Florida taketh and, well, Florida taketh again.
Them pesky Gators just can't give LSU a break.
Last week, Florida beats LSU right after Arkansas knocked off Auburn. This week, Florida has Auburn on the
ropes a couple of times, ready to deliver the knockout blow that LSU needs, and
then just pukes the ball away at the worst of times.
Let's face it. There's not a lot of
difference in the top few teams in the Southeastern Conference this
LSU is one play (just about any
play) away from beating Auburn and two plays (the
muffed snap and the fumbled return) from beating Florida.
Is there any doubt that had those
two games been played at Tiger Stadium that LSU would be unbeaten?
Florida escapes LSU and then can't beat Auburn (see the one play,
any play thing).
Auburn holds off LSU and then loses to Arkansas and then bows up against Florida and the coach, Tommy Tuberville, has the gall to
say in the postgame national-TV interview it was about time Auburn got a call to go
The thought here remains that the
officials had nothing to do with Auburn's victory
over LSU, although even the most fervent of Auburn fans would have to admit that
a few calls in that game were favorable to Auburn.
This past Saturday night, when it
appeared that Florida's quarterback threw an
incomplete pass, the officials ruled it a fumble that Auburn recovered. Replays
seemed to confirm the incompletion, just as replays did in LSU's game against
another reception/incompletion/fumble situation.
In both cases, the judgment went
It was about time Auburn got a call.
Regardless, Auburn now gets to put things on cruise control with games
against Tulane, Ole Miss and Arkansas State. Then it finishes against
Georgia and Alabama.
Speaking of Georgia, it couldn't take advantage of the gift
since the Bulldogs lost to Vanderbilt. And for homecoming, no less. The shame,
the embarrassment …
Tennessee, meanwhile, will take the gift since the Vols
lost to Florida earlier in the season. UT had the
weekend off and only had to watch and celebrate as Auburn held on.
Everything is a jumbled mess, with
plenty of football to play and Arkansas –
Arkansas – the
only unbeaten team in league play.
Which means Arkansas coach Houston
Nutt is the only one not getting shredded by his team's respective fans this
Last week in Baton Rouge, fans were
brutal to Les Miles. This week, one can only imagine what Gator backers and
Georgia fans will say about Urban Meyer and Mark Richt.
Wonder if their fans say things
like, "I told you when they hired him it was a bad move," or "Why do they even
try to run the ball?" or whatever.
Anyway, back to LSU, which has
become the best team in all the land. Granted, the competition hasn't been
all-world, but when a team takes care of business the way LSU has it says a lot
about the program.
The 49-0 whipping of Kentucky leaves the
Tigers 5-2 overall and 2-2 in the SEC, exactly where most of us thought they
would be at this point. What we didn't know was how LSU would completely smother
all five of the teams that came to town and that JaMarcus Russell would be
almost unstoppable inside Tiger Stadium.
This Saturday, LSU will do it
again, dispatching visiting Fresno State with ease.
Then LSU will finally get a weekend
off, its first of the season, as it prepares for the home stretch.
Games at Tennessee, at home against Alabama and Ole Miss and a trip to Little Rock to play Arkansas will define this season.
And along the way, rest assured
that LSU's SEC counterparts will deliver more of the same unpredictable results,
which is why neither the East nor West division races are even close to
Lee Feinswog is a Baton Rouge sportswriter and host of the
television show "Sports Monday." Reach him at (225) 926-3256 or
His book "HoopDaddy" is available