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Countdown to September

I didn’t quite keep my promise to LIsa in the early hours of this morning, but she understood, since she told me she was going to have to probably stick around until 2:30. I got back to the Courtyard Briarcliff at 1:25 and went right to bed. I set the computer up to have it ready this morning, but didn’t fool around.

I felt a little bit isolated at times last night at Buffalo Wild Wings, but I shouldn’t have. The bar area was swamped, and the management made the foolish decision to only staff it with three people. Lisa and Rio were both working doubles, and Liz hadn’t worked since Sunday because she was hurting with her back and dealing with the passing of Trey Cummings’ mother. Not a good situation. Morgan Gilliland, who switched off with Brittany Davidson, should have been in the bar too. I was too hard on Lisa, and I felt terrible about it. I tried to make it up to her by giving her a big tip and another six-pack of Abita beer. That put a smile on her face.

Speaking of smiling, Lisa is now trying the Sydnie Adler formula, and that’s trying to get me to smile whenever I look at her. I have to laugh at that. It’s probably best for me. I can’t go through life with a perpetual scowl on my face.

LSU ended up stopping Wisconsin’s final two drives and held on to win 28-24.  A lot of people were hard on the Bayoun Bengals, but come on, Wisconsin is not chopped liver. The Badgers are probably going to win the Big Ten West, and I would not be surprised if they run the table from here. They don’t play Michigan State or Ohio State, they play Nebraska at home, and their only really challenging road game is at Iowa in November. I predicted Wisconsin and Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game. If Wisconsin goes 11-2, that gets them an access bowl berth.

With Texas A&M dominating South Carolina behind Kenny Hill, that season ending game will be very difficult. LSU is going to have to navigate the brutal SEC West plus a trip to Florida, and the Bayou Bengals could finish anywhere from 11-1 to 7-5. I picked 10-2, but maybe that was a little optimistic.

No. 1 Florida State and No. 2 Alabama both won neutral site games, but both had tougher than expected times against Big 12 Conference foes. The Seminoles tussled with Oklahoma State and got out of Arlington a 37-31 victor, and the Crimson Tide could not put away West Virginia until late and prevailed 33-23. Georgia was most impressive, crushing Clemson 45-21 in Athens.

 

My latest reconnection with Arabi Park Middle was with Kimberly Carmouche (Lee) last night. She was very happy to hear from me, and like Toni LaRocca, she didn’t know I had moved to Kansas following Katrina. I think Stacie was the only one who knew about my move since we were e-mailing each other just before Katrina. It feels good to know you aren’t forgotten after more than 25 years. Kim is now a successful realtor in Covington, the parish seat of St. Tammany Parish on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. Covington High is noted for its traditonally strong football program, which was led for 30 years by the legendary Jack Salter, one of the nicest men I have met. Covington and Brother Martin used to scrimmage each other every August before the season started, and Salter and Brother Martin coach Bobby Conlin were very good friends.

It used to be the NFL started its season before Labor Day in order to get the season done before February 1. In 2001, the NFL permanently decided to move the season’s kickoff weekend until after Labor Day, ceding the Labor Day weekend spotlight to college. I remember only one season, 1997, starting on August 31.

Time to get ready to go. I need to see Liz.