TIGER RAG VIEWPOINT:<br>Where We Stand

LSU head basketball coach John Brady is talking offense this week as the Tigers and Lady Tigers held media day on campus. <br><br> As the Tiger football team took the week off, it was a quiet day n Tiger Stadium before homecoming with Troy this weekend. But we review other action from around the nation in this week's climb onto the soapbox. <br><br> Read on to find out who is for real and who is a pretender?

 

To LSU head coach John Brady and his intentions of opening up the offense this season. The eighth-year coach has always coached a defense-first mentality. While the old adage is true – defense wins championships – offense is what sells tickets. While Brady is probably not totally concerned with selling tickets, but more about scoring points, it wouldn't hurt to see the Tigers average somewhere around 70 points per game. It would do wonders for interest in the community and attendance in the PMAC. While defense does win championships, offense puts butts in the seats.

 

 

To Louisville. Sure enough, the Cardinals are a good football team, but Thursday night's collapse was painful to watch. Like Greg Norman melting down at the Master's or the Sacramento Kings losing time after time to the Lakers after holding big leads, you could see it coming. Louisville had a 24-7 lead at one point over the No. 3 ranked Miami Hurricanes. Stephan LaFors and Co. were impressive in jumping out to the sizeable lead over the mighty Canes in the Orange Bowl mind you. But Brock Berlin led Miami back in the fourth quarter seizing a 34-31 advantage. Louisville answered the bell and went back downfield and re-gained a 38-34 lead. But it was elementary at that point as Berlin sliced through the Cardinal defense for the game-winning score with less than two minutes left.

 

 

To Iowa and the systematic dismantling of Ohio State on Saturday. The Buckeyes, just two years removed from a national title, are spiraling out of control as their current three-game losing streak continues to grow. Saturday, the Buckeyes took it on the chin from Iowa as the Hawkeyes blistered OSU 33-7. It was Ohio State's worst loss since a 46-20 loss to Illinois in 1999. In the game, the Buckeyes struggling offense was again exploited. Ohio State was outgained 448-172 by the Iowa attack.

 

 

To USC. Now, now, we know a great many of you out there dislike the Trojans, but the Southern Cal offense is beginning to click after a slow start and really flexed its muscles in a 45-7 rout of 19th-ranked Arizona State on Saturday. The Trojans are beginning to play like a top-ranked team – and after last week's close call against Cal – it seems USC is Miami-bound with very few hurdles left on the schedule.

 

 

To all the Boise State hoopla. Enough already! Sure, the Broncos have an impressive run going and continues to toot the mid-major horn. But the thought of Boise State in a BCS game is absurd. BSU will crow about their place in the BCS for the rest of the season, but watching a team, ranked No. 18 in last week's poll, need the help of a last-second field goal to nip Tulsa 45-42. TULSA? And yes, the Broncos are 6-0, but with wins over Idaho, UTEP, Oregon State, BYU, SMU and now the Golden Hurricanes. Give us a break.

 

 

We hope we aren't making too many people angry this week because we are going to give props to another team LSU fans tend not to like all that much. It seems LSU might have had the best chance to beat Auburn this season, who continues its onslaught through the SEC, last weekend trouncing Arkansas 38-20. The shocker of the college football season, quarterback Jason Campbell is playing like a Heisman Trophy candidate. Against the Hogs, the senior signal caller completed 17-of-19 passes for 297 yards and three touchdowns in first-year offensive coordinator Al Borges West Coast offensive system.

 

 

To the LSU Lady Tigers and their commitment to the community. Over the last couple of weeks, the Lady Tigers have been making appearances all over the Baton Rouge area. Head coach Pokey Chatman and the LSU Lady Tigers basketball program presented a check for $1,000 to the Wally Pontiff Jr. Foundation. Before that, LSU's Lady Tigers basketball team volunteered at the state's annual Games Uniting Mind and Body (GUMBO) Games at the Louisiana School for the Deaf this past weekend.

 

 

To LSU Lady Tigers head coach Pokey Chatman, who was honored as one of the regions top role models by the Greater New Orleans YWCA. The YWCA has annually identified women of the Greater New Orleans area who demonstrate the integrity, respect and professionalism to be honored as one of the 60 Role models chosen in 2004. Chatman, who begins her first year as head coach replacing longtime mentor Sue Gunter, has sowed a great deal of class and is quickly becoming one of the most popular people on campus these days.

 

 

To the Top 25's pretenders for this week. We shouldn't call them all pretenders, but several of these teams won games much closer than they should have been. First of all, Michigan eeks out a 30-19 win over Illinois, arguably the worst team in the Big 10. No. 14 Tennessee strolled into Oxford and escaped with a 21-17 victory. Is that the same Volunteer team that beat Georgia last week? We have already discussed the third-ranked Hurricanes stumble as well as Boise State's near-miss.

 

 

It wasn't a good week to be ranked from 20-25 in the top 25. Aside from No. 21 LSU who had the week off. Every other team ranked 20 or lower lost over the weekend, well sort of. No. 22 Florida did beat Middle Tennessee State 52-16, but were losers in the fact that news of head coach Ron Zook's altercation with a campus fraternity hit the papers midweek. No. 20-ranked Minnesota got shown the door being blasted by Michigan State 51-17. We've already talked about 23rd-ranked Ohio State's demise. No. 24 Missouri played well, but ran out of time in a 28-20 loss to Texas. Finally, Southern Miss, ranked 25th, was a heavy favorite over struggling Alabama. The Tide, however, pounded the Golden Eagles 27-3.


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