TIGER RAG VIEWPOINT: Where We Stand

In this week's edition of Where Do We Stand, we re-visit this past Saturday's LSU-Auburn game.

As zany as ever, no barns burned, no one smoked any cigars, the earth didn't move, there was no stomping on anyone's logo and for heaven's sake no kicker tussled with a tuba player.

However, Saturday's game did involve a kicker.

In 2001, Auburn kicker Damon Duval got in a shoving match with an LSU tuba player during halftime as the Golden Band form Tigerland finished its halftime routine. Saturday, the only person Auburn's John Vaughn was beating up was himself.

Joseph Addai topped the century mark again, but the Tiger senior might have been a bit upstaged by his Auburn counterpart.

While Vaughn struggled, LSU's Chris Jackson operated with ice water in his veins.

On the SEC front, Alabama and Tennessee made like it was 1890 while Georgia finds itself in a heap of trouble as the Bulldogs prepare for the Cocktail Party.

Arizona State and Michigan State have hit the skids while Northwestern State is in search of a Big Ten title?

Arkansas State and Florida Atlantic couldn't decide which team wanted to win this week's Sun Belt pillow fight.

And finally, a loss gets a thumbs up?

It's all here in our latest rant.

First and foremost, congratulations to the LSU Tigers on Saturday's win. It wasn't ever all that pretty, but in the end the Tigers ended up with more points than Auburn. LSU wasn't that sharp in any phase of its games, but did eliminate turnovers and penalties were at a minimum as the Tigers remain very much in the thick of the SEC Western Division race.

LSU won Saturday's game in overtime, but it really never should have gotten to that point. In the first minute of the fourth quarter, JaMarcus Russell hit Dwayne Bowe for an easy touchdown in the back of the end zone for what would have been a 21-10 lead. The game would have been well on its way to being over had Bowe have held onto the ball. Bowe dropped the touchdown pass and Early Doucet followed suit in overtime. Thank goodness for Chris Jackson.

Speaking of Jackson, the junior kicker may have missed a 47-yarder earlier in the game, but when it mattered, Jackson delivered. With its back against the wall trailing 17-14, Jackson drilled a 45-yarder with less than two minutes left to play to force overtime. Jackson then converted a 30-yarder in the first overtime period, which ended up being the game-winner.

To Joseph Addai. For the fourth time in six games, Addai logged over 100 yards rushing. Addai ran 24 times for 105 yards, but failed to score a touchdown for the first time this season. The senior running back has proved to be the team's MVP on offense carrying the bulk of the load offensively both rushing and receiving.

To Kenny Irons. The Auburn tailback, a transfer from South Carolina, ran for 218 yards, the most allowed by LSU since Alabama's Shaun Alexander ran for 281 in 1996. It doesn't matter if he is on the other team, Irons was impressive.

And we can't forget about Skyler Green. After Florida refused to punt to the SEC's top punt returner, Auburn made the mistake – but only once. Green made them pay though bringing back his first punt return of the night 66 yards for a touchdown. The Tigers never punted Green's way again electing to go with a rugby style kick instead.

To the clock operators. Throughout the entire first quarter of play, game officials had to keep the game clock on the field due to malfunctions on the scoreboard. It still isn't sure if all 15 minutes were played or not.

It is widely known Alabama and Tennessee possess two of the SEC's best defense, but 6-3. That was the score by which the Crimson Tide defeated Phil Fulmer's Volunteers on Saturday, handing Rocky Top its third loss of the season. Three field goals was all of the scoring (Bear Bryant would have been proud) and Tennessee fumbled away a prime chance at a touchdown with five minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Northwestern isn't just for smart kids, the Wildcats play football too. Northwestern went to East Lansing and destroyed No. 22 Michigan State 49-14. With a 3-1 record in the Big Ten, Northwestern will be looking for its first conference title in almost a decade.

To the Arizona State Sun Devils. Sam Keller threw for 461 yards against the LSU defense and the Sun Devil offense looked unstoppable in losses to No. 4 LSU and top-ranked USC, in which ASU led 21-3. But since dropping that game to the top-ranked Trojans, Arizona State has lost back to back games to Oregon and most recently Stanford (Ouch) and are now 3-4 on the year.

To the Virginia Cavaliers. A week after quarterback Marques Hagans got a big thumbs up for leading the Cavs to an upset of Florida State, UVA fell hard losing to North Carolina. Not only did they lose, they only scored five points, losing 7-5.

Everyone knows the Sun Belt isn't the greatest of football leagues, but Arkansas State and Florida Atlantic may have taken the conference to a new low. The teams battled to a 0-0 tie. Arkansas State kicked a field goal to win 3-0 in overtime, the first game to end in a scoreless tie since overtime was implemented.

To Darrel Mitchell and Glen Davis. The two LSU men's basketball players, were named to the Coaches Pre-Season All-SEC team announced by the league office last Friday.

To Fran Flory's Volleyball team. The Tigers won their third straight match sweeping Georgia Friday night in Athens. It was LSU's first win in Athens since 2001 and was the third straight sweep. The Tigers swept Ole Miss and Miss. State the weekend before.

 Finally, we don't award thumbs up to too many teams after a loss, but here's to Mount Union. Riding a 110-game regular season winning streak (dating back to 1994), the Purple Raiders dropped a 21-14 loss to the Ohio Northern Polar Bears on Saturday. While the loss had to hurt, that is one heck of a run.


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