The truth hurts for LSU in rivalry with Alabama
In Louisiana, there are a lot of football fans and perhaps some inside the LSU football building who are angry with former NFL cornerback Patrick Surtain.
His son, Patrick Jr., the nation’s top cornerback in the class of 2018, signed with Alabama on Wednesday.
The elder Surtain played his high school football at Edna Karr in New Orleans. LSU believed his son would come “home” to play college ball.
Instead, Junior’s actions and words at his press conference stung.
“They win championships,” he said of Alabama.
As difficult as those words were to swallow in Louisiana, they were true.
Nick Saban has built a dynasty in Tuscaloosa, and it will be tough to topple.
What LSU needs to do is something they haven’t since November of 2011.
On the field for the overtime in a 9-6 win LSU overtime win over Tuscaloosa, I surveyed the crowd of dismayed Crimson Tide supporters. The shock was palpable.
But it didn’t last. Alabama won the rematch two months later in the BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans, and Saban’s squads have taken the six meetings since.
The only way for LSU to change perception, and this series, is to win.
It will be difficult. The Tigers have many holes to fill before November’s meeting in Baton Rouge.
Alabama has a solid nucleus returning, including quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the freshman gunslinger who led the Tide’s comeback in the second half of the College Football Playoff Championship against Georgia.
LSU’s 2018 schedule is, pardon the pun, a real bear.
The Tigers have Miami in Arlington, Texas, for their opener on Sept. 2 before hosting Alabama and Georgia. Ed Orgeron’s team also must play at Auburn and Florida.
Alabama’s schedule is far cushier.
When it comes to program perception, you can’t argue with results. In this year’s college football playoff games, Alabama throttled Clemson and played a great second half to overcome Georgia.
“They win championships.”
Can’t blame Patrick Surtain Jr. for telling the truth.
On a local TV show the same night, Karr head coach Brice Brown had an interesting take.
“They (LSU) should have signed him early (in December),” said Brown. If Frank Wilson (former LSU recruiting coordinator) were still here, it would have happened.”
So, it is on to the spring, then the fall, and to luring the class of 2019 in Louisiana.
It is one of the best classes in the state in several years, and Alabama will no doubt be trying to poach.
When Alabama is on a roll, they have success in our state.
Two of Louisiana best quarterbacks in the 1970s, Bogalusa’s Terry Davis and Bonnabel’s Tommy Wilcox, chose to play for Bear Bryant.
In the past few years, the Tide has claimed wide receiver DeVonta Smith of Amite – who caught the winning touchdown pass in overtime against Georgia – and offensive tackle Cam Robinson of West Monroe.
For those clad in purple in gold, it is a bad look when a Louisianian dons a crimson hat in front of the cameras.
Hey, that’s life when you deal with a bully in the SEC West.
The only way to change it is by employing a word used often by former LSU head coach Les Miles.
“Victory,” said Miles.
And it has been way too long since the last one over the Tide for the Tigers.
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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…