Tagged with "LSU"
LSU-Arkansas Rivalry-Week Series Ends
Category: NCAA
Tags: Arkansas Auburn NCAA Football Florida Kentucky Louisville LSU Mississippi St. Missouri Ole Miss Tennessee Texas A&M Tulane Vandy
LSU players with the Golden Boot, I believe after last year's game.

LSU players with the Golden Boot, I believe after last year’s game.

I updated the records in my LSU/Arkansas blog and added a brief game summary for the game yesterday (this was originally published on 11/30).

I didn’t realize it until after the game was played (although I knew changes were coming), but this was sort of a bittersweet ending for the LSU-Arkansas “black Friday” tradition. Granted, it’s not much of a tradition as compared to Ohio St.-Michigan and so forth, but with LSU playing Arkansas at the end of the year (the day after Thanksgiving the vast majority of the time) the last 2/3 of my life is meaningful to me. I remember LSU playing Tulane annually, but I don’t remember that game being one to get excited about. (I was a toddler the last time Tulane beat LSU and barely a teenager when the annual series was canceled.)

Of course, I’m glad LSU won this last game, but I’m also glad Arkansas represented themselves well. It wasn’t good for my nerves, but it just wouldn’t have felt proper for this to be an easy win. I mention in my blog how often in the last 13 years it’s been a close game, so this was fitting. I wouldn’t mind if Arkansas got a good team again, but sometimes there are too many good teams in the SEC, especially as long as LSU has to play Florida every year along with the SEC West slate. The Gators will be back too.

I also liked that LSU usually played Arkansas in Little Rock since the campus was less lively with it being Thanksgiving weekend. I imagine LSU people who traveled to the games liked them being closer as well. The late great George Carlin did a bit about football vocabulary versus baseball. Baseball is played at a park. Football is played on the gridiron in places like Soldier Field and War Memorial Stadium (which is what they call the one in Little Rock). I went to my first game at the L.A. Colliseum last year. There is just something special about stadiums like that. “War”, as I understand the locals call it, was built around 20 years later, but it’s a similar type of severe concrete architecture. I think the Arkansas fans treated it as something special as well.

If I had my druthers, the last four SEC opponents would be Ole Miss (on or around Halloween), Alabama, Mississippi St., and Arkansas, but no such luck. Whether I like it or not (it has its good points, to be honest), Texas A&M and Missouri have joined the SEC, so now there is that to contend with. Before last year, when LSU played Texas A&M (back in the mid-1990s and before), it was in early September; but that doesn’t work now, especially now that we’ve often been playing one of the neutral-site kickoff games. (Next year, LSU will start the season against Wisconsin in Houston.)

I can understand it, and it will probably work out though. We’ve played Auburn (often in September, but Mississippi St. and the non-conference slate will bump them to the first week of October next season) and Florida (usually in the second week of October) early on in recent years, and we don’t need another big game so early in the year. Also, Texas A&M lost their traditional Thanksgiving game with Texas, so they have to play somebody. Missouri should be a good game today; but it’s not a bordering state, and there isn’t a meaningful history between the two schools.

As for Missouri, they’re really out of place being forced into the same division with Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina in particular, so giving them and Arkansas a close geographic annual rival makes a good bit of sense. Arkansas isn’t the most natural fit in the SEC West either. Their closest divisional opponent is Ole Miss, a six-hour drive away from the Arkansas campus. (Not that LSU is situated that much better in reference to other schools.) Also, interestingly enough, Tom Dienhart, who wrote to argue for Arkansas to join the Big XII seven years ago (he wanted them to kick out Baylor), got one of the match-ups he wanted after all.

Sometimes when I talk about realignment, I’m an advocate for disturbing certain traditions; but I don’t deny that it doesn’t always feel right immediately afterward even if the changes eventually work and the new reality can become an improvement. I mentioned Auburn, for instance. They didn’t have a rivalry with LSU to speak of before 1992 either, but it’s been a fun series too, and it will continue as far as I can tell. (Although to be honest, they might make more sense in the East.)

Arkansas was sort of a replacement for Tulane (even though they overlapped a few years) anyway, and LSU wouldn’t have been playing the Razorbacks every year if it weren’t for the previous SEC expansion. It became a fun, back-and-forth, competitive series like many of the more long-term and consistent rivalries seem to be. I’ll miss that, along with the other quirks I mentioned.

Maybe something similar will develop from the Texas A&M series. The one this year was better as an LSU fan, but maybe there will be some more like last year to entertain the more neutral fans. I hope they make it at night after all the NFL games end. One thing I didn’t like about the Arkansas series was when it was played at home for LSU, it was often one fewer night game. I also wasn’t thrilled that this season’s game against Texas A&M was during the day, not that I wasn’t satisfied with how that one went.

Also, it’s not like LSU will stop playing Arkansas. That game is set for November 15 next year, apparently in Fayetteville. It could still be an important part of the schedule for either team. Not really relevant to LSU, but I also thought it was interesting that the Hogs will play the Aggies in Jerry World in late September.

So I guess this will be the new Thanksgiving week alignment for the SEC teams; I hope it will stick:
LSU-Texas A&M (Thanksgiving Day)
Arkansas-Missouri
Mississippi St.-Ole Miss
Alabama-Auburn
Tennessee-Vanderbilt
Kentucky-Louisville*
Georgia-Georgia Tech*
Florida-Florida St.*
Clemson-South Carolina*
(* = non-conference game)

Many of you probably know where to find my other blogs (such as more detailed rankings discussion) by now, but if you need specific directions, let me know.   Everything is published there first.

All-Blogger Poll Week 13
Category: NCAA
Tags: ALABAMA ARIZONA ST. AUBURN BAYLOR CLEMSON COLLEGE FOOTBALL FLORIDA ST. LSU NOTRE DAME OHIO ST. OKLAHOMA ST. TEXAS A&M UCLA USC

All-Blogger Top 25

rank/team(first place votes)/total points[last week's rank]

1 Florida St. (3) 145 [ t1 ]
2 Alabama (1) 144 [ t1 ]
3 Ohio St. (2) 142 [ 3 ]
4 Auburn 127 [ 5 ]
5 Clemson 117 [ 7 ]
6 Missouri 115 [ 8 ]
7 Okie St. 113 [ 9 ]
8 Mich. St. 102 [ 10 ]
9 Stanford 86 [ 12 ]
10 S Carolina 83 [ 11 ]
11 Arizona St. 80 [ 20 ]
12 Wisconsin 77 [ 16 ]
13 Baylor 76 [ 4 ]
14 N. Illinois 75 [ 14 ]
15 Oregon 67 [ 6 ]
16 Fresno St. 66 [ 16 ]
17 LSU 64 [ 19 ]
18 UCF 55 [ 18 ]
19 Oklahoma 44 [ 21 ]
20 TX A&M 40 [ 13 ]
21 Louisville 34 [ 22 ]
22 USC 28 [ 23 ]
23 UCLA 27 [ 15 ]
24 Duke 22 [ 25 ]
25 Notre Dame 8 [ ]

Many of you probably know where to find my other blogs (such as more detailed rankings discussion) by now, but if you need specific directions, let me know.   Everything is published there first.

Time to Talk Turkey
Category: NCAA
Tags: ALABAMA ARKANSAS AUBURN BAYLOR BCS CLEMSON FRESNO ST. LSU MICHIGAN ST. MISSOURI N. ILLINOIS OKLAHOMA ST. S. CAROLINA STANFORD NCAA Football

By turkey, of course I mean football and the coming bowl season. The bird isn’t anything to get excited about really, but it can make an excellent sandwich to accompany football-watching.

LSU-Arkansas (Friday on CBS) will be an afterthought among all the interesting games in the next few days, but I originally wrote this blog back in 2006, and it’s what touched off my successful (for me, anyway) Rivalry Series. So if you have any interest at all, please check it out.

Sometimes I wonder if articles are written for Bleacher Report just to annoy me. I used to suspect the same thing of Sporting News. Not me in particular, but they want to get under fans’ skin to get more hits. Brian Pedersen is a “Featured Columnist” on the site, and based on the way his “Which Teams Got Screwed in Week 14 Standings?” column is written, he doesn’t understand how the BCS rankings work after 15 years. The rankings will cease to exist in a couple of weeks. Have some respect.

• explain why Clemson (10-1) got passed by Missouri in the latest standings, despite both teams winning? Yes, Clemson moved up from seventh to sixth

> So let me get this straight. Getting “screwed” means not moving up ENOUGH after beating an FCS opponent? Does it not occur to him that Missouri beat a ranked Ole Miss team. Maybe there are times when beating a ranked team should move you ahead of someone even if that other team doesn’t lose. Is that so hard to imagine? I know a few other teams beat Ole Miss, but let’s review who they were: Alabama, Auburn, and Texas A&M. Ole Miss has beaten LSU, Texas, and Vanderbilt. Even if you’re not convinced Ole Miss is a good win, let me float this idea: Maybe Clemson shouldn’t have been ahead of Missouri in the first place. This doesn’t convey a highly fundamental misconception of the BCS. Maybe he figured the pollsters would penalize Missouri for what they knew would be a boost in the computers, I don’t know. But wait for it.

> He then mentions South Carolina didn’t lose ground after a similar game. NEITHER DID CLEMSON! He also mentions LSU climbed after beating an FCS opponent “and not just because teams above it lost”. Staying at 13th isn’t climbing. Missouri lost to a team called South Carolina. Guess what Clemson can do if they belong ahead of Missouri?

• But did the (Baylor) Bears‘ loss to Oklahoma State—arguably the hottest team in college football right now and currently ranked seventh—justify dropping from fourth to ninth?

>> Falling 5 spots after being blown out seems reasonable to me. LSU was in the Alabama game until the fourth quarter, and they fell 8 spots. This is the same guy who tries to argue there is a double standard in favor of the SEC. If anything, if you’re further down to begin with, losing to a top team shouldn’t hurt you as much.

>> Another big complaint seems to be that Stanford—which beat Arizona St., Washington, UCLA, and Oregon—passed up the Bears. Let’s review Baylor’s best four wins: Oklahoma… Texas Tech, Buffalo, Kansas St. Utah went downhill since beating Stanford, but they’ve played all the best teams of both divisions (not to mention BYU and Utah St., both of whom they beat) and some of the losses were very close. Stanford just happened to be their lucky game. South Carolina might pass Baylor if they beat Clemson (which would at worst be their second win over a 2-loss team). I think that MAYBE trumps Oklahoma and Texas Tech perhaps?

Michigan State (10-1) is locked into the Big Ten title game, where it will have a chance to earn an automatic BCS bid if it were to beat Ohio State in Indianapolis in two weeks.

>>> And best of luck to them. What’s the problem? Oh, they DIDN’T pass up the likes of Clemson and Baylor. So, the team that stays behind Clemson and Baylor got screwed. Clemson and Baylor also got screwed by not staying ahead of all the teams they had been ahead of. Wow. South Carolina is also ahead. He then mentions how Michigan St. should get more credit for winning its division. Baylor isn’t in a division. Michigan St., unlike Clemson, isn’t in a division with Florida St. Maybe he has a point with South Carolina (which won’t win its division unless Missouri loses to Texas A&M), but not if South Carolina beats Clemson.

Fresno State (10-0) gave its home crowd a powerful sendoff by putting up 69 points against New Mexico on Saturday, getting 820 yards of total offense and seven touchdowns from superstar QB Derek Carr [but fell behind Northern Illinois]… You can probably chalk that up to NIU getting ESPN exposure on weeknights the past two weeks, while FSU was on the lesser-watched CBS Sports Network.

>>>> This is that one shining moment you’ve been waiting for. I seriously doubt a whole lot of voters dropped Fresno St. In fact, their points in both of the BCS polls went UP (maybe a little less than Northern Illinois’); but you know those computers? They don’t get impressed by scores, because the NCAA mandated that the computers couldn’t factor that in. They also don’t care what channel the games were played on. They care that Northern Illinois beat a team with only one other loss (Ball St.) and then another (Toledo) who had been 7-3. Before beating New Mexico (3-8), Fresno St. had a bye week. Those mean computers want you to prevail over actual competition. For shame!

There was some griping about Central Florida and Duke, not completely without merit. But it’s just reality that when it’s 2/3 human polls, they’re not going to start supporting teams that have been out of the spotlight as quickly as you might like.Central Florida wasn’t realistically going to go ahead of undefeated Northern Illinois and Fresno St., but they don’t have to worry about that since all they have to do is win their conference anyway. Duke (with two losses) is behind a few teams with three losses. Maybe they have an argument to be ahead of USC, UCLA, or both; but do we have to pretend the SEC West is roughly equivalent to the ACC Coastal?

Finally, he complains about Cincinnati, with the worst schedule in college football other than possibly Old Dominion, which played mostly FCS schools. Cincinnati was absolutely destroyed by Illinois. The Illini have three other wins, but none of those victories were against teams with a single FBS win of their own. The Bearcats also lost to South Florida, whose one other FBS win was over Connecticut. Cincinnati did beat SMU, Rutgers, and Houston in consecutive weeks, but that doesn’t make up for those losses. The best win before those? 3-7 Memphis.

The same guy also did the bowl projections for this week. I know this will come as a shock to fans of the Stanford Cardinal, but even if they beat Notre Dame, the chances of playing for a national championship are approximately 0. He also assumes Texas will beat that great Baylor team he complains about and play Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl since LSU has three losses. Uhhh, Texas A&M does too; and furthermore, he projects Missouri to beat the Aggies! I had been wondering who to cheer for in this game since I think I might like to see South Carolina play Auburn or Alabama more than Missouri, but it’s clear now. The thought of LSU getting passed up for the Cotton Bowlagain despite beating A&M again is a bit frustrating for me, so I’ll be cheering for all three SEC Tiger teams.

Many of you probably know where to find my other blogs (such as more detailed rankings discussion) by now, but if you need specific directions, let me know.   Everything is published there first.

All-Blogger Poll Week 12
Category: NCAA
Tags: ALABAMA ARIZONA ST. AUBURN BAYLOR CINCINNATI COLLEGE FOOTBALL DUKE FLORIDA ST. LSU OHIO ST. OLE MISS UCLA USC WISCONSIN

All-Blogger Top 25

rank/team(first place votes)/total points[last week's rank]

t1 Florida St. (3) 168 [ 1 ]
t1 Alabama (2) 168 [ 2 ]
3 Ohio St. (2) 160 [ 3 ]
4 Baylor 159 [ 5 ]
5 Auburn 137 [ 6 ]
6 Oregon 133 [ 7 ]
7 Clemson 125 [ 8 ]
8 Missouri 117 [ 9 ]
9 Okie St. 111 [ 13 ]
10 Mich. St. 109 [ 12 ]
11 S Carolina 96 [ 10 ]
12 Stanford 95 [ 4 ]
13 TX A&M 83 [ 11 ]
t14 N. Illinois 77 [ 15 ]
t14 UCLA 77 [ 17 ]
16 Fresno St. 75 [ 14 ]
17 Wisconsin 68 [ 18 ]
18 UCF 55 [ 16 ]
19 LSU 51 [ 20 ]
20 Arizona St. 46 [ 19 ]
21 Oklahoma 42 [ 21 ]
22 Louisville 39 [ 25 ]
23 USC 29 [ v ]
24 Minnesota 26 [ 22 ]
25 Duke 19 [ v ]

 

Many of you probably know where to find my other blogs (such as more detailed rankings discussion) by now, but if you need specific directions, let me know. 

All-Blogger Poll Week 11
Category: NCAA
Tags: ALABAMA BAYLOR COLLEGE FOOTBALL FLORIDA ST. LSU OHIO ST. OLE MISS OREGON SOUTH CAROLINA STANFORD USC VIRGINIA TECH

All-Blogger Top 25

rank/team(first place votes)/total points[last week's rank]

1 Alabama (2) 170 [ 1 ]
2 Florida St. (3) 168 [ 2 ]
3 Ohio St. (2) 162 [ 4 ]
4 Stanford 149 [ 5 ]
5 Baylor 147 [ 6 ]
6 Auburn 134 [ 7 ]
7 Oregon 127 [ 3 ]
8 Clemson 124 [ 8 ]
9 Missouri 113 [ 9 ]
10 S Carolina 99 [ 15 ]
11 TX A&M 95 [ 17 ]
12 Mich. St. 89 [ 18 ]
13 Okie St. 83 [ 13 ]
14 Fresno St. 76 [ 14 ]
15 N. Illinois 70 [ 16 ]
16 UCF 62 [ 21 ]
17 UCLA 54 [ 19 ]
18 Wisconsin 53 [ 20 ]
19 Arizona St. 49 [ 23 ]
20 LSU 47 [ 12 ]
21 Oklahoma 41 [ 10 ]
22 Minnesota 34 [ v ]
23 Texas 28 [ 25 ]
24 U. Miami 24 [ 11 ]
25 Louisville 22 [ v ]

Many of you probably know where to find my other blogs (such as more detailed rankings discussion) by now, but if you need specific directions, let me know. 

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