TIGER RAG VIEWPOINT: Where we stand

In this week's viewpoint segment, we point the figure elsewhere as LSU gets a pat on the back for an impressive, come from behind win in The Swamp. <br><br> The Tigers rallied from a 21-7 deficit to win in the final seconds. So who gets this week's thumbs down – that would be Georgia, Texas and the team formerly known as Nebraska. <br><br> Oh by the way, we take back some of the nice things we said about David Greene a week ago and frown at some predictions made by Sports Illustrated.

Getting it started, the first batch of kudos goes to the LSU Tigers. Bouncing back from possibly the biggest embarrassment of the Nick Saban era with a 45-16 loss at Georgia, the Tigers stumbled early but captured an improbable win in the hostile confines of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Most LSU fans were probably ready to throw in the towel after two early interceptions put the Tigers behind a 14-0 8-ball. But gritty performances by Marcus Randall and Joseph Addai led LSU to a come-from-behind thriller, which left Florida fans stunned with disbelief.

 

 

More kudos to Randall, who did not get the start in Saturday's game. Instead, head coach Nick Saban went with redshirt freshman JaMarcus Russell. Russell's playing time was cut short by a high-ankle sprain (not to mention a pair of costly interceptions). When called on Randall showed excellent poise in completing 18-of-27 passes for 198 yards and two touchdown passes, the last coming with 27 seconds left on the clock. Not only did Randall shine as a passer, the shifty senior contributed mightily to LSU's 210-yard rushing total picking up 46 yards on 10 carries.

 

We gave Georgia quarterback David Greene a great deal of credit l;ast week after he completed 10-of-19 passes for 174 yards, but most notably five touchdowns, versus LSU. Prior to the game we said Greene was overrated and had done little to impress other than a highly favorable record as Georgia's starter. As soon as we praised him, Greene proved us wrong again in a lackluster showing in a 19-14 loss to Tennessee at home. In fact, the Bulldogs as a whole were largely disappointing appearing still hung over from their emotional win over the Tigers.

 

To Bobby Ross and the Army Cadets. Snapping the nation's longest losing streak of 19 games, Army set off a goalpost tumbling celebration with a rousing 48-29 win over Cincinnati. The Cadets weren't the only guys snapping long losing streaks as UL-Monroe beat Idaho 16-14 and East Carolina defeated Tulane. Both wins broke nine-game losing skids for each team. The nation's longest downturn now belongs to Central Florida, which lost its ninth straight at Northern Illinois on Saturday.

 

To Adrian Peterson. Featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated last week, Oklahoma's fabulous freshman lived up to his advanced billing ripping through the Texas defense for a truckload of yards. Could it be the first time ever (and we don't consider Maurice Claret a true candidate) we see a true freshman actually make a push for the Heisman?

 

Speaking of Sports Illustrated, go back and check out the Adrian Peterson issue of SI in which they published their picks for last weekend's biggest game. Sports Illustrated chose Oklahoma to win, which they did, but in a shootout 35-24. The Sooners won 12-0, granted on a sloppy field. SI picked California to upset USC (Trojans won 23-17) as well as a Georgia thrashing Tennessee 42-10. UGA proved Sports Illustrated very wrong losing to the Vols 19-14. Also the "experts" picked Minnesota to finally stake claim to the Little Brown Jug. But for the 16th straight year Michigan defeated the Golden Gophers rallying to upend Minnesota for the second straight season.

 

We spoke of Texas earlier. Although they didn't get blown out by Oklahoma per say, the Longhorns still lost, lost to their arch rival for the fifth straight year. While they only were beaten 12-0, was another loss to OU enough to send Mack Brown packing? Only time will tell, but Texas was shutout for the first time since 1980, some 240-plus game.

 

While we are on the subject of the Big XII, we can't go any further without mentioning the Nebraska Cornhuskers. ESPN's Trev Alberts, a Husker alum, said Saturday morning Southern Miss should be ranked higher because they are unbeaten. When counterpart Mark Mary mentioned the fact the Golden Eagles barely beat Houston, Alberts shot right back with the fact USM beat Nebraska in Lincoln. Big deal!! The mighty Huskers, who fired a coach who went 9-3 last season, traveled to Lubbock and got drilled by Texas Tech 70-10. That's right 70-10 – that's not a typo. It was the worst loss in the 114-year history of Nebraska football as well as the most points ever allowed by a Cornhusker team.

 

To Southern Cal. While we feel the Trojans are not playing the way a No. 1 ranked team should perform, Pete Carroll's team is doing what is necessary to retain the nation's top slot. After close calls with Virginia Tech and Stanford, USC survived another near-miss with Cal in the Coliseum. Although the Bears outgained Southern Cal 454-205, the Trojans emerged with a six-point, 23-17 win. Lee Corso said it right when he remarked that the best team in the Pac-10 didn't win on Saturday.

 

To Justin Vincent. The Most Valuable Player of the SEC Championship Game and the Nokia Sugar Bowl, Vincent has been a no-show for most of the season. No one could have imagined Vincent could do worse than a two carry, two yard performance against Georgia. But the sophomore managed to prove everyone wrong carrying one time for no yardage, but he did catch one pass for six yards. Running backs Alley Broussard and Joseph Addai have passed up Vincent, who is mired in an obvious sophomore slump, has even been passed up by Shyrone Carey. While Vincent may remain invisible for the remainder of this season, he still has several seasons of good football ahead.

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