FEINSWOG: Two weeks will tell tale for LSU

When we sit down at this computer two weeks from now to pontificate about LSU's football season, everything will be clear.

We will know if LSU is going to Atlanta to play in the Southeastern Conference championship game or the Peach Bowl.

 

We will know if the Tigers can take care of business when it matters most, in Tiger Stadium against the two toughest teams left on their home schedule.

 

And if they do, the debacle with Tennessee will become a semi-lost memory.

 

If not, well, you know.

 

In the meantime, consider that LSU is back in the top 10, lofty air for a team that is only 3-1 after the weirdest two months ever for a college football team.

 

Everything is falling into place for LSU to not only stay in contention, albeit remotely, for the national championship,  but also of assuring itself of playing in a major bowl if it takes care of business the next two Saturdays.

 

The thought here is USC and Texas will play for the national title. It's going to take a special effort to knock either of those teams off before January.

 

The other undefeated teams ranked ahead of LSU – Virginia Tech, Georgia, Alabama and Florida State – are going to sustain defeats before it's all said and done. So will teams like Penn State and Texas Tech. It's simply the nature of the beast.

 

But back to LSU.

 

Never would anyone have imagined that Chris Jackson would have loomed so large against Vandy for the Tigers, good and bad.

 

His punt that pinned Vanderbilt against its goal line and led to the safety proved to be huge in the early going. He had four punts for a 42-yard average.

 

However, he missed two field-attempts that could have settled the outcome a lot earlier.

 

But his 36-yarder late in the third quarter that made it 12-6 seemed, at the time, a pivotal moment.

 

All that was made moot when LSU finally steamrolled the upstart Commodores in the fourth quarter en route to an eventual 34-6 victory in which its defense was overpowering.

 

Now Florida comes to town for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff on CBS against what is becoming America's team. LSU has played once on ESPN and twice on ESPN2. The Tigers, because of their post-hurricane travails, have received more national exposure than any team in the country. That shouldn't hurt come recruiting time.

 

LSU then plays host to Auburn, which had this past Saturday off and, like Alabama, remains ahead of LSU in the SEC Western Division.

 

There are still plenty of things to work on, work out and work through for LSU, like the flowing stream of penalties and dropped passes. And the ever-growing list of injuries, especially to the offensive line, has to be a huge concern.

 

But its defense has been dominant that past two games, JaMarcus Russell continues to grow in a positive way at quarterback and LSU has scored 37 percent of its points in the all-important fourth quarter.

 

Of course, that includes being outscored 17-0 in the fourth quarter by Tennessee in a game that LSU can wipe out as an aberration if it takes care of business against Florida and Auburn.

 

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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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