There on the cover were pictures of Smoke Laval and Yvette Girouard.
As I opened the book to my editorial from a year ago, it made for some interesting reading. I prefaced the article by talking about the success of the Tiger football team, the current state of LSU basketball then spelled out the fact that grand achievements by some sports can greatly affect the focus on others.
Basically, I said with the current
all-around success of the LSU athletic department,
And I was right.
After Les Miles and the football
Tigers posted an 11-2 season in 2005, the pressure began to build on
And things weren't good.
It was bad enough LSU failed to
reach a super regional the previous year being beaten on its homefield by Rice
in the sub-regional. But
Lacking the power to overwhelm
teams with the long ball, the 2006 Tigers were without consistent pitching and
weren't fundamentally talented enough to even outplay teams either. Double-digit
defeats in SEC play became commonplace and when Ole Miss drilled LSU 12-1 in the
SEC Tournament and
But nobody expected what happened next.
When the postseason pairings came
out three days later, the Tigers were excluded from the field of 64. For the
first time since 1988, LSU, the team once dubbed "Program of the Decade" in the
1990s, had slid into mediocrity.
Some thought he wouldn't get the axe, others were sure of it.
One week later to the day, former
LSU coach turned athletic director Skip Bertman relieved
After five seasons,
Following a national search that
lasted over three weeks, Bertman got his guy. Going outside of his coaching tree
as well as outside of the SEC, Bertman tabbed Notre Dame coach Paul Mainieri as
A former player at LSU and UNO in
the mid 1970s, Mainieri experienced great success in
Mainieri was introduced as LSU's new coach and has spent the last six-plus months preparing himself, his team and the fans for a new era of Tiger baseball.
While it may take a few years for
Mainieri to get the program back among the elite teams in the nation, the
As the Tigers close out the final year in old Alex Box Stadium, view it as the beginning of a new age in Tiger baseball, an era that should return LSU baseball to its storied past.
Matt Deville is the editor of Tiger Rag. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.