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LSU vs. Wisconsin at Lambeau Field - September 3rd, 2:30PM
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8/25/16 5:50 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

Last night, I had the pleasure of listening to the first Les Miles Radio Show of the season and really enjoyed the familiarity of it all. As I’ve done for the last several years, I’ll give you a brief recap of each week’s show this season, starting today. Here we go…

The first caller of the night was Sadie from Denton, Texas, and she asked Coach Miles to name a player on offense, defense and special teams to keep an eye on. Miles’ selections were running back Derrius Guice, linebacker Kendell Beckwith and kicker Connor Culp. What I found particularly interesting and encouraging were Miles’s comments on Culp when he said that during a recent scrimmage, in pouring down “sideways rain,” the freshmen kicker booted a kickoff way out of the end zone. After seeing how LSU struggled on kickoffs and kickoff coverage last season, that was great to hear.   

The second caller of the night was none other than previous Voice of the Tigers, Jim Hawthorne. After fielding questions about his experience in the recent flood, Hawthorne commended Chris Blair on the job he is doing and wished him the best of luck. He then said he’s looking forward to taking in the Wisconsin game from the comfort of his home and making it out to the Missouri game where there will be a little presentation he’s excited about.

Before taking the next caller, Miles and Blair talked a bit about the quarterback position. Miles said Harris has enough experience to know exactly what to do and what is expected of him, and that Danny Etling has achieved a certain comfort level. In summary, Miles said the team is much better at the position.

Next up on the phone lines was Richard from Colfax who asked whether Coach Miles’ team can “sustain” and make Tiger fans happy this year. Miles answered affirmatively and said he’s really excited about this team.

Rickey from Birmingham reminded everyone that during last year’s show before the A&M game he stated that rumors of Miles' demise were greatly exaggerated. He then asked Coach Miles about the intensity and attention to detail needed for a big road game like the one coming up in Wisconsin. Miles said the team’s intensity has been very good, adding that they’ve practiced hard and have prepared what seems to be a very capable game plan.

Next was a guy named Tate who asked about defensive coordinator Dave Aranda’s off-the-field personality and how he connects with the players. Miles described Aranda as a quality teacher who gives the “why” and explains things more fully than some other coaches, and said the players really like that.

In a bit of a change indicative of the times we live in, the next question was taken from a fan on Twitter who asked Miles to compare Travonté Valentine to a previous player. Miles said it’s hard to make a comparison since Valentine hasn’t yet taken a snap in a game, then added that Valentine has the ability to move very quickly for a man his size.

From the live audience, Margie asked about the linebackers and how they’re progressing. Miles described the group as one of the fastest units on the team. Beckwith and Duke Riley were named as starters in the middle, while the outside linebackers were said to be Arden Key (at the Buck position) and either Michael Divinity or Tashawn Bower (at the F position). Miles noted that the slowest of the aforementioned players runs a 4.6 forty.

Next up to the microphone was a longtime supporter and super fan, the Big Ragoo. He asked about the new replay system and how it’s going to operate. Miles said there will be three experts in a booth in Alabama that will be able to look at exactly what’s going on on the field. They won’t actually make calls (the ultimate decision will be left to the in-stadium replay official), but will be there to collaborate and confirm good decisions. Miles said he believes it will be a good thing for the game and that he can’t imagine any coach disagreeing.

Genie from New Orleans reiterated how LSU football means so much to the people of Louisiana and gives us something else to focus on and look forward to during these difficult times. Miles said his players recognize the importance in playing well and look forward to doing so.

On a related note, Gene from Bogalusa asked what the team will be doing moving forward to help victims of the flood who are in dire need. Miles started by saying LSU president King Alexander did a great job of making facilities available on campus for shelter, and that the school will continue to do what it can. He added that as for the football team, it’s quite an undertaking to play championship football, go to school and volunteer extra time, but that one thing they can do is help return a sense of normalcy when they take to the field each Saturday. Amen to that.

The last caller of the night was Josh from Vidalia who asked about the running game and whether we will see a reduction in the gap between Leonard Fournette’s carries (300 last year) and Guice’s carries (51 last year). Miles said he’s not ready to say he’ll give the ball to Fournette any less, but that Guice is a tremendous back and their running game will be fine.

All in all, it was an enjoyable show. For me, it was a bit different to take it in from my patio instead of from my now-gutted office where I’ve enjoyed just about every show for the last five years, and it was a little odd hearing Hawthorne as a caller instead of the host, but I must say that the show did indeed help restore a bit of much-needed normalcy in my life, and for that I’m grateful. Oh, and Chris Blair is a heck of a host. 

While football is obviously the hot topic on Tiger fans’ minds right now, there is some baseball news to pass along as LSU has released its 2017 roster and schedule. Much like in football, the Tigers will field one of their most experienced baseball teams ever this season with the return of eight starting position players, including four who were drafted in the MLB draft but elected to return to LSU (senior left-handed pitcher Jared Poché, senior shortstop Kramer Robertson, senior second baseman Cole Freeman and junior first baseman Greg Deichmann). The Tigers also return some very talented pitchers including senior left-hander Poché, All-American junior right-hander Alex Lange and senior right-handed closer Hunter Newman, who led the Tigers with eight saves last season. Other returning veteran pitchers include senior right-handers Russell Reynolds, Collin Strall and Alden Cartwright, junior right-handers Doug Norman and Austin Bain, and sophomore right-handers Caleb Gilbert and Cole McKay. Mainieri said he is hopeful that Cartwright and redshirt freshman left-hander Nick Bush will be healthy this spring after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. 

This veteran-laden team will be bolstered by a highly regarded 2016 signing class of  13 newcomers, including four who were picked in the MLB draft but decided to play at LSU instead. For more on each of these signees, including brief bios, please click here

As for LSU’s 2017 baseball schedule, it’s a doozy. On it are 11 teams that advanced to NCAA regionals last season. “We’re going to play 22 games against teams that were in regionals last season, and that’s 40 percent of our schedule,” Mainieri explained. “Within that number, there are six Super Regional teams from last year and three that played in the College World Series. Of course, every weekend in the 30-game SEC schedule is grueling,  and we have some very attractive non-conference match-ups. I think our fans will enjoy watching us compete against some outstanding clubs throughout the year.” The non-conference schedule is highlighted by a trip to Houston’s Minute Maid Park for the Shriners Hospitals College Classic, as the Tigers will face TCU, Baylor and Texas Tech March 3-5. The Tigers open SEC play on March 17, when LSU plays host to Georgia in Game 1 of a three-game SEC series in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. 

Now let’s jump back to football and close out today’s report with our countdown to Game Day, which, believe it or not, has already reached single digits. That’s right, folks, LSU football season is only nine days away, and with that in mind today we’ll take a look at a special former Tiger who wore No. 9 – Devery Henderson. Henderson grew up in Opelousas, LA and starred at Opelousas High in football and in track and field. At LSU, Henderson remained a two-sport Athlete and was a member of LSU’s 2001 National Champion Indoor Track and Field team as well as the 2003 National Championship Football team. After beginning his LSU football days as a running back, Henderson transitioned to a wide receiver and ended his career by leading the SEC in single-season TD receptions with 11 in his senior year. Henderson was on the receiving end of one of the most memorable plays in school history when he hauled in a 75-yard TD pass from Marcus Randall as time expired to beat Kentucky in 2002. The play was dubbed “The Bluegrass Miracle” and was named the AP Play of the Year. You can relive the memory here by watching this video. After graduating from LSU, Henderson was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2004 NFL draft by the New Orleans where he remained until 2012. In 2009, Henderson had seven catches for 63 yards when the Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.

Lastly, please note that I will be updating our Ticket Exchange later today. If you have tickets for sale and would like me to add your listing, or if you have a listing that you would like me to remove, please let me know


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8/25/16 5:50 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

Last night, I had the pleasure of listening to the first Les Miles Radio Show of the season and really enjoyed the familiarity of it all. As I’ve done for the last several years, I’ll give you a brief recap of each week’s show this season, starting today. Here we go…

The first caller of the night was Sadie from Denton, Texas, and she asked Coach Miles to name a player on offense, defense and special teams to keep an eye on. Miles’ selections were running back Derrius Guice, linebacker Kendell Beckwith and kicker Connor Culp. What I found particularly interesting and encouraging were Miles’s comments on Culp when he said that during a recent scrimmage, in pouring down “sideways rain,” the freshmen kicker booted a kickoff way out of the end zone. After seeing how LSU struggled on kickoffs and kickoff coverage last season, that was great to hear.   

The second caller of the night was none other than previous Voice of the Tigers, Jim Hawthorne. After fielding questions about his experience in the recent flood, Hawthorne commended Chris Blair on the job he is doing and wished him the best of luck. He then said he’s looking forward to taking in the Wisconsin game from the comfort of his home and making it out to the Missouri game where there will be a little presentation he’s excited about.

Before taking the next caller, Miles and Blair talked a bit about the quarterback position. Miles said Harris has enough experience to know exactly what to do and what is expected of him, and that Danny Etling has achieved a certain comfort level. In summary, Miles said the team is much better at the position.

Next up on the phone lines was Richard from Colfax who asked whether Coach Miles’ team can “sustain” and make Tiger fans happy this year. Miles answered affirmatively and said he’s really excited about this team.

Rickey from Birmingham reminded everyone that during last year’s show before the A&M game he stated that rumors of Miles' demise were greatly exaggerated. He then asked Coach Miles about the intensity and attention to detail needed for a big road game like the one coming up in Wisconsin. Miles said the team’s intensity has been very good, adding that they’ve practiced hard and have prepared what seems to be a very capable game plan.

Next was a guy named Tate who asked about defensive coordinator Dave Aranda’s off-the-field personality and how he connects with the players. Miles described Aranda as a quality teacher who gives the “why” and explains things more fully than some other coaches, and said the players really like that.

In a bit of a change indicative of the times we live in, the next question was taken from a fan on Twitter who asked Miles to compare Travonté Valentine to a previous player. Miles said it’s hard to make a comparison since Valentine hasn’t yet taken a snap in a game, then added that Valentine has the ability to move very quickly for a man his size.

From the live audience, Margie asked about the linebackers and how they’re progressing. Miles described the group as one of the fastest units on the team. Beckwith and Duke Riley were named as starters in the middle, while the outside linebackers were said to be Arden Key (at the Buck position) and either Michael Divinity or Tashawn Bower (at the F position). Miles noted that the slowest of the aforementioned players runs a 4.6 forty.

Next up to the microphone was a longtime supporter and super fan, the Big Ragoo. He asked about the new replay system and how it’s going to operate. Miles said there will be three experts in a booth in Alabama that will be able to look at exactly what’s going on on the field. They won’t actually make calls (the ultimate decision will be left to the in-stadium replay official), but will be there to collaborate and confirm good decisions. Miles said he believes it will be a good thing for the game and that he can’t imagine any coach disagreeing.

Genie from New Orleans reiterated how LSU football means so much to the people of Louisiana and gives us something else to focus on and look forward to during these difficult times. Miles said his players recognize the importance in playing well and look forward to doing so.

On a related note, Gene from Bogalusa asked what the team will be doing moving forward to help victims of the flood who are in dire need. Miles started by saying LSU president King Alexander did a great job of making facilities available on campus for shelter, and that the school will continue to do what it can. He added that as for the football team, it’s quite an undertaking to play championship football, go to school and volunteer extra time, but that one thing they can do is help return a sense of normalcy when they take to the field each Saturday. Amen to that.

The last caller of the night was Josh from Vidalia who asked about the running game and whether we will see a reduction in the gap between Leonard Fournette’s carries (300 last year) and Guice’s carries (51 last year). Miles said he’s not ready to say he’ll give the ball to Fournette any less, but that Guice is a tremendous back and their running game will be fine.

All in all, it was an enjoyable show. For me, it was a bit different to take it in from my patio instead of from my now-gutted office where I’ve enjoyed just about every show for the last five years, and it was a little odd hearing Hawthorne as a caller instead of the host, but I must say that the show did indeed help restore a bit of much-needed normalcy in my life, and for that I’m grateful. Oh, and Chris Blair is a heck of a host. 

While football is obviously the hot topic on Tiger fans’ minds right now, there is some baseball news to pass along as LSU has released its 2017 roster and schedule. Much like in football, the Tigers will field one of their most experienced baseball teams ever this season with the return of eight starting position players, including four who were drafted in the MLB draft but elected to return to LSU (senior left-handed pitcher Jared Poché, senior shortstop Kramer Robertson, senior second baseman Cole Freeman and junior first baseman Greg Deichmann). The Tigers also return some very talented pitchers including senior left-hander Poché, All-American junior right-hander Alex Lange and senior right-handed closer Hunter Newman, who led the Tigers with eight saves last season. Other returning veteran pitchers include senior right-handers Russell Reynolds, Collin Strall and Alden Cartwright, junior right-handers Doug Norman and Austin Bain, and sophomore right-handers Caleb Gilbert and Cole McKay. Mainieri said he is hopeful that Cartwright and redshirt freshman left-hander Nick Bush will be healthy this spring after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. 

This veteran-laden team will be bolstered by a highly regarded 2016 signing class of  13 newcomers, including four who were picked in the MLB draft but decided to play at LSU instead. For more on each of these signees, including brief bios, please click here

As for LSU’s 2017 baseball schedule, it’s a doozy. On it are 11 teams that advanced to NCAA regionals last season. “We’re going to play 22 games against teams that were in regionals last season, and that’s 40 percent of our schedule,” Mainieri explained. “Within that number, there are six Super Regional teams from last year and three that played in the College World Series. Of course, every weekend in the 30-game SEC schedule is grueling,  and we have some very attractive non-conference match-ups. I think our fans will enjoy watching us compete against some outstanding clubs throughout the year.” The non-conference schedule is highlighted by a trip to Houston’s Minute Maid Park for the Shriners Hospitals College Classic, as the Tigers will face TCU, Baylor and Texas Tech March 3-5. The Tigers open SEC play on March 17, when LSU plays host to Georgia in Game 1 of a three-game SEC series in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. 

Now let’s jump back to football and close out today’s report with our countdown to Game Day, which, believe it or not, has already reached single digits. That’s right, folks, LSU football season is only nine days away, and with that in mind today we’ll take a look at a special former Tiger who wore No. 9 – Devery Henderson. Henderson grew up in Opelousas, LA and starred at Opelousas High in football and in track and field. At LSU, Henderson remained a two-sport Athlete and was a member of LSU’s 2001 National Champion Indoor Track and Field team as well as the 2003 National Championship Football team. After beginning his LSU football days as a running back, Henderson transitioned to a wide receiver and ended his career by leading the SEC in single-season TD receptions with 11 in his senior year. Henderson was on the receiving end of one of the most memorable plays in school history when he hauled in a 75-yard TD pass from Marcus Randall as time expired to beat Kentucky in 2002. The play was dubbed “The Bluegrass Miracle” and was named the AP Play of the Year. You can relive the memory here by watching this video. After graduating from LSU, Henderson was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2004 NFL draft by the New Orleans where he remained until 2012. In 2009, Henderson had seven catches for 63 yards when the Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.

Lastly, please note that I will be updating our Ticket Exchange later today. If you have tickets for sale and would like me to add your listing, or if you have a listing that you would like me to remove, please let me know

8/24/16 5:50 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

Coach Miles put his football team through its final “tackle scrimmage” of the preseason yesterday and called it an eventful outing in which they came out healthy. The team ran more than 100 plays, threw for 220 yards and rushed for another 288. Afterward, Les Miles met with the media and dished out some information, including the following key points:

• Quarterback Brandon Harris “had a nice day” and completed 12-15 passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns. 

• Miles also wished former LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings, who was just recently named the starter at UL-Lafayette, all the best in his future endeavors.

•  A couple of field golds were made by Colby Delahoussaye and Connor Culp. One for 30 yards and another for 37 yards.

• Jamal Adams had an interception and dropped a pick. Donté Jackson had a nice pick-six.  Miles described his secondary as physical ball hawks with great speed.

• Leonard Fournette (ankle) did not participate in the scrimmage but is expected to resume practicing Thursday.

• The Tigers not only “looked” at Wisconsin during the scrimmage, but "looked at some future opponents."

• Miles said wide receiver Travin Dural took part in the scrimmage, which was good to hear considering he missed the last scrimmage with a hand injury.

• Wide receiver DJ Chark once again drew praise. Miles said he doesn’t know if there’s a player on the team who has made as much of an advance as Chark has. 

•  Maea Teuhema, who has been recovering from an ankle injury, rotated with Toby Weathersby and KJ Malone at offensive tackle.

If you are eager to hear more of Coach Miles’s thoughts on his 2016 Tigers, you can tune in to tonight’s premiere of the Les Miles Show at 7 p.m. or simply return here tomorrow for my recap. I mentioned earlier that audio of all of LSU’s football games this year would be streamed for free on LSUSports.net’s Geaux Zone (in the past, listening to the stream required a Geaux Zone membership), but I forgot to tell you that the same applies to the Les Miles Show as it will be free to stream as well. 

Before going any further, I want to give you the results of our annual poll asking you to predict what LSU’s final regular season record will be. With over 10,000 votes cast, the winner was 10-2 with 41% of the vote. Coming in at second with 36% of the vote was 11-1, while a substantial 12% predicted LSU would go undefeated. These results, which indicate that nearly 90% of all participants predict LSU will lose no more than two games, show just how optimistic the LSU fanbase is about these Tigers. By comparison, in our polls conducted for each of the two previous seasons, the top vote getter was 9-3 and only 52% predicted the Tigers would lose no more than two contests.  

Clearly, there are several reasons to be extremely optimistic about this year’s team including a veteran, second-year starter at quarterback, 18 upperclassmen projected as returning starters, Dave Aranda as LSU’s defensive coordinator, a deeper defensive line, and arguably the most loaded defensive backfield in the country. But perhaps the biggest reason of all is the return of junior running back Leonard Fournette, who is not only considered by many to be the best player in college football and the Heisman front-runner, but is also a truly special representative of LSU both on and off the field. Yesterday Fournette was featured on ESPN’s Sports Center and gave a great interview in which he spoke about how football changed his life for the better, his relationship to Coach Miles, and the what went on the night before the Texas A&M game last year when the team decided they would go to war for their coach. You can see the full video here.   

Mentioning all the reasons to be optimistic about the upcoming season reminds me to inform you that I’ve updated our unofficial depth chart. Please note that this represents my opinion only and is based on everything I’ve heard and read as well as what little bit I saw of the team before practices were closed to the media. Once LSU releases its “official” depth chart, or when more information becomes available, I will update accordingly.

Before closing out with our countdown and a few tidbits, here’s a little news on the basketball front. Yesterday LSU announced the non-conference portion of its 2016-17 schedule. Here’s some info pulled from the press release sent out by LSU’s sports information department: LSU will play three home games prior to its previously announced trip to the Bahamas for the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Tigers will host Southern Miss on Nov. 15 and will face North Florida on Nov. 18 for the second straight year. Last year’s North Florida game proved to be one of the most entertaining games of the year as the Ospreys, known for their three-point shooting, made 19 treys and LSU rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit to score 71 second-half points to win, 119-108. At the Battle, LSU will open with an ESPN2 contest with Wichita State on Nov. 23 and will then play either Louisville or Old Dominion in a contest scheduled for Thanksgiving (Nov. 24). LSU’s final contest on Nov. 25 will be against one of four teams – Baylor, VCU, Michigan State or St. John’s.

The Tigers will play one more game on Nov. 29 against Houston in the Maravich Center in the second half of a home-and-home series, before the mandated break for final exams. When the schedule resumes, LSU will play four games in 10 days prior to Christmas, hosting NC Central (Dec. 13), Texas Southern (Dec. 17) and Charleston (Dec. 19 - the final game of a three-game contract) before finishing a home-and-home at ACC foe Wake Forest on Dec. 22. LSU’s one other non-conference game already announced is LSU’s trip to Texas Tech on Jan. 28 for the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The complete schedule, including the Southeastern Conference games, is expected to be announced in the coming days. 

Now, with only 10 days remaining until LSU football’s season-opener vs. Wisconsin in Lambeau Field, today we’ll continue our countdown by looking back at the school record for most career touchdowns by a tight end – 10 by both Richard Dickson and Brad Boyd. Many younger Tiger Fans probably don’t remember Brad Boyd, who starred at LSU from 1972 to 1974, but Boyd put up one of the most impressive career stats of any LSU tight end back in an era where LSU was more run-oriented than they are today. With an LSU offense that had a run-pass ratio of 71.1%-to-28.9% in 1972, Boyd was one of the main receiving weapons with 22 receptions, 298 receiving yards and five touchdowns for a team that finished 9-2-1. Boyd led all receivers in 1973 (16 receptions, 259 receiving yards and three touchdowns) and 1974 (18-275-2) as the Tigers finished 9-3 and 5-5-1, respectively. Besides the school-tying record of 10 career receiving touchdowns by a tight end, Boyd’s 832 receiving yards are among the highest of all tight ends in school history. Richard Dickson (2006-2009) also had one of the greatest receiving careers for all LSU tight ends, finishing his career with 90 receptions, 952 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. His 2007 performance (32-375-5) was a vital part of LSU’s offense, which averaged a school record 38.6 points per game. His two touchdowns in the Tigers’ 38-24 victory over Ohio State in the 2008 BCS National Championship are still being shown on many highlight videos today. 

Unfortunately, Tiger offenses have underutilized tight ends in recent years. Last season, Colin Jeter had 132 receiving yards and accounted for LSU’s only touchdown by a tight end. In 2014, LSU’s only receiving touchdown by a tight end came from Logan Stokes, although it was a huge one in LSU’s 10-7 victory over No. 3 Ole Miss. Travis Dickson, Richard’s younger brother, led all tight ends in 2014 with just 60 receiving yards on seven receptions. For the Tigers to challenge defenses who are talented enough to stuff the run, more variety in play selection will be needed. Check downs to running backs in the flat and short-to-intermediate throws to the tight ends will definitely go a long way toward LSU’s success against the upper-echelon teams of the SEC. 

In closing, I regret to inform you that we will not conduct our Louisiana High School Pickem contest this year. My wife, Heather, is the one who always administered the contest by entering the schedules and the scores each Friday and Saturday night, but she has her hands full with familial obligations which were only exacerbated by the recent flooding of her parents’ home. I hope you understand. I will create a page displaying the Tweets of the those who post final scores so that you can still use this site as a one-stop shop for your Tiger news and Louisiana high school football scores.

8/23/16 5:55 am CST

Good morning Tiger Fans,

Let’s start today’s “daily dose” with some great news regarding defensive lineman Travonté Valentine. According to multiple reports, Valentine has passed his intersession course after taking his final exam on Sunday and will be eligible to play this season. As we’ve noted on this site a few times since he’s arrived on campus, Valentine has been practicing very well, drawing praise from coach Miles and others who have watched practice like Associate AD and Communications Director Michael Bonnette. Valentine continues taking some first-team reps at nose tackle, along with Greg Gilmore, and their performances thus far have allowed the staff to move Davon Godchaux from nose tackle to defensive end. As Mike Detillier said in our last Q&A, Valentine could be a difference-maker. While I agree with that statement, I think that might be putting it lightly. Valentine is a big-time player whose presence not only gives LSU an ideal “big-bodied“ nose tackle but also extends LSU’s depth at a position that took a hit this preseason when Christian LaCouture suffered a season-ending injury. Despite LaCouture’s injury, I think having Valentine and freshmen Rashard Lawrence, Ed Alexander and Glen Logan to go along with veterans Lewis Neal, Freank Herron and Godchaux could make the defensive line the most improved position on this year’s team. And that’s without even mentioning veterans Arden Key and Tashawn Bower who will play outside linebacker in LSU’s base defense but will often line up with their hands in the dirt.

There’s also some news to pass along on the other side of scrimmage as offensive lineman George Brown Jr. is transferring from LSU. The redshirt freshman’s father, George Brown Sr., reportedly told The Advocate that his son isn’t mad at LSU and that they love coach Miles and the staff. Brown Jr. just felt LSU wasn’t the place for him. With a fairly deep offensive line, Brown Jr. was listed as fourth on the depth chart at right tackle, which was likely what this is all about. I know I speak for Tiger Fans everywhere when I wish the young man all the best in the future. 

In other football news, ESPN’s All-SEC team was announced yesterday, and five Tigers made the list. These include running back Leonard Fournette, center Ethan Pocic, offensive guard Will Clapp, cornerback TréDavious White and safety Jamal Adams. Here’s the complete first team All-SEC list. ESPN also announced its preseason All-American team, and not surprisingly, Leonard Fournette made the list.

Before going any further, I’d like to thank all of you who have already voted in our poll asking you to predict LSU’s final regular season football record this season. So far, the voting is awfully close, so we will keep it open another day or two and see how it plays out. If you haven’t already done so, please click here to vote.

In mentioning LSU’s preseason ranking of No. 5 in both the AP and ESPN polls yesterday, I forgot to mention the SEC has the most ranked teams (6) entering the season for the 12th straight season. Honestly, I’m surprised there are not more ranked SEC teams in the polls as I think Arkansas, Texas A&M and Auburn all have great chances of finishing the season ranked in the Top 25. With Alabama (No. 1), LSU and Ole Miss (No. 11) among the top 11 teams, the SEC West is clearly once again the toughest division in the nation.

On a related note, Fox Sports College Football analyst Bruce Feldman gave his 2016 SEC predictions yesterday and picked LSU to win the West. Feldman also has the Tigers winning the SEC Championship over Tennessee and finishing with a record of 11-1 (7-1 SEC). In this article, Feldman mentions the upgrade at defensive coordinator with Dave Aranda at the helm, a more experienced Brandon Harris at quarterback and bigger defensive and offensive lines as the main reasons he believes the Tigers will beat Alabama and win the SEC Title in 2016.

While on the topic of SEC Championships and with only 11 days remaining until LSU’s season-opener vs. Wisconsin in Lambeau Field, today we’ll continue our countdown by looking back at  LSU’s 11 SEC Championship seasons. Head Coach Bernie Moore, who compiled an 83-39-6 (.672) record at LSU, led the Tigers to their first two SEC titles in 1935 (9-2, 5-0) and 1936 (9-1-1, 6-0). Twenty-one seasons would pass before the Tigers would enjoy their third SEC title. Under head coach Paul Dietzel, LSU not only won the SEC title but won their first National Championship in 1958. Dietzel added a second SEC title to his résumé in his final season at LSU in 1961. His successor, Charles McClendon, who is LSU’s all-time winningest coach at 137-59-7 (.692), won his only SEC title in a 1970 season that included impressive victories over at Auburn (17-9) and at Alabama (14-9). LSU would go 16 long years before Bill Arnsparger would bring another SEC Title in 1986. In 1988, Arnsparger’s successor, Mike Archer, would give the Tigers a second title in three years. LSU would suffer eight losing seasons in an 11-year period (1989-1999) before Nick Saban would resurrect the program. In just Saban’s second season, the Tigers, behind an explosive offense that averaged 32.2 points per game, won the title in a 31-20 upset over No. 2 Tennessee in the 2001 SEC Championship game. The Tigers’ ninth SEC title came in 2003 and culminated with the school’s second national championship. Current head coach Les Miles, who is 112-32 (.778) entering his 12th season, led LSU to its 10thSEC title and third national championship in 2007 with a thrilling 21-14 victory over Tennessee. Although the LSU’s 2011 SEC title team failed to win the national championship game, the Tigers put in arguably their most dominating SEC season in school history, winning seven of their nine SEC contests by 24 or more points. With 17 returning starters in 2016, there’s a great chance for LSU to win its 12th league title this year.

One more interesting fact: In LSU’s 11 SEC title seasons, the Tigers are 8-0 vs. Alabama. The Tigers didn’t play against the Crimson Tide in 1935, 1936 or 1961.

Today’s closing tidbits:

• Brian Broussard, Associate AD of Ticket Sales & Operations at LSU, has announced that over 10,000 season ticket packages were mailed out last night via USPS or FedEx. Broussard did ask for patience as these carriers are just getting back up to speed in the Baton Rouge area after the flooding a little over a week ago.

• Vice Chancellor and Athletic Director Joe Alleva issued this letter to fans yesterday covering topics that included overcoming the recent adversity south Louisianans have faced from the historic flooding, congratulating the 15 current and former LSU student-athletes who participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and providing a new clear bag policy that is being implemented to strengthen security and provide a safe Game Day environment. I encourage all fans traveling to Baton Rouge this year to view the policy in advance of attending home games.

• Here are two heart-warming articles on great works – one about the LSU baseball team and another about former LSU baseball standout and current Cardinal’s minor-leaguer Mason Katz.

 

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