FEINSWOG: No stogies in the PMAC

After Red Auerbach died Saturday, there was much talk and amusement Sunday about his habit of lighting up a victory cigar on the bench while a Boston Celtics game was STILL going on.

And LSU fans remain upset about Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville lighting up a stogie on the field after beating LSU in Tiger Stadium a few years ago …


That and more from LSU's bye weekend, which causes more problems than you might think.


Take LSU benefactor Norman Deumite, one of Baton Rouge's great guys and contributor to many important causes.


At a party Friday night for a great cause, Norman came through, meeting and greeting before heading elsewhere. And he'd already been to another gathering.


The problem, he joked, was that it was LSU's first weekend off since the season started in early September and anyone and everyone scheduled their events for last weekend.


That's true, of course. There isn't an LSU fan you know who hasn't checked the schedule more than half a year in advance to plan a party, social event, wedding, whatever, and then taken heat for it when TV changed things.


Speaking of which, CBS's team is at it again this Saturday when LSU goes to Tennessee. All four of LSU's conference road games will have been on CBS when it's over: At Auburn, at Florida, at Tennessee and against Arkansas in Little Rock.


So what the nation will have seen is a Tiger team that got the tough draw in 2006, seemingly perpetually on the road to the rest of the nation. Of course, if any of those games had been home they would have been mixed in with Hurricane Katrina retrospectives all over again …


Actually, the big story out of LSU this week is volleyball.


LSU, ranked 10th, went on the road this past weekend at Georgia and South Carolina.

That sets up a huge – HUGE – match Friday at LSU against Florida.


LSU 20-3.


Its three losses: a five-game thriller after winning the first two games in the season's first weekend to Penn State, which is unbeaten and ranked second; at Alabama (these things happen on the road) and at Florida. Florida is ranked seventh and has, for the past decade, been the benchmark of Southeastern Conference volleyball.


If you've never been to a big-time college volleyball match, this is a great opportunity to see one at LSU. The Tigers haven't been this good since they went to the Final Four twice in the early 1990s.


Next weekend, of course, this space will wax poetic about LSU-Tennessee in football and how the national picture will finally come into focus as we head down the homestretch of the season. Who knows? USC lost. Anything can happen in the final month.


But in the meantime, never underestimate the importance of volleyball when you learn that not only am I married to a former college volleyball player and high school coach, but also that Tiger Rag editor Matt Deville's wife played college volleyball.


So, trust me. Check out the match Friday night at LSU. Just don't light up any cigars.




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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