A great deal has happened over the past several weeks including the ongoing Nick Saban saga, a loss to Iowa in the Capital One Bowl plus news and notes on the hardwood.">
A great deal has happened over the past several weeks including the ongoing Nick Saban saga, a loss to Iowa in the Capital One Bowl plus news and notes on the hardwood.">

TIGER RAG VIEWPOINT: Where We Stand

ORLANDO, Fla. – It has been three weeks since an installment of Tiger Rag's "Where Do We Stand?" <br><br> A great deal has happened over the past several weeks including the ongoing Nick Saban saga, a loss to Iowa in the Capital One Bowl plus news and notes on the hardwood.

Right off the bat, we have to give a great big thumbs down to the ending of the Capital One Bowl, a game which LSU lost 30-25. Drew Tate threw a 56-yard touchdown pass on the final play of the game to beat the Tigers in Nick Saban's final game as head coach. LSU had scored just second earlier to ensure what seemed as if it would be Saban's fourth bowl victory in five tries.

 

 

While it is well documented in the editorial on page four, thumbs down to the way Nick Saban handled his decision making in deciding whether or not to bolt to the NFL. While we do believe Saban was genuine in saying it was a difficult decision to make in terms of his love for Baton Rouge, but it was an insult to everyone's intelligence when Saban said he didn't want what was going on with him to be a distraction for the team heading into the Capital One Bowl. There was no way it would not be a distraction.

 

 

 

Although the Tigers lost the game, thumbs up to JaMarcus Russell. The redshirt freshman quarterback, was the third and final quarterback to come off the bench for LSU versus Iowa, but completed 12-of-15 passes for 128 yards and two scores and gave the Tigers the lead momentarily. Russell, who played in a platoon system with Marcus Randall for most of the year, stated his case well to be LSU's No. 1 quarterback heading into next season.

 

 

To the turnout for the Capital One Bowl. When news of Saban's departure hit the streets, LSU fans by the thousands began unloading their game tickets and canceling plans to attend the game in Orlando. Outside the stadium Saturday, tickets were going for as low as $10 a pop, a far cry from the thousands of dollars per ticket spent a year ago at the Sugar Bowl.

 

 

To Iowa fans. Hawkeye followers profited from the lack of LSU fans in attendance. Ask anyone who was at the game and they will tell you Iowa patrons outnumbered LSU fans 2-to-1. When asked about the excellent following the Hawkeyes had, a woman from Iowa responded, "its minus-10 degrees in Iowa City right now. Why wouldn't we want to come to Florida?"

 

 

To LSU special teams. Two critical breakdowns on punts against the Hawkeyes led to one Iowa touchdown. The Hawkeyes blocked two first-half LSU punts.

 

 

To the Texas Longhorns and quarterback Vincent Young. Anyone who knows me understands you will find little love for Mack Brown's Longhorns here. After Brown all but lobbied to get his team into the Rose Bowl, the Longhorns proved they belonged in the "Granddaddy of Them All." Coupled with the fact Cal, which felt jilted for being bumped from the Rose Bowl, got blown out by Texas Tech, Texas outlasted Big 10 champion Michigan and received an outstanding performance from Young, who rushed for four touchdowns and threw for another.

 

 

To Bobby Petrino. Where's the loyalty? The Louisville coach, that just one week after professing his love for Louisville and pledging his allegiance to the university, jumped in the sack with LSU officials in hopes of filling the vacancy left by the departed Saban. It was the fourth job in two seasons Petrino showed interest in, those being Auburn, Notre Dame, Florida and now the Tigers. Petrino then pulled his name out of contention for the job when talk of his termination for Louisville surfaced if he did not land the LSU job.

 

 

To the LSU Lady Tiger basketball team, which remained the No. 1 team in the nation in both the Associated Press and the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA poll.

The Lady Tigers were again unanimous in both polls, receiving all 45 first-place votes in the AP poll and all 40 from the coaches. It is the fifth straight week LSU has been the nation's top-ranked team and the fourth consecutive week as the unanimous No. 1 team.

 

 

Senior men's basketball player Antonio Hudson, enjoying his best season as an LSU Tigers, joined an elite group of players to have scored 1,000 career points in their LSU career. Hudson passed the 1,000-point mark on a three-pointer in the final seven minutes of Thursday's game in the Nokia Sugar Bowl Classic in New Orleans against Florida State.

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