FEINSWOG: It's Troy, not Troy State

Remember back a million years ago or so, or at least this past Sept. 9 when Troy – that's Troy, not Troy State, thank you – knocked off Missouri and sent a few shock waves through the world of college football?

Don't fret LSU fans. Things are back to normal in that wacky, wacky Sun Belt Conference. You may remember, too, that on Sept. 11, the Tigers mangled visiting Arkansas State by 50 points.

Fast forward to this past Saturday, one of the prettiest days this region has ever seen. Too bad there was no football in Baton Rouge as LSU had its first off weekend of the season.

But there was in Jonesboro, Ark., where Arkansas State had its homecoming.

Operating on the theory that homecoming is always against someone you can beat, unless you're like Duke or Swarthmore or Prairie View or somebody like that, Arkansas State celebrated its homecoming by beating Troy – not Troy State – 13-9.

Which probably doesn't bode well for Troy this coming Saturday night in Tiger Stadium. Can you say carnage?

Of course, as you ponder the wonderful weather, consider that the long-range forecast calls for thunderstorms Saturday in Baton Rouge. Figures. This past Thursday I had occasion to be on the campus of Troy, which, if you dig through the racks, still has T-shirts for Troy State. But the big push is to for the school to be called Troy. Just Troy. No State.

Troy is in very rural southeastern Alabama, about a 45-minute drive south of Montgomery. Taking the semi-direct route, it's still about two-and-a-half hours to Mobile. The upside is it's about a two-hour drive to the beach.

The town leaves a lot to be desired, but the campus is pretty in a college-campus kind of way. But it's small, about 8,000 kids, and you wonder what the football player will be thinking when they run onto the field at Tiger Stadium on Saturday.

You know what Troy administrators will be thinking. We'll, we've already beaten Missouri on national TV, and that, combined with this payday at LSU, will pay a whole lot of bills. Thank you, drive home safely, get ready for the Sun Belt stretch run.

LSU, meanwhile, could only watch helplessly Saturday as it lost ground to Georgia, Tennessee and Auburn in bowl status.

It's a foregone conclusion that Auburn has won the SEC Western Division and will play either Tennessee or Georgia in the title game.

LSU has to hope that one of those teams will then move on to the national championship game, which would then open up a better spot for the remaining teams.

Of course, that's assuming that LSU not only beats Troy, but then continues with victories against Vanderbilt, Alabama, Ole Miss and Arkansas to finish the season.

You never know how a team will react to an off week, but despite that stirring victory over Florida, LSU has played six straight weeks and you can imagine there were some banged up Tigers who welcomed the break.

Now the schedule appears to be in their favor.

You'd have to think LSU will crush Troy and Vandy, enjoy another week off, and then be ready to take on three SEC Western Division foes, the outcomes of which that will determine the defending national-champions' place in history, either as a one-time wonder or as a program poised to make another title run in 2005.


Lee Feinswog is the author of "Tales From The LSU Sidelines," a Baton Rouge sportswriter and host of the television show Sports Monday. Reach him at (225) 926-3256 or lee@sportsbatonrouge.com.

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