FEINSWOG: Power of the remote control

Behold the power of the remote control.

No sooner does LSU waylay Ole Miss 40-7 than we switch to Miami-Georgia Tech and voila!

Pennies from heaven.

The Ramblin' Wreck bounces No. 3 Miami from the mix and LSU is one notch from the national-championship picture.

And after a stint of SportsCenter, suddenly Fresno State is up 21-10 over No. 1 Southern Cal and could it be? Nah.

Kind of like in Blazing Saddles when the Waco Kid warns Bart not to carry a gun when he's going to apprehend Mongo.

"No, no, don't do that. Don't do that. If you shoot him, you'll just make him mad."

Behold the power of the USC offense: Trojans 50, Fresno 42.

So it's left to UCLA on Dec. 3 to derail this offensive juggernaut. The Bruins will have to put up 60 to win.

Which brings us to Texas.

Texas, sitting at No. 2, plays Texas A&M on Friday. Then the Longhorns play in the Big 12 Championship.

So LSU has to do three things:

-- Beat Arkansas on Friday

-- Beat Georgia in the SEC Championship on Dec. 3

-- And root like hell for UCLA and whoever wins the Big 12 North.

Regardless, it appears that LSU will finish its regular season 10-1 with a defense right up there with the national-championship team of 2003, the most improved quarterback in the nation and a coach who once again proved he's not afraid of taking chances.

Playing Georgia in Atlanta will be tough, but at this point it would be nuts to put anything past LSU.

Switching gears, we had a chance last week to see the LSU basketball team for the first time.

This just in:

LSU is really good and is going to get better.

Forget about Brandon Bass. Sure, he would have been a difference maker, but he's old news. While he's sitting on the bench for a lousy NBA team, his old school is going to make some major noise this season.

Darrel Mitchell, despite being undersized, is poised for a tremendous senior season. He's shooting with confidence and seems to have some of the backcourt focus LSU has been lacking at times in recent years.

Glen Davis might be the best player in the SEC and fellow big man Darnell Lazare looks like the most improved Tiger. And freshmen Tasmin Mitchell and Tyrus Thomas appear to be the real deal.

Mitchell, of course, was among the most highly recruited players in the nation and has shown nothing to make you think he wasn't worth they hype.

Thomas, however, sat out last year with injuries and so far – and it's early – has shown that he can be a big-time college big man. He runs the floor well, has offense skills and – this is rare these days – might be able to play defense without fouling.

Two other freshmen, Chris Johnson and Garrett Temple, are going to be key.

Johnson is 6-11 but gets up and down the floor and could be a real diamond in the rough. And the basketball-savvy Temple is running the point till Tack Minor returns next month.

Minor is the X factor. This team is pretty good. If he comes back with his head screwed on right – meaning he stays out of trouble off the court and plays with intelligent consistency on it – LSU is going to be the kind of team that can go a long with in March, especially with the challenging non-conference schedule that ninth-year coach John Brady has finally – finally – put together.


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. -30-

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