2007 BCS Champions

2007 BCS
National Champions

2003 BCS National Champions

2003 BCS
National Champions

1958 National Champions

National Champions

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DandyDon is proud to recognize David Toms as a great ambassador of the Tiger Nation.

LSU vs. McNeese State - Saturday, September 5th, 2015 6:30 PM (SEC-Alt)
0 Day, 0 hour, 0 minute


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7/6/15 5:55 am CT

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

Yesterday I gave you a list of dates of interest leading up to the start of LSU football seasons, and today I’ve got a few more recruiting attractions to add to it. First, there is Nike’s The Opening and Elite 11 football camp finals which are this week in Oregon. Nike’s The Opening is the premier invitation-only football training and competition event in the country, and seven of LSU’s 17 commitments will be participating in it. The most popular component of the camp is the 7-on-7 team competitions, and some of them will be televised by ESPNU later this week. In an unusual twist of events, it turns out that all seven of LSU’s commitments will be playing on the same team, a group called Team SuperBad, and they’ll be joined by two of the Tigers’ biggest targets, Louisiana’s own Rashard Lawrence (DT, 6-4, 300, Neville, No. 4 on our list of Top LA Prospects) and Texas linebacker Dontavius Jackson (6-2, 239, Houston). Headlining the group is LSU quarterback commit Feleipe Franks (6-5, 220, Crawfordville, FL), who will also be participating in this week’s Elite 11 quarterback competition which begins today. For more on those events and LSU’s targets and commits playing in it, see this article by 247Sports.

Another football camp I’d like to call your attention to is one being conducted by former Tigers Jacob Hester and Morris Claiborne. Yesterday Jacob sent me the following info to share on their camp:

Michael Clayton & Jacob Hester Football Camp
Ages 7-18. July 22-24, 5-8pm.
Cost is $100 and includes T-shirt & daily meal.
Pre-register online at GoCrusaders.com

With things kind of slow in LSU sporting news right now, I decided to review some LSU football stats and put together a series to highlight a few trends I observed. In today’s first segment we’ll take a brief look at LSU’s run-to-pass ratio, which has trended very heavily toward the run in the last several years. Here we go…

Rushing Offense, Run-to-Pass Ratio

LSU’s yards per game on the ground have consistently increased in each of the last three years, and on first glance that might seem like a good sign. However, when you dig just a bit deeper it’s easy to see that this goes hand-in-hand with the fact that LSU has been consistently throwing the ball less and less. In 2012, LSU had a 60/40 run to pass ratio, which I think most Tiger Fans would consider a comfortable mix. In 2013, however, even with Zach Mettenberger as a senior quarterback, LSU had fewer pass attempts than the year before with a run-to-pass ratio of 62/38. Of course, last year this trend continued in a big way as LSU’s passing game struggled to produce. The Tigers’ run-to-pass ratio last season (69/31) was by far the most run-heavy in recent years. (One thing I found interesting in reviewing the stats is that LSU’s offense was much more balanced in 2008 and 2009, the Jefferson/Lee years, than in any year since.) Looking back at LSU’s last two championship seasons, the Tigers’ RTP ratio was 58/42 in 2007 and an even 60/40 in 2003. With questions looming at quarterback, a seasoned offensive line, and one of the best stables of running backs in the country led by potential Heisman candidate Leonard Fournette, it will probably be tempting to lean very heavily on the run game in the season opener against McNeese State, but I hope that is not the case. In my opinion, LSU should take the game as an opportunity to come out throwing against a weak Cowboy pass defense that gave up an average of 217 passing yards per game last year against mostly FCS opponents. A successful aerial attack against the Cowboys could give LSU’s passing game a valuable boost of confidence and give Mississippi State reason to think twice before stacking the box the following week. 

Now let’s continue our countdown to that season opener against McNeese State, which is 61 days away, by looking at a special former Tiger who wore No. 61 - Tommy Lott. Lott was a member of the famous Chinese Bandits, a defensive squad that was so good that sometimes LSU’s offense would punt on third down with the expectation that the defensive unit would hold the opposition and allow the offense to return with a shortened field. The Chinese Bandits were very small by today’s standards, especially across the defensive line, with the smallest among them being nose guard Tommy Lott at 5-9, 188 pounds. Coach Paul Dietzel credited this squad’s success to their pride, their speed, their ability to gang-tackle, and especially their hustle and enthusiasm. That pride showed in big and small instances and was reflected in a statement made by our number 61. When an injury occurred to the White Team causing Dietzel to offer a promotion (from the Chinese Bandits to the White team), Lott looked the coach in the eye and stated "Okay, but as soon as possible I want to get back to the Bandits." (Game of My Life LSU Tigers, Marty Mule and Paul Dietzel). And with that we say “thank you” to Tommy Lott and the Chinese Bandits for their terrific Fighting Tiger spirit during what would become an undefeated season capped by a 7-0 National Championship win against Clemson in the Sugar Bowl.

Sidenote: I would be remiss to speak of the Chinese Bandits and not include a link to this historic photo of them which was featured in Time Magazine. 

In closing, I’d like to point out that I’ve made a few minor adjustments to our Way Too Early Unofficial Depth Chart, mostly to reflect suspensions and freshman number assignments. Later today I’ll be updating our Ticket Exchange page if I receive new listings, so if you have LSU tickets to sell please let me know.


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7/5/15 6:10 am CT

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

First of all, I hope you all had a wonderful Independence Day celebration. I enjoyed a restful day after spending the morning checking off items on my vacation-preparation check list (preserve figs: check | blanch and freeze eggplant: check | clean chicken coup: check…), then I enjoyed preparing a meal of barbecued chicken and ribs with Dirty Rice, Corn Maque Choux and homegrown tomatoes. And of course it wouldn’t have been complete without apple pie and home-churned ice cream. Life is good here in the greatest country on Earth, even on a weekend without LSU sports. 

As nice as this weekend has been, I’m ready for some LSU football and looking forward to nine weeks from today when we’ll be discussing the outcome of LSU’s season opener against McNeese State. I’m also looking forward to the start of LSU “fall practice” which gets underway exactly one month from today. Between now and then, LSU will hold its final three summer camps of the year and that should provide some excitement to those of us who follow recruiting. Below is a list of Dates of Interest related to LSU football:

Thursday, July 16: LSU Takes Podium at SEC Media Days
Saturday, July 18: 7-on-7 Passing Camp & Lineman Camp
Sunday, July 19: Kicking Camp
Thursday, July 23:  High School “Elite” Camp (Session II)
Wednesday, August 5:  LSU Football Team Reports to Camp
Thursday, August 6 - First Day of Preseason Practice
Saturday, September 5 - LSU Season Opener against McNeese State  

Speaking of recruiting, linebacker sensation Keyon Joyner (6-3, 200 Havelock, NC) tweeted yesterday that his top-3 schools are LSU Florida State and UNC, in no particular order. Joyner, a native of Abbeville, LA, is widely considered one of the top outside linebackers in the country and I continue to hear great things about LSU’s chances with him. Also, defensive tackle Antwuan Jackson (6-2.5, 285) of Ellenwood, Georgia, named LSU as one of his top-10 schools.

With 62 days remaining until the start of the LSU football season, today’s topic for our countdown is the greatness of beating Tulane 62-0 on three different occasions. The first of those 62-0 victories took place in 1958, the year LSU won its first national championship. Interestingly, the Tigers only led 6-0 at halftime and would score 58 points in the second half to send Tulane home with a disheartening defeat. As fate would have it, Tulane would get to experience that same exact loss two more times within the next decade, in 1961 and 1965. The Tigers currently lead the series against the Green Wave 69-22-7, and for you younger fans out there the Greenies might not seem like a significant Tiger opponent. However, I’m sure that those of you who are my age or older remember well what a big rivalry this used to be. One of my earliest memories of being in Tiger Stadium was in the late 70s or early 80s. I don’t remember exactly when it was, but I remember sitting with my Dad and watching the Tigers add to a comfortable lead in the fourth quarter. That’s when the gentleman sitting in front of us stood up and yelled with all his might, “Go for two!” I didn’t know it then, but that comment stemmed from the aforementioned 1965 win. After adding a touchdown late in that ’65 contest, the Tigers were leading 60-0. Coach Mac held one finger up in the air, signaling for the team to kick the extra point despite the boisterous crowd and pleadings of the team to “go for two.” However, when quarterback Pat Screen and the Tigers broke the huddle, the Tigers weren’t in kicking formation, and the crowd went wild as they watched LSU drive the ball into the end zone for two points, giving the Tigers their third 62-0 win over the Greenies in a span of eight years. 

In other news, yesterday it was announced that six former student-athletes and two former athletic trainers will be inducted into the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame next Friday. The new inductees are: 14-time All-American gymnast April Burkholder; seven-time All-American hurdler Kim Carson; two-time All-American javelin thrower and five-time Olympic Games competitor Laverne Eve; two-time women’s basketball All-American and two-time Olympic gold medalist Sylvia Fowles; 14-time All-American swimmer Todd Torres; LSU football team captain and NFL All-Pro Ebert Van Buren; athletic trainer Mike Chambers, for whom LSU’s live mascot “Mike” The Tiger is named; and Herman Lang, a member of the Louisiana Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame who worked with three generations of LSU athletes. Chambers and Lang will be inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously. The event will be held at the L’Auberge Baton Rouge Event Center. 

As usual, I’ll leave you today with a couple of good reads to go along with your Sunday morning coffee:

• From nola.com: You read it here first, I'm the idiot picking LSU to win the SEC: Ron Higgins

• From the Advocate: A Q&A with LSU basketball coach Johnny Jones: LSU has a Jones to be successful.


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7/4/15 5:50 am CT

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

The first thing I’d like to do today is wish all of you a Happy Independence Day, and to thank the military men and women who work hard each day to safeguard the freedoms we enjoy here in the greatest country on Earth, the United States of America.

In football news, Phil Steele is counting down his top football teams in the country and has pegged LSU at No. 10. In his comments, he notes that LSU returns 15 starters, which is its most since 2005, and that the Tigers are fortunate to not have to play any of the top three teams in the SEC East. He concludes his writeup on the Tigers by saying, “LSU is a legitimate national title contender.” I like Steele’s optimism and agree with what he writes, although I’m hesitant to get too hyped about this year’s team until we see how the quarterback situation plays out and how the defense transitions to the new direction of Defensive Coordinator Kevin Steele. We’ll have a much better idea of just how good this team can be after the second game of the season at Mississippi State. In light of Anthony Jennings’ arrest and indefinite suspension, I think it’s almost certain that Brandon Harris will get the start in the opener against McNeese State, and I suspect he’ll put up big numbers against the Cowboys. If he does, and if he avoids significant turnovers, I think he’ll also start in Game 2 at Mississippi State regardless of Jennings’ status, and that’s where we’ll really find out whether Harris is ready for the big time. That’s when we’ll also find out if LSU’s defense is capable of stopping the likes of senior quarterback Dak Preskott, someone who really tortured LSU’s defensive middle last year. If LSU exits Starkville 2-0, the following week against Auburn should be a lot of fun. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, the season opener is still 63 days away and there’s no telling what will happen between now and then.

Speaking of 63 days… let’s continue our countdown by taking a look at LSU’s current player who wears No. 63 – KJ Malone. Like another lineman, William Clapp, KJ is the son of a famous athlete, although unlike William’s dad, Tommy, KJ’s father, the famous Karl Malone, played basketball and has no ties to LSU although he did play at Louisiana Tech in college and was born in Summerfield, LA.

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, where his dad starred for the Utah Jazz for the majority of his 18-year NBA career, KJ moved with his family to Ruston, LA and excelled at Cedar Creek High School, where his team posted a 9-3 record his senior year. Malone was a 3-star lineman by most recruiting services, a 4-star recruit according to ESPN.com, and No. 33 on our list of Top Football Prospects in Louisiana - Class of 2013. After redshirting in 2013, he accumulated 65 snaps in 2014, albeit 57 of those came in non-conference contests against Sam Houston, ULM and New Mexico State; however, he did record five knockdown blocks. Malone is expected to push Josh Boutte for the starting role at right guard this season, although Boutte appears to have a leg up. For what it’s worth, Malone is one of the few recipients to receive the Alvin Roy Fourth Quarter Award for outstanding performance in the LSU off-season program for the second straight year. Even if Malone doesn’t win a starting job, he should add depth across the entire line and help support what should be a very solid running game in 2015.

I hope you’ve been enjoying this flexible format for our countdown to game day, and I hope you’ll continue to send me topic ideas. We’ve got ideas through the 50s pretty much covered, but I welcome your suggestions for 1-49. 

Since it’s a holiday we’ll keep today’s update short. Go out and fly the Old Glory, fire up the grill, ice down some cold drinks, enjoy your day with friends and family and be proud when you hear the Star-Spangled Banner being played!


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