: 11/14/2020 Where
: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA Coach
: Ed Orgeron Mascot
: Mike the Tiger 2019
: 15-0, SEC Champions, CFP Champions
Offense Scoring Offense
: 35.8 pts/gm (34th) Total Offense
: 458 yds/gm (25th) Passing
: 338.4 yds/gm (12th) Rushing
: 119.6 rush yds/gm (100th) Misc. stats
: 33.3% 3rd down conv. (97th), 71.43% 4th down conv. (32nd), 24.4 1st downs/gm (30th), RZ %’s – TD 25% (64th), score 87.5% (52nd), 13 sacks allowed (77th), 21 TFL allowed (47th), 50th+ in plays of 10+, 20+, and 30+ yards from scrimmage Returning starters
: 2 (plus 1 opting out of 2020 season)
The LSU offense was undoubtedly the biggest story of the 2019 season. Known for traditional ground-and-pound offenses under Les Miles, LSU ran a spread offenses with a blend of RPO and West Coast tactics. The change came with new passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach Joe Brady. Brady brought a new playbook and philosophy with the goal of getting players the ball in space. This was extremely effective, with QB Joe Burrow and WR Ja’Marr Chase setting multiple records for their respective positions.
With 2020 comes lots of replacing and rebuilding for LSU’s offense. Every draft-eligible member of the 2019 offense is now in the NFL, which simultaneously explains last year’s success and bodes poorly for 2020’s prospects. The key returners for offensive production are WR Terrace Marshall and RT Austin Deculus. LSU must replace offensive guru Joe Brady (Carolina Panthers OC), QB Joe Burrow (NFL), WR Justin Jefferson (NFL), WR Ja’Marr Chase (Opt-Out), RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (NFL), TE Thaddeus Moss (NFL), C Lloyd Cushenberry (NFL), OG Damien Lewis (NFL), LT Saahdiq Charles (NFL), WTE Stephen Sullivan (NFL), OG Adrian Magee (NFL), WR Derrick Dillon (NFL), and backup OT Badara Traore (NFL). In total, LSU returns a starting lineman and wide receiver on offense, while losing #1 and #2 WRs, #1 RB, #1 TE, and 4 offensive line starters (plus the main backup). Here is their projected depth chart at this point.
2020 Depth Chart
* returning 2019 starters in bold
· QB – RS JR Myles Brennan (injured), FR TJ Finley/FR Max Johnson
· RB – SO John Emery Jr, RS SO Chris Curry, SO Tyrion Davis-Price
· WR – SR Racey McMath, SO Trey Palmer
· WR – JR Terrace Marshall Jr
, FR Koy Moore, RS SO Jaray Jenkins
· WR – FR Kayshon Boutte, SR Jontre Kirklin
· TE – FR Arik Gilbert, SR Tory Carter, FR Kole Taylor, RS SO Nick Storz
· LT – RS SO Cameron Wire, FR Xavier Hill
· LG – JR Ed Ingram, FR Marlon Martinez, RS FR Thomas Perry
· C – GR Liam Shanahan, RS FR Charles Turner
· RG – JR Chasen Hines, RS FR Anthony Bradford, RS FR Kardell Thomas
· RT – SR Austin Deculus,
RS SO Cameron Wire, FR Marcus Dumervil
· Opt Out – JR WR Ja’Marr Chase
· Suspended – starting RS SO Dare Rosenthal
338.4 yds/gm (12th), 14 TD (24th), 62% completion rate (55th), 8.5 yds/att (28th)
The focus of the Tiger’s 2019 offense was their Heisman-winning QB, Joe Burrow. In his LSU-debut, Burrow completed 57.8% of his passes for 2,894 yards, 16 TD, 5 Int, and a 133.21 passer efficiency rating. With the arrival of Joe Brady, Burrow completed 76.3% of his passes for 5,671 yards, 60 TD, 6 Int, and a 201.96 passer rating (just behind Tua’s 206.93). Perhaps the single-most improved season in history, Burrow was deadly accurate through the air, and he made good decisions to minimize turnovers and get the ball to open receivers in space. We must understand Burrow’s role and impact on LSU’s success in order to know what to expect with the inauguration of their 2020 starter, Myles Brennan.
Brennan is a RS Junior and is the only quarterback on LSU’s roster with collegiate game experience. As a backup in 2019, he was 24/40 (60%) for 353 yards, 1 TD, 1 Int, and a 137.38 passer rating. Keep in mind that Burrow played far into the end of the game, even in upsets. Brennan didn’t attempt any passes unless LSU was up by 15+, and didn’t throw any passes in the first half of any games. On third downs, Brennan completed 50% of his passes and compiled a 111.60 passer rating. It is safe to say that Brennan has not seen any meaningful snaps in college, as he only attempted 15 passes against SEC opponents, completing 33% for one TD and INT each - for a 108.08 passer rating. Brennan is untested and inexperienced, and he hasn’t shown any signs that inspire confidence in his ability. Will he be the next Joe Burrow? No. But, is he capable of winning the SEC? Also no.
Brennan has been serviceable for the Tigers this year, completing only 60.3% of his passes, although he has 11 TD to 3 Int. He averaged 370.7 passing y/g in his 3 starts this year, but he has missed LSU’s last two games due to a lower body injury (some speculate the injury is related to how much LSU fans jerked him off in the offseason). On Wednesday, Nov 4, Orgeron said Brennan is “very doubtful” to be healthy to play in the Alabama game. Most experts agree this is a great business decision for Myles.
TJ Finley started LSU’s game against South Carolina and led them to a big win. Finley went 17/21 for 265 yards, 2 TD and 1 Int. Finley’s best attribute however is his size. TJ stands 6’6” tall and weighs in at 242 lbs. He looks every inch and pound as big when watching him on the field.
After LSU’s biggest win of the season against 2-4 South Carolina, Finley got the start against Auburn in their last game. He went 15/24 for 174 yards and 1 TD and a QBR of 34.0 before being replaced by FR Max Johnson. It seems that Max Johnson’s most impressive quality is his top-notch name, which is admittedly elite. His quarterback play, however, leaves a lot to be desired. He went 13/24 for 143 yards, 0 TDs, and 2 Ints, resulting in a QBR of 20.2. TJ Finley is most likely going to start against Alabama, but one thing is for sure: If the Tigers need elite QB play to challenge Alabama, they should keep looking.
119.6 rush yds/gm (100th), 5 TD (76th), 3.5 yds/car (93rd)
By simply looking at LSU’s total rushing defense last year, you might think their main rusher was not very good. However, Edwards-Helaire averaged an impressive 6.58 y/car and 94.27 y/g. He also played a role in the receiving game with 30.2 rec y/g. So, what’s on the horizon for LSU’s 2020 rushing campaign?
LSU had four players with rushing yards outside of EH, Burrow and Brennan, and WR Ja’Marr Chase: Soph. Tyrion Davis-Prince (295 yds), Soph. Chris Curry (189 yds), Soph. John Emery Jr. (188 yds), and Lanard Fournette (36 yds). Fournette left the team after four games in 2019.
The projected starter is Tyrion Davis-Price (DP) as he was the main backup in 2019. He is a tough runner that can be difficult to bring down, and his weaknesses are his blocking and pass-catching. He only had 8 carries in the postseason, so his experience is still a bit limited.
Chris Curry’s accomplishment is that he was the leading rusher against Oklahoma in the playoffs, rushing for 90 yards on 16 carries. On the season, Curry averaged 5.03 y/c with a long of 20 yards including 3 carries in the red zone for 10 yards (3.33 y/c). Within the program, Curry shares Marshawn Lynch’s nickname “Beast Mode” because of Curry’s strength and ability to run through tackles.
John Emery Jr. is a former 5-star recruit and the most highly touted back coming into Baton Rouge. Although he is probably the fastest and most agile back on the current roster, he struggled in pass protection and dropped several passes last year. He was also legally blind in one eye and had LASIK eye surgery this offseason. Time will tell if this has truly improved his vision.
Emery and Davis-Price have led the rushing charge for the Tigers, totaling 246 and 245 yds respectively. Neither has looked particularly impressive, especially in the absence of Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
338.4 yds/gm (12th), 14 TD (24th), 62% completion rate (55th), 8.5 yds/att (28th)
One of LSU’s two offensive position groups with a returning starter is wide receiver. Ja’Marr Chase was the Tigers’ leading receiver in 2019, and he was expected to be the team’s best offensive (and possibly overall) player in 2020. Chase caught 84 passes for 1,780 yards and 20 TDs while averaging 21.19 y/cat and 127.1 y/g which was good for 2nd nationally. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Chase has opted out of the 2020 season and will declare for the 2021 NFL Draft, ending his time with LSU.
Marshall was third on the team with 671 receiving yards on 46 catches, behind only Chase and Justin Jefferson in receiving yards. He had 13 TD and averaged 55.9 y/g. Lots of LSU fans believe Marshall would have been just as good as Chase if he had stayed healthy. He missed games against Utah St, Florida, and Miss St with a foot fracture.
After Marshall, LSU only had one other player with more than 100 receiving yards on the season in Racey McMath. McMath is listed as a senior, though he has not started to date. He saw significant playing time last year having the sixth-most catches on the team. He only had two catches in his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Marshall has emerged as the clear #1 target this season, capturing a third of the team’s receiving yards. He has caught 9 TDs so far, which is good for 2nd in the country currently (Smitty has 8, and Waddle had 4, so expect Smitty to surpass him Saturday). Marshall also is averaging 108 receiving y/g, which is 22nd in the country (behind both Smitty and Waddle).
LSU’s #2 target is their TE, Arik Gilbert, who only has 259 yards and 2 TDs on the season. He and the rest of the receivers haven’t done enough to merit reporting.
2.6 sacks allowed/gm (82nd), 7 TFL allowed/gm (33rd)
Besides QB, this is where the biggest drop-off for LSU is expected. LSU returns 2019 SR RT Austin Deculus, but must replace LT Saahdiq Charles, OG Damien Lewis, OG Adrian Magee, C Lloyd Cushenberry, and the main OL replacement Badara Traore.
Starting at LT is RS SO Cameron Wire. He is replacing Dare Rosenthall who has been suspended indefinitely from the team. Wire only played 35 snaps in 2019, so he has a lot to learn still.
JR Ed Ingram is listed as the starting LG. Ingram started 12 games at RG as a true freshman, then served a year-long suspension following his arrest for two counts of sexual assault charges and being indicted by a Texas grand jury. DeSoto Police Department would not disclose the victim’s age, but confirmed they were a minor. The case was dropped, and details are limited because the attorney general placed the case under official seal. During the suspension and court proceedings, Orgeron said “I think that maybe, maybe, if things go right, we may get him at some part of the season. I don’t know exactly when, but hopefully we get him at some part of the season…”
Starting Center is Liam Shanahan, a Harvard transfer. His backup is RS FR Charles Turner.
The starting RG is JR Chasen Hines. Hines played snaps in 10 games last year without any starts.
RT will be the only known commodity with returning SR Austin Deculus. RS FR Thomas Perry is his backup. All told, the OL starters and backups include 1 SR, 2 JR, 2 SO, and 8 FR.
Defense Scoring Defense
: 33.6 pts/g (84th) Total Defense
: 478.6 yds/g (111th) Passing Defense
: 335.2 yds/g (119th) Rushing Defense
: 143.4 yds/g (52nd) Misc. stats
: +4 turnover margin (15th), 2.8 sacks/gm (34th), 7 TFL/gm (33rd), 5 INTs (49th), 6 fum recov (10th), 6 fum forced (24th), 46.97% opp 3rd down conv. (100th), 40% opp 4th down conv. (20th), 21.2 opp 1st downs/gm (57th), opp RZ %’s – TD 57.89% (42nd), score 73.68% (22nd) Returning starters
: 4 (plus 1 opting out of 2020 season)
LSU’s 2019 defense was… not what it has been in years past. 59th is the lowest LSU’s pass defense has been ranked since 2015. They also lost several key starters from last year, most notably S Grant Delpit, OLB K’Lavon Chaisson, ILB Patrick Queen, and ILB Jacob Phillips. Projected starters DT Tyler Shelvin, and DB Kary Vincent Jr (less likely to start) have opted out of the 2020 season to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft. That leaves the Tiger’s defense with 4 returning starters: DL Glen Logan, LB Damone Clark, CB Derek Stingley Jr., and S JaCoby Stevens. Let’s look at the roster and specific position groups.
LSU has certainly missed Dave Aranda this year. Bo Pelini has not proved up to the challenge of stopping the modern passing offenses they have faced. Bo Nix, who is completing 57.6% of his passes and has thrown 16 TDs and 6 INTs completed 75% of his passes against LSU for 3 TDs and 0 INTs. In their debut, they gave up 600+ passing yards to a QB who has now been benched in favor of a freshman. LSU fans must continually tell themselves that 2019 was worth it while plugging their ears and looking the other way in 2020.
2020 Projected Depth Chart
· RDE – FR BJ Ojulari, RS SR Andre Anthony, FR Phillip Webb, RS FR Desmond Little
· LDE – JTR Ali Gaye, RS STR Travez Moore, RS SO Jarell Cherry
· DT – RS FR Joseph Evans, SR Neil Farrell Jr., FR Jacobian Guillory
· DT – RS SR Glen Logan
, RS JTR Soni Fonua, SR Neil Farrell Jr., FR Jaquelin Roy
· OLB – JR Micah Baskerville, RS SR Ray Thornton, FR Antoine Sampah
· OLB –GR Jabril Cox, SO Devonta Lee, RS JR Jared Small
· MLB –JR Damone Clark
, FR Josh White
· CB – SO Derek Stingley Jr
, SO Jay Ward, GR Darren Evans, FR Dwight McGlothern
· CB – SO Cordale Flott, FR Eli Ricks, RS FR Raydarious Jones
· FS –SR JaCoby Stevens
, RS SR Cameron Lewis
· SS – RS JR Todd Harris Jr, SO Maurice Hampton Jr, FR Jordan Toles
· Opt Out – SR FS Kary Vincent Jr., RS JR NT Tyler Shelvin (13),
RS SO DL Nelson Jenkins III
2.8 sacks/gm (34th), 7 TFL/gm (33rd)
With Bo Pelini replacing Dave Aranda as Defensive Coordinator, LSU uses a 4-3 scheme as opposed to 3-4 which was preferred by Aranda. Despite the losses of Rashard Lawrence and Breiden Fehoko, the defensive line looked to have good depth going into 2020 before Tyler Shelvin opted out of the 2020 season. Additionally, TK McLendon, who was named as the left end starter during spring camp, entered the transfer portal in August. Another blow came when Justin Thomas, the named starting right end, was announced to have left the team unexpectedly in August. Thomas was a strong contender to start at defensive end, where he started one game last year, played in five, and had a recurring role in LSU’s 3rd-down pass rush package. Shelvin was a returning starter.
That leaves former linebacker Andre Anthony as the only end with any starts. The freshman Ojulari has carved out for himself a starting role on the end ahead of Anthony. The middle of the line will feature returning starter Glen Logan. Logan is one of the leaders of the DL as the only DT with any starts.
46.97% opp 3rd down conv. (100th), 40% opp 4th down conv. (20th)
The linebackers are one of the most inexperienced group on LSU’s 2020 defense. After losing both OLBs and one of their two MLBs from their 4-backer scheme, only MLB Damone Clark returns to the middle of the field. Clark took over Michael Divinity’s role on the outside and provided a lot of support in that part of the field, although he was overshadowed by departures Patrick Queen, Jacob Phillips, and K’Lavon Chaisson.
Ray Thornton Jr. saw limited playing time at OLB behind Clark, Marcel Brooks, and Michael Divinity, recording only 9 total tackles on the season. He has been a regular backup on the outside.
Micah Baskerville has limited playing time, and his time in the program has earned him the start over Thornton.
Jabril Cox brings a lot of playing time and experience from NDSU, and he also played for Pelini at Youngtown State. With his playing time and experience in a winning program like NDSU, he has earned the starting job opposite Baskerville.
5 INTs (49th), 14 PBUs (69th), 19 passes defended (68th), 54 opp passes 10+ yds (74th), 30 opp passes 20+ yds (117th), 17 opp passes 30+ yds (118th), opp passes of 40+, 50+, 60+, 70+, 80+, and 90+ (110th or worse for all), LSU is one of only 5 teams to give up a 90+ yd pass
The secondary looked to be LSU’s strongest unit on defense this year. They returned CB Derek Stingley and S JaCoby Stevens who were both regular starters last year. Todd Harris has become the starter at SS and moved Stevens to FS. Outside of Stingley, CB Cordale Flott is the only other CB with meaningful playing time. Many expected Kary Vincent to play at corner and/or safety before he opted out of the 2020 season. With Vincent’s decision to withdraw, LSU has very little depth at safety or corner.
The rushing defense has actually been average for the Tigers this year, but the passing defense has been downright abysmal. Ranking at the bottom of the NCAA in most passing defensive categories, they should not prove to be much of a challenge for Mac Jones and the Bama 10.
2020 Projected Depth Chart
· P – RS SR Zach Von Rosenberg (39)
, JR Avery Atkins
· PK – SO Cade York (15)
· KO – JR Avery Atkins
· LS – RS FR Quentin Skinner
· PKR – SO Derek Stingley Jr.,
SO Trey Palmer
* for kicking and punting starts, I used 1) LSU’s official game starts or 2) number of games the team played that season if the player was the primary starter for the role
Fortunately for LSU, one of the players they have utilized the most in 2020 returns plenty of experience. Punter Zach Von Rosenberg has been the primary punter since 2017. He is averaging 47.05 yards per punt in 2020.
The Tigers also return their placekicker, Cade York. York is 8/10 on FGs and 21/21 on XPs this year. Avery Atkins returns as the kickoff specialist. Atkins has 33 KOs with 28 touchbacks (84.85%).
Stingley has been the primary punt/kick returner. He has only had to return 3 punts this year, averaging 30.67 (48 yds came on one return). Trey Palmer has returned 6 kickoffs averaging 36.5 yds/return, including a 93 yd TD return.
Orgeron’s early coaching days included coaching the defensive line for Miami beginning in 1988. He began coaching the 1992 season in which his Canes were trounced by Alabama in the national title game, but his tenure was cut short when he was arrested following a bar fight in Baton Rouge, LA, during which Orgeron admits he was intoxicated.
“Coach O” is in his fourth full year as the head coach at LSU (he was the interim coach for most of the 2016 season). As head coach, his records beginning in 2016 are 6-2, 9-4, 10-3, 15-0. He has improved each year (until 2020). Arguably his most effective coaching decision has been hiring “Passing Game Coordinators.” He hired Joe Brady for the role in 2019, and Brady hand-crafted their offensive scheme which was extremely effective.
Coach O gained national recognition in 2019 after his team beat Alabama (his first time since coming to LSU, the first LSU win vs the Tide since the 2011 season) and he made the comments “We’re going to beat [Alabama’s] ass in recruiting. We’re going to beat their ass every time they see us. You understand me? Roll Tide what? Fuck you!” The coach then promptly finished multiple spots behind Alabama in the 2020 recruiting class, and currently trails Alabama for the 2021 recruiting class by a wide margin. His head coaching record against Alabama is 1-7, and he is 1-5 coaching against Nick Saban.
Orgeron currently has the Tigers at 2-3 for the year. After 2019, some speculated Orgeron may be on the same coaching tier as Saban with the great team they fielded. 2020 has shown that Orgeron hasn’t figured out how to deal with losing talent to the NFL, including players and coaches (something Saban encounters on an annual basis).
Ensminger became the offensive coordinator in 2016 under Orgeron. His style includes a hurry-up no-huddle tempo (HUNH) and using the run-pass option (RPO). He has said that no matter what formation they line up in, he wants them to be able to throw the quick pass. We saw this implemented last year with Joe Brady coordinating the passing game. Look for a similar style and scheme in 2020. The challenge will be coming up with new routes and plays to get receivers open the way that Joe Brady managed to do.
Defensive Coordinator: Bo Pelini
Former Nebraska head coach and former LSU defensive coordinator was rehired for the DC position for the 2020 season. Pelini utilizes the 4-3 defensive scheme which includes 4 down linemen and 3 linebackers. The benefit of a 4-3 defense is that you can typically get a better push against the offensive line, resulting in better run-blocking or more pass-rush. However, since each down lineman is responsible for a single line gap, it is more vulnerable to the play-action (PA) pass. Another concern for the Tigers is that with so many departures on the defensive line, they will have a lot of inexperience having to make decisions. It also forces the defense to use a defensive end instead of a linebacker for extra pass-support.
Scott Linehan will replace the biggest void on the LSU coaching staff, Joe Brady. Linehan is the product of John L. Smith, who was the last college coach he worked under. He last coached for the Dallas Cowboys, leading their passing game and serving as offensive coordinator.
We won’t know what similarities or differences Linehan’s offense will share with Brady’s, but a major difference will be the personnel available. LSU loses Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase at receiver, QB Joe Burrow, RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and 4/5 offensive linemen. I would expect the Tigers’ 2020 offense to look similar to 2018.
Alabama leads the all-time series with LSU 53-26-5, boasting a 66.1% win percentage. The largest victory belongs to Alabama, 47-3 in 1922. The longest streak also belongs to the Tide, with 11 consecutive wins from 1971-1981. Alabama recently won 8 consecutive games against LSU despite LSU being ranked in each loss, including being ranked in the top-10 five times and in the top-5 four times. LSU was shut out in three of the eight games (37.5%) including the January 9, 2012 matchup in the national championship game held in New Orleans, LA, a short 90-minute drive from Baton Rouge.
LSU’s win over Alabama last season marked the fourth victory for the Tigers over Alabama since Nick Saban came to Tuscaloosa. The Tide have enjoyed ten wins over the last fourteen seasons. The four Alabama losses had a total point difference of 18, including three of them being five points or fewer. In the same time span, Alabama has outscored LSU by 135 in the remaining games, resulting in a 117-point advantage for Alabama since 2007.
Since Nick Saban’s arrival in 2007, the early-November matchups between the Tigers and the Tide have often been competitive and tension-filled. Of the 14 Saban vs. LSU games, half have been decided by 7 points or fewer. Another 4 games were decided by 14 pts or fewer, leaving only 3 of the 14 games being won (all by Alabama) by more than two scores. The 4 LSU wins in this time span were all by 7 points or fewer. The teams have gone to overtime thrice, and surprisingly the visiting team has won all three times (Alabama 2, LSU 1). On a related note, Alabama has been dominant in the supposedly-daunting “Death Valley” holding an all-time 28-9-2 record in Baton Rouge, as well as winning 5 of the last 6 games there, including the last 4.
Although Alabama and LSU have not been rivals historically, the series has been split since 2000, with Alabama holding a close 11-10 series lead. Also, since Bear Bryant retired, Alabama has controlled the series 22-15-1. Despite the recent competitiveness of the “rivalry,” a 2009 poll of SEC fans revealed that Alabama fans mostly did not consider LSU to be a rival, while over 60% of LSU fans singled out Alabama as their most bitter rival. This no doubt stems from the fact that Nick Saban previously coached at LSU from 2000-2004. Saban compiled a 48-16 record at LSU while winning LSU’s second ever national championship, and their first in 45 years. Saban left LSU to try his hand at head coaching in the NFL. He found success hard to come by, and decided to return to coaching college. LSU did not want Saban back, instead preferring to keep then-coach Les Miles, so Saban took the best job on the table- Alabama. For some reason, LSU took this as a personal insult of the highest order and have hated Saban and Alabama ever since. The Tigers have only managed to beat Saban’s Alabama in Baton Rouge once.
Ole Miss is undoubtedly LSU’s longest-standing and most significant rival. The Tigers lead the Landsharks all-time 63-40-4, but recent history is even more lopsided as Ole Miss has only managed to beat LSU five times since 2000.
In the “Magnolia Bowl,” LSU and Ole Miss have produced some exciting rivalry games. Probably the most famous was 1959’s “Cannon’s Halloween Run” in which #1 LSU’s Billy Cannon had an 89-yard punt return TD late in the game, breaking 7 tackles en route to what would be the game winning score. On Ole Miss’s ensuing drive, they made it all the way to LSU’s 1 yard line, but were stopped as time expired. The teams would have a rematch in the Sugar Bowl (effectively the national championship that year) and Ole Miss routed the Tigers 21-0. This would not be the last time LSU would lose a national championship 21-0 in the Sugar Bowl in a rematch to a team they narrowly beat in the regular season.
Arkansas has been a traditional rival for LSU. The two first played in 1901 in Baton Rouge, with LSU winning 15-0. They played until 1936, but the series stopped until 1991 when Arkansas joined the SEC and defeated LSU in Fayetteville 30-6. Overall, LSU holds a 41-22-2 lead in the series.
The LSU-Arkansas winner takes home “The Golden Boot” trophy, or just “The Boot.” This is because the trophy, which outlines the states of Louisiana and Arkansas, forms what looks like a boot. The 175 lb, 4” tall trophy is made of 24-karat gold.
LSU’s oldest rival is found in New Orleans, LA. The Tulane Green Wave first played LSU in 1892. LSU and Tulane were each members of the SIAA from 1899, the Southern Conference from 1922 to 1932, and charter members of the SEC from 1932 to 1966. The matchup is known as the “Battle for the Rag,” with LSU referring to it as the Tiger Rag, and Tulane calling it the Victory Flag. The flag shows each school’s logos divided diagonally with the Seal of Louisiana in the center.
While the series was somewhat competitive to begin with LSU leading 23-18-5, the Tigers have gone 45-4-2 since, including winning the last 18 matchups. LSU leads the all-time series 69-23-7. The teams met on the field once from 1997 to 2005, but they renewed the series in 2006. After their 2009 matchup, LSU offered Tulane to either play the remaining games in Baton Rouge or end the series early for a small payout. Tulane took the buyout deal and the teams have not met since.
Perhaps one of the most famous college mascots is LSU’s Mike
. Traditionally, Mike is a Bengal tiger, although the last three iterations have been mixed-breeds. Mike VII is a Bengal-Serbian mix. LSU adopted the tiger as mascot referencing the Louisiana-native troops in Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia in the civil war, as they were known as “the Tigers.” LSU’s may be the only SEC mascot to pay homage to confederate nostalgia since Ole Miss rebranded themselves as the
Each Mike has generally been in good hands in Baton Rouge, as LSU’s vet school is exceptional. A new, 15,000 square foot habitat was created for Mike in 2005 for $3 million. . He can be seen eating, sleeping, roaming, or playing on any given day in his home on campus.
According to legend, LSU will score a touchdown for every one of Mike’s roars on game day. Mike VI and Mike VII have come under scrutiny for not roaring enough on Alabama game days.
Misc. program stats
· 812-415-47 (.656) all-time record (13th)
· 812 all-time wins (12th)
· 4 national championships (16th)
· 16 conference championships (31st)
· 52 bowl game appearances (8th)
· 28-23-1 (.548) bowl record (27th)
· 39 consensus all-Americans (14th)
· 2 Heisman winners (11th)
· 352 NFL Draft picks (10th)
· 635 weeks in AP poll (10th)
· Conference foes Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee hold series leads over LSU
· LSU’s last two head coaches each left the program with one national championship
· Current head coach Ed Orgeron has one national championship
· LSU has not scored against Alabama in Death Valley since 2014
· In LSU’s last five games in Louisiana against Alabama, they have scored a total of 30 points (includes 3 shutouts)
The current style of jerseys were introduced by head coach Paul Dietzel in 1957. While it is customary for the home football team to wear their primary color and the visitor to wear white, LSU also prefers to wear white jerseys
for both home and away games. From 1983 to 1994, the NCAA mandated visiting teams to wear white. From 1994-1999, LSU often wore gold
in lieu of purple
due to then-head coach Gerry DiNardo’s
understandable dislike of the color purple. In 1995, the NCAA changed the rule to allow the home team to wear white with visitor’s prior approval. In 1997, the SEC ruled that the home team can wear their color of choice without consent of SEC visiting teams. While LSU wears white to home games, they occasionally wear purple or gold similarly to how other teams have a white-out or black-out game.
Nick Saban and Matt Mauck led the Tigers to a national title in 2003 with Mauck wearing No. 18. The No. 18 jersey “became synonymous with success on and off the field as well as having a selfless attitude.” Each season, a player is chosen by the coaching staff to wear the No. 18 jersey.
Tiger stadium has two defining characteristics on the field that contrast from most other colleges. First, the field displays all 5-yard line numbers
on the field instead of just the 10-yard line numbers. Only the 10-yard lines have directional arrows, however. Second, Tiger stadium features “H”-style goal posts
instead of the more popular “Y” style. This is allegedly to double players’ chances of injury due to impact with the posts.
About an hour before kickoff, the players, coaches, band, and cheerleaders march down a hill to the North of the Stadium. Ironically, this is called Victory Hill
despite the tradition preceding many, many losses. Night games in Tiger Stadium
have become iconic in Baton Rouge. Statistically, LSU has performed better at home during night games. According to LSU’s 2016 Media Guide, LSU was 320-105-13 (.745) in night games through the 2015 season. Unfortunately for the Tigers, LSU is 0-4 in night games in Tiger Stadium against Saban’s Crimson Tide.
Wanted to give some thoughts on which coaching candidates fit best with each team that is likely to be needing a new head coach at this point. This isn't to say your team will fire your head coach. Do recall that the Titans were like 2-4 before turning things around and making it to the AFC Championship Game, so there is still plenty of time for your beloved head coach to get things going. Besides, with no preseason, these games really don't count right? This is merely just some speculation about if your team fires a head coach, who would make sense.
So, here's how I would assign things if it were up to me.
Atlanta Falcons Dan Quinn was a hot seat candidate in 2019, and things haven't exactly improved, with back-to-back blown leads against Dallas and Chicago in recent weeks. If Quinn can't get things turned around, Atlanta may very well be ready to make the change, firing Dan Quinn. Right now, the Falcons are giving up 460 yards per game, good for 31st in the league, and 350 yards per game passing, also 31st. They need to get that defense revamped. A new coach will at least have the benefit of DT Grady Jarrett and LB Deion Jones, along with CB A.J. Terrell, who has acclimated pretty well so far, posting the highest PFF grade for the Falcons defense last week.
If Quinn is fired mid-season, the Falcons will probably hand things over to Raheem Morris, even as the defense struggles. Assuming Morris doesn't get it sorted out, I believe the best candidate for the Falcons to consider would be Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus. Some may ask why not the more well-known 49ers DC, Robert Saleh? My answer there would be that Saleh's defensive scheme draws its roots from the defensive scheme that Dan Quinn ran in Seattle, which led to him getting the Falcons job. Simply, the Falcons need a new defensive perspective, and while Saleh would bring a lot of energy, Eberflus remains one of the hidden gems in the coaching carousel.
After originally agreeing to join Josh McDaniels in Indy, Eberflus remained on after McDaniels backed on. Now serving as Frank Reich's defensive coordinator, Eberflus turned around the Colts defense quickly, finding success with guys like Darius Leonard. Through Week 3 of the early NFL season, the Colts currently sit 1st in yards per game, 4th in rushing yards per game, 1st in passing yards per game, 1st in points per game, and 3rd in turnovers with 7 total.
While it's been a fairly easy schedule so far, only facing Kirk Cousins, Sam Darnold, and Gardner Minshew at quarterback so far, it's a very promising start for the Colts. If they can continue to put up great results, Eberflus will most definitely be a top tier coaching candidate, and I like his fit with Atlanta quite a bit.
Chicago Bears The Bears may have found the QB they've needed in Big D*** Nick, after he replaced Mitch Trubisky and orchestrated a comeback win, throwing for 3 touchdowns on the day. If Foles can recapture some of the magic that took him all the way to the Super Bowl in Philly, Nagy would likely save his job. Even if he doesn't, I think there's a good chance that Nagy stays on for at least one more season, perhaps working with a new rookie QB like Trey Lance.
If Chicago fires Nagy, however, they'll still probably want to focus on the offensive side of the ball, as their defense has not been the problem for them. Instead, a new coach would also mean a new QB, and finding a good pairing there would be the most important piece for the Bears franchise to return to the playoffs.
One coach who I think would work incredibly well in Chicago, especially if paired with a guy like Trey Lance, would be Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. Smith made the decision to bench QB Marcus Mariota in favor of Ryan Tannehill in 2019, and it ultimately turned around the season for Tennessee. Since that week swapping in Tannehill, the Titans offense ranked 1st in yards per play, 1st in red zone efficiency, 2nd in third-down percentage, and 4th in scoring. Short to say, Smith's wide zone/play-action attack was exactly what a strong defensive team like Tennessee needed to turn things around. I think Smith could have a similar effect on the Bears, especially with a new QB.
Detroit Lions Matt Patricia may have bought himself out of an early season firing with a win over the Cardinals, but he just his 10th win as Lions head coach...in year 3. Unless he can show that Detroit has turned the corner by upsetting the Saints this weekend, it's likely that Detroit will be in the head coaching market this offseason.
The big question for the new regime would be the future of QB Matthew Stafford. He's a very talented QB, one who has largely been wasted with the inept management of the team and franchise. Stafford will be 33-years old next season, old enough to consider moving on, but young enough to see if a new coach can get 3-4 more quality seasons out of him. I think in either scenario, Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll would be a fantastic match for Stafford or a new QB in Detroit.
At this point in the season, Daboll has helped turned QB Josh Allen from raw upside into an MVP candidate, as the Bills offense has been outright dominant. And while Lions fans may cringe at the fact that Brian Daboll has experience in New England, the difference here is that Daboll has actually found success away from Belichick and the Patriots system. While he'll need a strong defensive coordinator hire to work on rebuilding a mediocre defense, the new coordinator would at least have a decent starting point with CB Jeff Okudah, S Tracy Walker, and DE Trey Flowers. If he can do that, Daboll could get the Lions back into playoff contention.
Houston Texans Head coach Bill O'Brien is in the midst of another 0-3 start, his second so far as Texans head coach. While it can be understandable given the incredibly difficult schedule that the Texans have played, the frustrations with O'Brien started well before this. If they falter down the road, rather than recover, it would seem likely that Houston could move on from their head coach/general manager, though it's not a given by any means, given that O'Brien still has coached some quality teams in previous years, and is only in his first full-year as the GM.
With QB Deshaun Watson running the show, along with All-Pro LT Laremy Tunsil, the Texans would likely be one of the most attractive destinations for any offensive minded coach. The perfect fit for Houston would be Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, a coach who has received the praises of Andy Reid as a head coaching candidate from the actual press conference he was announced as the new offensive coordinator.
Some have expressed concern over what degree of influence/effect Bieniemy actually has on the Chiefs offensive success, as Andy Reid remains the offensive mastermind as well as play-caller. However, my concerns over Bieniemy would be minimal, given that he's been praised and credited for the role he plays plenty of times, as well as the fairly successful coaching tree of Andy Reid previously. While he'll still need to build up a quality OL in Houston, Deshaun Watson would thrive in a system like the one Bieniemy has helped develop in Kansas City.
Jacksonville Jaguars The Jaguars are already in a full-scale rebuild of sorts. They've traded away players to accumulate picks (4 in the first two rounds), and cut bloated salaries to clear up cap space. The brief optimism of the Week 1 upset over the Colts was short lived however, as they were beaten soundly by the Miami Dolphins last week.
The biggest question for a new regime in Jacksonville is the fate of their quarterback position, where Gardner Minshew continues to be one of the few bright spots. There were some rumors of Jacksonville perhaps going for the Clemson duo, adding QB Trevor Lawrence with the top pick, while signing HC Dabo Swinney to call the shots. Let's assume that Dabo's off the table, Jacksonville has some options.
Personally, I really like the fit of San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh here. I think his fire and energy would bring life to the franchise. His defense thrives in San Francisco off of a deadly pass-rush, and the ability to work with first-round edge rushers in Josh Allen and K'Lavon Chaisson seems like a perfect match. He'd need to have a plan for an offensive coordinator to work with Gardner Minshew, though perhaps he could poach a promising assistant with Air Raid experience to match Minshew style.
Los Angeles Chargers The Chargers remain a very talented team, and thus, if they end up with back-to-back seasons of double digit losses (5-11 in 2019), Lynn could be on his way out, even after a very good 2018 season. The biggest piece to the Chargers 2020 season will be figuring out the QB situation, as QB Tyrod Taylor was inadvertently injured by his own team doctors, giving rookie QB Justin Herbert the chance to step into the role sooner than expected, including a very strong debut against Kansas City.
If things falter for the Chargers over the remainder of 2020, the Chargers may be ready to find a new coach, one who can turn QB Justin Herbert into the franchise QB that LA expects him to be after drafting him sixth-overall. Personally, I think Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich would make an excellent pairing with Herbert, as the deep passing attack that Arians and Leftwich run in Tampa would fit well with Herbert's arm strength.
Provided that Leftwich can find a veteran defensive coordinator to join, not too dissimilar from the Sean McVay-Wade Phillips pairing, think there would be a lot of potential for that pairing.
New York Jets Currently the odds on favorite for the #1 overall selection, that at least offers Jets fans some hope in the midst of the ongoing fiasco that is Adam Gase. FOX talk show host Colin Cowherd did indicate that the Jets could make the early move to fire Gase as soon as tomorrow night if they lose to the Denver Broncos, a team that will be starting its preseason QB3 in Brett Rypien.
Now, New York presents plenty of challenges in the size of the job, but the Jets have some decent pieces to build around, with OT Mekhi Becton looking strong to start the year, as well as DT Quinnen Williams already racking up 2 sacks after a fairly quiet rookie season. While Bieniemy is the hot name for just about every fan base, the reality is that he can only end up in one spot, and there will likely be better options available.
However, I think there's another name on the Chiefs staff who would be a smart move for the Jets, a franchise that needs a good leader to help build a better culture in the Big Apple. That is Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub. He's one of the best special teams coordinators in all of the NFL, dating back to an incredibly successful run as the Bears special teams coordinator, featuring All-Pro returner Devin Hester and kicker Robbie Gould.
While hiring special teams coordinators is not all the rage these days, it actually used to be one of the best formulas for finding winning head coaches. They work with every part of the team, from the specialists to the DB's, LB's, WR's, and FB's who end up on coverage teams. Quoting Bill Cowher, "When you think about the special teams coach, outside of the head coach, you're the only person on staff who is speaking to the whole team. A lot of what you're doing is more about motivation than it is schematic. And as a head coach, that's what you're trying to do as well". Toub may not be the sexy pick to pair with a flashy new QB perhaps, but he very well could give the Jets the dose of leadership and culture that they need to compete for the AFC East.
Wild Cards **These candidates aren't as nearly as well thought thru. Just trying to add some other names to the mix, though to a certain degree, I think these wouldn't be bad decisions.**
Denver Broncos - Living in Denver myself, I think there are too many Broncos fans overreacting on this one, but the NFL is not a patient place. John Elway has shown he has a short leash, after firing Vance Joseph so soon, and if Fangio sees a major drop-off, especially after Drew Lock returns, the Broncos may be in the market, perhaps for someone like 49ers run game coordinator Mike McDaniel, a rising star in the profession.
Cincinnati Bengals - Zac Taylor did not find immediate success in year one, even if he didn't have much to work with. They've been competitive so far with rookie QB Joe Burrow, and provided they remain competitive with teams, Taylor will make it to 2021. But, if things take a turn for the worse and they look like the 2-14 team we saw in 2019, a decision could be made. Perhaps reuniting Burrow with now Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady is the move to make in this extreme hypothetical?
Minnesota Vikings - Their defense is a disaster, and QB Kirk Cousins is looking bad right now. The Vikes just extended Mike Zimmer for another 3 seasons, so it may be too soon to fire him, but if the Vikings don't turn it around, would have to consider it. Vikings may want to consider making a run at a top college coach like Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley to give their offense the injection it needs.
Who do you like for the teams with hot seat coaches?
So I’m midway through season 6A, and I’ve had a few thoughts that have differed from when I finished the series years ago.
1) Compared to the other women, Carrie’s overall arc is kind of meh. Hers mainly revolves around men and not much else. Yes, I understand that sex and dating was the primary focus of the series, but the other women went through quite a few obstacles while Carrie’s biggest issue was just men.
2) They waited WAY TOO LONG to give Samantha much more substance than “the one who likes to have sex”. Think about it. Her first big storyline doesn’t occur until season 4. Everything beforehand is just centered around her liking to screw, essentially.
3) I wouldn’t have mind if Carrie ended up with Berger in the end. I actually hate how they write out and end the Berger relationship. It just felt too convenient to set up the Alexander storyline, which, of course, lead to her reuniting with Big. Speaking of...
4) Carrie’s end story didn’t feel earned. The other 3 get their happy ending (no pun intended), and it feels earned as a viewer. Watching Charlotte get her baby and happy marriage after struggling with conceiving and her failed marriage to Trey felt earned. Seeing Samantha overcome cancer and learning to love and trust after Richard broke her heart with the held of Smith felt earned. Miranda finding the balance between working woman and mother and opening up to Steve after years of pushing him away felt earned. Carrie just miraculously winding up with Big after years of making crappy decisions does NOT feel earned IMO. It just doesn’t.
5) Season 5 isn’t THAT bad. It’s definitely campy, but it’s still enjoyable. I would’ve loved to have seen what a full season would’ve turned out like had it not been truncated due to SJP’s pregnancy.
6) On the topic of Big, and this may be controversial, but he should’ve been officially written out when he moved to Napa. It just felt like the perfect ending to his relationship with Carrie. They both were at turning points in their lives, they seemed to be at a much more mature understanding of their relationship/connection as friends, and Carrie’s monologue at the end of the episode when she goes to his apartment and finds him already gone was just so beautifully said. Bringing him back just ruins all of that.
7) Charlotte was the best character.