It will be hard to follow up last week's installment of Tiger Rag's Where Do We Stand?

The response to our take on Ashlee Simpson's Orange Bowl performance was overwhelming and we couldn't possibly be lucky enough to have lightning strike in consecutive weeks.


However, there was enough going on in the world of sports to conjure up plenty of views on a variety of issues.


Buckle your seatbelt, cause here we go.




Here's to the LSU Tigers. In one of the most inspiring efforts in the history of the Pete Maravich Center, the Tigers won a marathon thriller over Ohio State 113-101 in double overtime Saturday. Trailing 80-77 with just seconds remaining in regulation, Darrel Mitchell drilled a three-pointer from the top of the key forcing the first extra period. LSU blew a three-point lead at the end of the first overtime only to run away with the game in the second. Brandon Bass scored the first 10 points in overtime and Mitchell led the team with 32 points. Three different Tigers recorded double-doubles and Antonio Hudson was a rebound away from the team's fourth doubler.




To LSU fans on Saturday at the PMAC. It was bad enough that less than 7,000 fans showed up for the 7 p.m. tipoff for the first-ever meeting with the Buckeyes of the Big 10, but those who did show up were less than enthused most of the evening. And as it looked the Tigers would lose after falling behind by three late in the second half, the fickle patrons chose to bolt for the doors instead of staying and cheering. In the future, hopefully they will do a better job of playing their roles as fans.




To Glen Davis in the second half Saturday. Davis has shown a great deal of promise as of late scoring 28 points with 14 rebounds in a 79-64 win over South Carolina earlier in the week, but a made three-pointer in that win gave Davis a false sense of confidence shooting the ball from beyond the arch. Davis heaved up one attempt early in the second half that failed to even draw iron and bounded off the side of the backboard. With less than two minutes to go in regulation and the Tigers on top by three, LSU regained possession trying to hold onto the slim lead. But with 1:48 to go and 28 seconds left on the shot clock, Davis heaved up a three-point offering that barely reached the rim. The shot nearly cost the Tigers the game. Ohio State took the ball and hit consecutive three-pointers to take a brief lead. In boggles the mind to think LSU, which was coming out of a timeout, would settle for that shot. Is a three-pointer by a 6-9, 320-pound freshman, the best shot you can come up with at the time?





Enough criticizing. The win over Ohio State was truly remarkable and could serve as a turning point for John Brady's Tigers. A team which had struggled through the month of December with a rather brutal road stretch, got some much needed confidence with the emotional victory. Most notably, Darrel Mitchell's clutch three-pointer to tie the game at the end of regulation was by far the biggest shot of the season so far and will serve as a huge boost for this team. Mitchell, who struggled shooting from outside on the month-long road trip, has hit nine three pointers in the last two games.





To LSU bench points. All 113 of LSU's points came from Tiger starters. LSU has struggled with point production from the bench all season long with the three top reserve players averaging three points per game or less. Saturday, LSU's bench produced zilch, nada, nothing. This means the Tigers could be one injury away from a major loss in point production.




To USC quarterback Matt Leinart. On Friday, the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback chose to remain at Southern Cal for his senior season. The question is, WHY? This guy has won the not only the most coveted prize in college football with the Heisman, Leinart has led the Trojans to back-to-back national titles. What more does this guy have to prove? He is assured to be a top pick, if not the No. 1 overall pick in this spring's NFL Draft. Why would he want to possibly jeopardize a pro career with an injury by coming back to college football, a place where he has proven everything there is to prove? It is obvious he likes being a god in Los Angeles and being the most beloved darling on the biggest media darling in all of college sports right now. One major downside to Leinart's return is the fact USC will be ranked No. 1 in next season's preseason poll. And in these days of college football, with the Trojans ranked No. 1 and playing in the powder puff Pac-10, you can go ahead and book it USC will be in the BCS title game next season based simply on the fact Leinart is returning.




To the LSU promotions department. While LSU should be applauded for putting together such promotions as car, television, stereo and phone giveaways, the appearance of "Haley," the mascot of the WNBA's Houston Comets at the Lady Tigers Sunday game versus Alabama. The obnoxiously dressed "whatchamacallit" pranced and danced around the arena even sauntering up to the Crimson Tide bench during a timeout and shaking his enormous fanny at coach Rick Moody and his team. Maybe not the best thing to do to a team that is losing by 30 points.




To new LSU football coach Les Miles. The 32nd football coach in LSU history was presented to the crowd at Saturday's LSU-Ohio State game in the PMAC Miles and wife Kathy were met with a very warm welcome. Showing that he believes in gender equity, Kathy and Les Miles, plus a number of their five children were on hand for Sunday's Lady Tigers contest versus Alabama. In the meantime, Miles managed to reel in the nation's top center prospect in Wayne County (Miss.) lineman Jerrell Powe, who committed on national television of the U.S. Army All-American All Star game Saturday.





It looks as if Miles has most of his assistant coaching staff in place. Joining Miles in Baton Rouge from Oklahoma State will be Bill Clay, Doug Mallory, Todd Monken, Larry Porter and Josh Henson. Former Nick Saban assistants Stacey Searles will remain on Miles' staff at LSU. Other former Saban assistants Travis Jones and Kirby Smart who were working with the staff have both accepted coaching positions at the University of Georgia.





To Marcus Randall. Randall connected on 7-of-11 passes for 88 yards on his way to earning MVP honors in leading the South to a 24-21 win over the North at the Gridiron Classic. Randall, who just completed his senior season at LSU, also rushed for six yards on six attempts.

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