LSU overcame both as it took yet another wacky step toward the national championship in a regular season that is now three-fourths finished.
So, as we come up for breath heading into the stretch run, we offer some various and sundry thoughts about the 2007 Tigers and their lofty status in the college football world.
During a bye week, many of the Tigers were shooed out of a bar at 2 a.m. Some of them got in big trouble (uh-oh, wait 'til Coach hears about this). And we're surprised that the same football team commits penalties like there's no tomorrow? OK, well, not that many penalties, but discipline is discipline. And common sense is common sense.
LSU could have used Ryan Perrilloux on Saturday, but the backup quarterback, who keeps his attorney on his speed dial, leads the league in the first two sentences of this column. Good for Les Miles for leaving him home, and good for Matt Flynn for coming through without him despite throwing so many passes Saturday like a nervous freshman instead of an experienced senior. And, hopefully, good for Perrilloux to have to watch on TV and, hopefully, finally, getting the wakeup call he so desperately needs.
Is LSU great? Probably not, especially not in a year in which the game has gone totally illogical. But regardless of how LSU has won, win it does, and now only nine teams in the land have records as good or better.
Will LSU win out? Very likely. The schedule is very favorable (Louisiana Tech, Ole Miss and
Anyway, now we can put the Alabama/Saban thing behind us until next year when everyone goes nuts about Nick's first trip back to LSU with the Crimson Tide.
Now, on to the "I can't believe he said that" department.
CBS and seven replay reviews extended the game to 4 hours, 13 minutes. It was longer than a bowl game.
And it was made longer by some of the things said by Verne Lundquist and his sidekick Gary Danielson, who occasionally is a little too quick to give his opinions instead of analysis during a game.
Lundquist is one of the good guys in broadcasting and normally pretty sharp, but he struggled terribly Saturday. When Early Doucet threw a pass to Matt Flynn, Lundquist called Flynn "Quinn" twice on the play. When Demetrius Byrd caught a touchdown pass, he called him Boyd. Maybe he has
Danielson, rather, declared rather boldly when LSU's Glenn Dorsey went down in pain in the first quarter that Dorsey should consider NOT playing again for LSU this season and sitting out 'til the NFL Draft to preserve his injured knee.
CBS later named Dorsey player of the game.
CBS also fingered Jim Hawthorne, the LSU play-by-play announcer, albeit unknowingly, when it replayed the game's penultimate play with his call.
Spectacular freshman Chad Jones blasted through and sacked Alabama QB John Parker Wilson, who subsequently fumbled, which led to the game-winning TD. But
Where's Jack Hunt when you need him?
Back to Jones. What were the Houston Astros thinking? This kid is so athletic, so smooth, so big-time that the 'Stros should have given him whatever he wanted to play baseball.
The babe shall lead them … or something like that. But on a day when upperclassman after upperclassman made meathead play after meathead play, Jones was incredible.
Note that some of the worst LSU penalties were committed by seniors. The worst, which had a chance to go down in LSU history as one of the worst plays ever, was by junior defensive end Tyson Jackson.
Trust me on this: LSU was leading 17-3 and on its way to a rout. A blowout. A crushing victory. And then
One more thing: It says here that the two best coaches in the SEC went at it Saturday.
Saban has done a fantastic job this season with a team that should not have been in the race for so long. Moreover, he was totally classy in the way he handled everything leading up to last weekend, and all the good/right things he said about LSU and all that goes with it, and his congratulations to Miles at game's end.
Miles, meanwhile, continues to make tough decisions and great calls and continues to come up big. Lucky? Luck, smarter sports people than me have said, is when preparation meets opportunity. And there is no more opportunistic team in
So give Miles his due and hope that his seniors – the ones recruited by Saban – never make so many dumb plays again in one game.