tougher even than knowing that you'll be playing a bowl game in
The good thing there is you can drive.
Three years ago LSU had a dream
season when everything fell into place and the Tigers won the Southeastern
Conference championship and went to the Sugar Bowl and dismantled
The next year, 2002, LSU took a
step back, finishing 8-5 with that disappointing whipping by
Last year, you thought LSU would be good. National-championship good? No one in their right mind would have bet the farm on it. But everything again fell into place to the nth degree, including an almost injury-free season, as the Tigers won it all.
Think about what's happened since. The best player on the best LSU team in history, receiver Michael Clayton, did as expected and went to the NFL. The experienced and efficient quarterback, Matt Mauck, also left early – albeit as a 26-year-old – for the NFL. Remember that both of those guys could still be wearing the purple and gold.
So, too, could Marquise Hill, the dope who changed his mind and then wanted to stay another year at LSU but was tainted by an agent and had to go.
Combine those with the usual losses to graduation and a team that coach Nick Saban said showed up in August not in tip-top shape, and, well, what did you expect?
LSU fans, of course, expected more
than they've gotten. They didn't expect the
Saban made another preseason observation about this year's sophomores, a group that as freshmen played surprisingly key roles in the run to the title.
He claimed they were like kids who won the lottery, because all the players who did the work in the two or three previous years set the stage for them to just come in and take home the hardware.
It's not that simple, of course, but take Saturday, for example: Justin Vincent, MVP of last year's SEC- and national-championship games, rushed for 2 yards. Alley Broussard had 45. He may not have been talking about them specifically, but 47 yards rushing between your two go-to guys won't beat anyone, much less Georgia.
Anyway, no one would argue that the
offensive line has been suspect. The quarterbacks posted good numbers Saturday,
but 16 points is just 16 points, especially when the last six came long after
the game was decided. It would have been seven, but – you've gotta be kidding –
Sophomore of the year? Laron Landry, who led LSU in tackles last season and is right up there again this year.
People who know such things said in
their preseason predictions that LSU would go 9-2, winning all seven games at
home and splitting their four road ventures. Now that the Tigers are 0-2 on the
road and go to
About as unlikely as getting your
money back for a January flight to