Dark times for LSU football not likely to be permanent
Even with diminished seating, there’s far less of a demand for Alabama-LSU tickets this year.
This is Alabama’s year. Last year, was LSU’s.
There are no secrets. In 2019, the Tigers had the horses including a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback to go to Tuscaloosa and win convincingly.
This season, the Crimson Tide could have at least five and perhaps even six first round selections.
Cornerback Patrick Surtain, offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood, linebacker Dylan Moses, quarterback Mac Jones and a pair of wide receivers – Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle – are projected as first round selections in some mock drafts.
LSU had two first round selections this season but both opted out. Wide receiver JaMarr Chase did so before the season and fellow wide out Terrace Marshall did so after the Texas A&M game.
Of the 22 starters for LSU in last year’s Alabama game, only four are back. The Tigers also lost starting quarterback Myles Brennan for the season due to injury.
In three starts, Brennan had thrown 11 touchdown passes and for 1,112 yards, both highs for an LSU quarterback after three starts.
However, if the Tigers had a healthy Brennan and all of the opt outs had remained, the Tigers would have still faced an uphill climb against Alabama.
So, if 29.5 point favorite Alabama wins big Saturday night, the naysayers will be out like Louisiana cockroaches, predicting the demise of the LSU football program.
Last year’s win in Tuscaloosa, they will say, is a one off. They’ll compare it to a meteor shower in the Southeast, the rarest of occurrences.
However, there are a few things that can stifle the LSU football program but Alabama isn’t one of them.
LSU initiated a self-imposed ban of eight football scholarships over two years after a booster allegedly funneled $180,000 to the father of a player for a no-show job. The infraction allegedly occurred with a player recruited by former head coach Les Miles.
However, the NCAA can still impose stricter penalties.
On top of that, the University has hired a law firm to investigate allegations that school officials were lax in handling cases of sexual assault and physical abuse involving football players.
If either one of these cases mushrooms, the football program could take a serious hit.
If not, Ed Orgeron will be just fine, once again doing what he does best.
And that is recruit.
LSU’s 2021 class to date is ranked third in the 24/7 team rankings behind Alabama and Ohio State.
As an added bonus, LSU could suddenly be awash in quality quarterbacks.
Brennan along with true freshmen TJ Finley and Max Johnson are expected to return. Highly-regarded Texas high school quarterback Garrett Nussmeier is a commit for 2021.
So, the purple and gold football sky isn’t falling, even if it might look like it this Saturday night in Baton Rouge.
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WGNO Sports Director/106.1 FM
Ed is a New Orleans native, born at Baptist Hospital. He graduated Rummel High School, class of 1975, and subsequently graduated from Loyola University. Ed started in TV in 1977 as first sports intern at WVUE Channel 8. He became Sports Director at KPLC TV Channel 7 in Lake Charles in 1980. In 1982 he was hired as sports reporter…