FEINSWOG: Still lots of football left

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 year.


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 its way.


Say what?!!


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 Auburn in another reception/incompletion/fumble situation.


In both cases, the judgment went Auburn's way.


It was about time Auburn got a call. Indeed.


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 Auburn gave 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 ArkansasArkansas – 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 week.


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 decided.




Lee Feinswog is a Baton Rouge sportswriter and host of the television show "Sports Monday." Reach him at (225) 926-3256 or lee@sportsbatonrouge.com.

His book "HoopDaddy" is available at www.HoopDaddy.net.

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