LSU will play for a college football national championship one day. It probably won’t be in 2014.
The Bayou Bengals were thudded back to earth last night in their own lair, as Mississippi State rolled up 570 yards and built a 24-point lead before holding off a furious fourth quarter rally to prevail 34-29. It was the Bulldogs’ first victory in Tiger Stadium since 1991, Curley Hallman’s first year as LSU coach, and the first for State anywhere since 1999, Gerry DiNardo’s last in Baton Rouge. Nick Saban was 5-0 vs. State at LSU; he lost to the Bulldogs in his first season at Alabama. Jerry Stovall was 0-4 during his tenure vs. the Starville Dogs; no wonder he got the axe after losing 45-26 to State in Death Valley in 1983.
The worst part for LSU had to be Dax Prescott, the State quarterback who completely befuddled the Bayou Bengal defense, should be wearing purple and gold, not maroon. He was an All-State performer at Haughton High, a Shreveport suburb. If Prescott would have signed with LSU, the Bayou Bengals would have had a viable alternative to Zach Mettenberger the previous two seasons, and he certainly would have beaten out Anthony Jennings this year. Instead, he’s got State poised to break out and enjoy its biggest season since it won the SEC West in 1998.
I would much rather see State succeed than Ole Miss. I cannot stand Ole Miss. I am sick and tired of the national media, and especially those in Mississippi, thinking the Rebels are the end-all be-all of football in that state. To me, Ole Miss is a bunch of highbrow elitist snobs who think they are a class above the rest of the SEC, and Oxford is a enlightened place, in contrast to “redneck” Starkville, Auburn, Fayetteville and Gainesville. Ole Miss probably wishes it was in the ACC where it would fit in with other snob schools like Virginia, North Carolina and Duke.
I’ve been to Oxford, Mississippi enough to know without Ole Miss, Oxford would be no better than Natchez, Laurel, Meridian, Columbus or any other Mississippi city of 10,000 to 30,000. At least there’s a four-lane highway extending from Interstate 55 to Oxford, which is true of most places in Mississippi. You wouldn’t think it, but Mississippi’s roads are far more modern than you would find anywhere else in the south. I would venture to say Mississippi is now fourth in terms of time spent within the state, following Louisiana, Kansas and Missouri, although I’ve been to far more places in Mississippi than Missouri, where my experience is limited to Kansas City, Columbia and St. Louis, save for passing through the northwest corner of the state from KC to the Iowa state line.
LSU now has to pick itself up off the mat. It will have a tune-up next week against a bad New Mexico State team, but then it has back-to-back trips to Auburn and Florida. Lose those two, and the Bayou Bengals could be very well staring down the barrel of their first losing season since 1999. Les Miles has had only one losing season as a head coach, and that was his first at Oklahoma State,, where he inherited a very bad team from Bob Simmons. That team went 4-7, but he beat Oklahoma in Norman.
Today it’s about the NFL. I’m at Buffalo Wild Wings, which is starting to fill up, but the crowd might be a little light early since the Chiefs and the Broncos don’t start their games until 3:25. The Saints are looking for their first victory, and if they don’t beat the Vikings, shame on them. I hope everyone pummels the Vikings, who are paying Adrian Peterson $692,000 a week to do nothing. Peterson is a child abuser whom I hope goes to prison for a long time. This monster has no business around children. Period.
I also am rooting hard against the Ravens. I have never liked the Ravens, thanks to (a) Art Modell just ripping the Browns out of Cleveland so he could pay off his hundreds of millions in bad debt and (b) employing perjurer and likely murderer Ray Lewis, but now with the Ray Rice scandal, there’s another reason to despise them. It’s typical of Baltimore, which is a crime-infested rathole. The Orioles are owned by Peter Angelos, a trial lawyer who has given tens of millions to left-wing wackos.
Okay enough ranting. On to the games.