As a Tiger fan, it is disappointing to watch LSU games on TV and see the stadium empty and quiet down so early into the second half of games. I am sure there are many factors, but I think the biggest factor is that the second half of LSU games these days has the feel of the last pre-season game in the NFL.
This opinion is not a put down to LSU coaches or players, but it is an observation of the result of dominating in the style that LSU dominates. The fact is that from a fan's perspective, it is hard to find something of interest to watch in the second half (just like the last pre-season NFL game).
As for me, I have found it interesting to watch the freshmen linebackers and young defensive linemen late in the game. Offensively, I got nothing. I am glad LSU is able to dominate the line of scrimmage and run out the clock. But, I am still searching for something interesting.
My hope is that the coaches will decide they need to let a backup quarterback run the whole offense just in case Mettenberger goes down then some aren't caught in the same position as Arkansas.
So after the first two games, I think LSU's season will break into three types of games:
• The first type I will call "NFL preseason": Those will be the ones where the game is at hand starting the second half and LSU will run the ball 90 percent of the time. Those games will be against Towson State, Idaho and Ole Miss.
• The second type can be referred to as "Wear 'em Down" games: LSU will need to continue to make some plays through the third quarter to take control. Then they will physically impose their will by running over their opponent the entire 4th quarter. I expect those games to be against Auburn, Arkansas and Mississippi State.
• I will call the third type "Full Games": These will be the games that take 4 quarters (at least) to win. Furthermore, LSU might need to do something to surprise their opponent similar to the halfback pass we saw from Spencer Ware (who apparently is a WAY better passer than Russell Shepard). Two of those games are in this category only because they are on the road, and these two games could easily turn into "Wear 'em Down" games. I am referring @ Florida and @ Texas A&M.
The other two games that fully expect to be "Full" games are obviously South Carolina and Alabama. The reason is that both teams’ have defenses that are good enough and deep enough to hold up the entire game. In addition, their offenses are balanced and can flip the field.
Consequently, LSU will have to do one of two things that they have yet to demonstrate this season - One, they will have to force a turnover to score or set the offense up with a short field (think the Arkansas or Georgia games last year).
The other, is to execute and break tendencies on offense to drive the whole field against a top 10 defense. This is an option we have not seen for a while in Tigertown. And I believe this is the option we MUST see in order for LSU to play for a national championship.
The Washington Nationals
On a completely different topic, I wanted to share a personal story from my last year of teaching. I was having a tremendous year in the classroom and many thought I could have been teacher of the year. But toward the end of the year, my principal told me that we was shutting me down with a month to go in the year because so many teachers "burn out" and he didn't want that to happen to me.
I told the principal that I live in the moment, I'm not promised tomorrow and I want to do my best for these kids and the community today!
He said that didn't matter and his mind was made up. Pretty crazy, huh?!
Of course that story was totally made up in honor of the Washington Nationals. This story has me totally baffled except for the part that Strasburg's head wasn't into his last start. Ya think?!! Geez!!
If I ever think of being a Nationals fan, I told my friends to remind me NOT to do it.
In contrast to the Nationals and in the ultimate irony, the NFL is interested in player safety, but they allowed Jason Witten to play last week with a damaged vital internal organ. Amazing!
As for the Saints, I know most of the media is focusing on the coaching aspect and not having Sean Payton. Yet, I can remember performances similar to the one I saw last Sunday each year under Sean Payton.
When the Saints, turn it over three times, allow pressure on Brees and don’t run the ball efficiently, they lose.
Throw in the bad penalties, time of possession and a poor job on third down both ways, and it's amazing the Saints were even a Hail Mary away from overtime.
If you are a Saints fan, you have to be concerned (cause let’s face it, we are Saints fans and that is what we do) and frustrated. The reason is that the mistakes were amplified by their timeliness.
The Colston fumble took away 3-7 points. The pass interference on Harper took away a possession by the Saints and gave the Skins 7 points. At minimum those swings are a 10 point difference in a game the Saints played poorly and lost by 8.
They say great teams win even when they play poorly. I know the Saints are good, but I am hoping they can be great. Either way, I am hoping to see the “good” Saints this Sunday.