LSU better be prepared for Ole Miss

Peter Silas Pasqua
Peter Silas Pasqua is the sports editor for the Gonzales Weekly Citizen. He can be reached at sports@weeklycitizen.com

LSU’s loss to Alabama two weeks ago guaranteed the Tigers they would not be playing for any kind of championship this season: BCS National Championship or SEC Championship.

Now after a lackluster, at the least, performance against Louisiana Tech at home in Tiger Stadium for homecoming in which the mighty Bulldogs, no less, from Ruston held a half-time lead, LSU may actually still have a chance to finish in the top 5 and earn a berth in the Capital One or Cotton Bowl.

Many are writing it off that one or the other will pick LSU but that can only be if the Tigers win. A best case scenario for the learning institute with a football problem would be for its team to defeat Ole Miss and Arkansas, teams they loss to a year ago, in their final two regular season games with an opportunity to play in sunny Florida for the New Year. Split and it is likely Dallas and the Cotton Bowl in Jerry Jones’ new stadium. Lose both, that can’t happen, and it is probably back to the Chick-fil-A Bowl or maybe worse, the Independence Bowl.

That is just not good enough. LSU’s football program is too  high in the upper echelon  of the national scale to stoop to the either of the latter two postseason contests. The Tigers have their work cut out for them.

Ole Miss is finally playing like what many thought they would be in the preseason when they ranked in the top 10 with LSU after a 42-17 shellacking of Tennessee. Running back Dexter McCluster rushed for a school record 282 yards, the 11th highest total in SEC history over the Vols and the Rebels will no less celebrate the anniversary of their only National Championship when the Tigers stroll into Oxford.

Remember, Billy Cannon’s Halloween punt return for a touchdown against Ole Miss was the year after LSU won what seemed like it would be their  only title for so long. The Rebels lost the ghouls and goblins’ game but found sweetness in a rematch in the Sugar Bowl to claim the title.

Of course, LSU has hoisted the hardware twice in the past five years but it took 45 years before the previous. I hope it doesn’t take that long again.

The Tigers haven’t beaten Arkansas in two years, including at home the season when they won the National Championship and the Razorbacks smothered Troy 56-20 a week ago, the team that held LSU by the whiskers with a 30-3 halftime lead a year ago.

Outside of Auburn, LSU has just gotten by this entire season and quite frankly for the past two years, they have been frustrating to watch.

At the other end of the spectrum is a three-game losing streak to end the season and another 8-5 season. Then LSU will have officially returned to mediocre.

“I think the intensity will be different when we take the field this weekend,” LSU?head coach Les Miles said this week.

They better come prepared Saturday afternoon in the Groove and make sure they have  “turned it on.” Championship teams never turn off their motor because they might get left behind.