DEVILLE: Everyone's got an opinion

Hey, anyone sick of hearing about bad officiating? How about how LSU got cheated at Auburn? Or how the Tigers' running game stinks? Or that Matt Flynn needs to be the quarterback? Or how Miles needs to be fired?

I have answered all of these questions dozens of times over the past week in the wake of LSU's 7-3 loss to Auburn.

 

I'll be the first to agree there were a reasonable number of questionable calls in the Auburn game. Sure, there were a few flags thrown (or not thrown) that could have changed the outcome of the game for LSU. But the thing is, there is nothing that can be done about it now.

 

The game is over. Period.

 

Let it be.

 

As unfortunate as it was to have such a great college football game play out the way it did, there is nothing you, me, Les Miles or the SEC can do to change anything. LSU lost by four points to the No. 2-ranked team in the nation on their home field.

 

Deal with it.

 

Over the last seven days from the time I am writing this column on Sunday evening, my office and cell phone voicemail inbox has been slammed full of messages from angry fans wanting to talk about what went down at Auburn.

 

Some of the folks I have chatted with just want to discuss what went on, express their feelings and be done with it. Others call requesting the number to the SEC office in hopes of contacting head of officials Rogers Redding or even the commissioner himself, Mike Slive.

 

Here's a hint:  If they aren't going to listen to Coach Miles, chances are they aren't going to take your call either.

 

I have also had a number of calls from fans that are quite angry with me and the way we (Tiger Rag) covered the game at Auburn. Some folks are upset that we didn't call out the officials or say "Auburn bought the game" or "the SEC cheated" or things like that.

 

Here's another hint:  We are an LSU sports publication. We are dedicated to covering the Tigers. We will wear the purple-and-gold glasses from time to time and even sip the grape Kool-Aid on occasion. But we aren't going to run the word "CHEATED" in 100-point font across our cover as it was suggested to me in one message from a fan.

 

Again, it is unfortunate the Tigers lost the game. But they did. And that is that.

 

As Nick Saban used to say, "It is time to move!"

 

But before we put Referee-Gate in the past, I would like to pass on a few of the e-mails I received over the last week.

 

Some were fair, others were not.

 

Some came from Auburn fans, others all the way from Tucson, Arizona.

 

At any rate, the response our office has gotten after last weekend's game truly defines the passion for college football in Baton Rouge, the state of Louisiana and across the SEC.

 

So check 'em out … (These e-mails are published exactly as they were received by Tiger Rag.)

 

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"Well, it is too bad we lost the game with Auburn.  We could have done better with fair calls by the officials. But some go against you. I have said this before and will say it again. Russell is a very good quarterback. He makes many very good plays but, as I have said before, he is inconsistent and makes bad decisions at times. He started hot in passing and went just as cold. But the bad decisions were made at critical times. He let himself be tackled within the field of play instead of throwing the ball away. That cost LSU at least one play and possibly two plays when they were badly needed, and his last pass should have been into the end zone – maybe a miss, but the pass he threw with a defender waiting for the receiver – no good. No way the receiver would get into the end zone. Just some thoughts."

 

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"Message to coach Miles!!! Well coach, you lost a chance at the national title. With such a great defense and outstanding receivers if you would have played Matt Flynn We would have beaten auburn by 21. this QB Russell cannot run, he is tackled from behind by 300 Lb. lineman as amatter of fact he does not know when to run. PLEEEEESE start FLYNN. This is My third E Mail concerning this matter. Honestly are you being pressured to play Russell. Please reply."

 

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(From an Arizona fan)

"Followup from my e-mail last week about bad hits on the Arizona quarterback. Karma... kiss you chance at a national title goodbye. Go Auburn!!"

 

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"I'm very irate at the poor officating that took place at this past weekend's game at Auburn. LSU was robbed of the chance to get the football into the endzone by those lame brain officals who had no business calling this game. The pass interference plenty should have been called but instead it was waived off by those stupid officals who must have been paid by Auburn. That was the worse officated game that I've seen in a long time and something has to be done about it. Thank goodness the next time that these teams meet will be in Tiger Stadium in 2007 and I'm confident the result will be different from this one. Thank you very much."

 

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"I'm sure Coach Miles has learned the real rule on tipped passes and the fact that it has nothing to do with the "line of Scrimmage." - War Eagle"

 

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(From an Auburn fan)

 

"Perhaps you haven't seen what ACTUALLY happened at the game.  I didn't realize a receiver could push a linebacker while HE's IN HIS DROP, TO GET OPEN.  Can he? For some reason, you and the rest of the swamp diggers haven't mentioned anything about the TACKLE your OFFENSIVE TACKLE made on the next to the last drive.  I didn't think an offensive lineman could leave his feet and tackle a defensive lineman while protecting the pass.  Can he?"

 

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(From an Auburn fan)

"CRY, CRY, CRY. PROBLEM IS THE SEC MADE IT RULING AND YOU PEOPLE EITHER DON'T LIKE IT OR DON'T UNDERSTAND IT. AS SOON AS SABAN'S PLAYERS LEAVE YOU'LL BE LOOKING FOR A NEW COACH."

 

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Matt Deville is the editor of Tiger Rag magazine. Reach him at matt@tigerrag.com.


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