SIDELINE PATROL: Beware of Huskies
A couple of days ago, I was looking back through a photo album from my college years. The freshmen 30 came and went and soon I was perched in an oak tree I?had climbed. Then there was a chicken run in Mamou and an interview with John “Hot Rod” Williams on the basketball courts in Sorrento.
Before long, my brother graduated and sitting President George W. Bush gave his commencement address. Then came a shrimp po-boy at Walk Ons and that is when I noticed him. In the background of that picture on the patio that spring day sat Mark Emmert.
Emmert was the chancellor of LSU at the time but it wasn’t long before he and the football coach he hired at LSU, Nick Saban, bolted for something they thought was better. Sometimes referenced as “Jerry Jones” the Dallas Cowboys high-maintenance owner because of his hands-on approach to athletics, Emmert left for his alma mater, the University of Washington and we all know the story of Saban so I will spare you.
Now Emmert has hired former USC offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian after the Huskies went 0-12 a year ago. Emmert expects great things.
A few weeks ago one of my homeboys that I played backyard football, baseball and basketball with in my youth, asked me why I have dissed LSU?football in my column.
I really didn’t have an answer. All I told him was I write however I feel at that exact time and during an 8-5 season it was hard to think positive after so many recent 10-win seasons.
I?have always believed college athletics, especially football, is too big of a business with too much money involved to sugar coat it and when things aren’t going the Tigers’ way, we shouldn’t pretend like everything is fine and dandy.
The truth is that for the most part, LSU will send the same team out to the playing surface when they play Washington Saturday night on ESPN at 9:30 p.m. as they did most of last year. Of course, now we are pretty certain Jordan Jefferson will be the starting quarterback but LSU will platoon the same running backs as last year. Their defense will also look much the same with the exception of the front which was probably its strength.
One thing that I have learned covering sports is you have to have good players to be successful and they have to become accustomed to winning. If LSU doesn't find success early, the Tigers could be in for another long grind.
I remember playing on the fifth-grade football team that brought back football to St. Theresa in 1990 after a short absence. I joked with my nanny and said we had a perfect record, 0-7. A few years later in high school after I?transferred to Gonzales Middle, I found out that team did finish with a perfect record and won a championship. They believed they could win.