There I said it.
It was easy to say a team, drilled
in its last game against
I think it is pretty safe to say,
though, I wasn't the only skeptic out there that picked the Tigers to lose in
their second straight trip to
But the Tigers had other plans.
Maybe a little time off was just what the doctor ordered for the team that played 11 straight games after having the beginning of the regular season re-arranged due to a couple of hurricanes.
It seemed appropriate the Tigers
The Hurricanes came out blazing and grabbed a quick 3-0 lead. But LSU, behind first-time starting quarterback Matt Flynn and a suffocating Tiger defense, scored 40 unanswered points pummeling Larry Coker's team into submission 40-3.
Four weeks after
For almost a month, their character had been questioned, the coaching staff browbeat by a restless fan base and their chances of beating the mighty Hurricanes were very slim.
All of that, coupled with several precious weeks of rest, resulted in the most dominating performance in a bowl game in LSU history.
Speaking of lopsided, it was
Adding insult to injury, not only
The incident became the center of attention in the national media and while the unfortunate occurrence not entirely LSU's fault, it seemed to cast a negative light on the Tigers' impressive victory. Minutes after LSU was being praised for such a dominating performance, the Tigers were then criticized for running up the score by faking two kicks in the fourth quarter with a commanding lead.
At any rate, one can ask themselves, what does this victory do for Les Miles and the Tigers?
For one thing, it will give Miles some much deserved breathing room heading into the offseason.
Miles has been under the microscope since his arrival in Tiger town. The first year coach has been criticized on everything from the way he talked, his coaching decision, his views on discipline even the way he wore his hat. Heck, 10 wins did nothing to ease the criticism either and the Tigers' flop in the SEC title game only incensed the growing lynch mob ever further.
However, Miles and the Tigers' win over No. 9 Miami should propel LSU into the top 10 in the final poll and complete a season in which the Tigers sustained a top 10 ranking throughout the complete season.
LSU projects to finish ranked somewhere between 6th and 9th and the decisive victory should ensure a nice, lofty preseason top10 ranking for next year. And with the way the Tigers' schedule sets up, LSU should be in good shape before they take their first of four tough road trips in 2006.
The Tigers open with UL-Lafayette,
Plus, a win over a national power
The Tigers have won many battles in
In closing, I can admit I was wrong in my pregame judgment of this team. I can say in three and a half football seasons of being the editor of Tiger Rag, I have picked the Tigers to lose only twice.
The first, in 2004, when LSU, fresh
off a 45-16 drubbing at
The result – LSU 24,
The second, was this Peach Bowl
game, in which no one gave the Tigers much of a chance. I picked it 27-10
The result – LSU 40,
It doesn't hurt to be wrong every now and then.
Matt Deville is the editor of Tiger Rag Magazine. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.