BATON ROUGE, La. — Thank you, LSU football fans. Thank you for attending the funeral for the rumors connecting Lane Kiffin to LSU. Take your seats so I can begin the eulogy.
Now, as you know, Kiffin will not be coming to LSU. He’s all but been announced as the next head coach at Florida Atlantic. But the lingering rumors that Kiffin would join his friend, Ed Orgeron, at LSU as an offensive coordinator will stay with us forever.
They were with us back when Orgeron took over for Les Miles as the LSU football coach. They were with us as Orgeron and Kiffin prepared to face off against one another in October. The rumors kept going through the day Orgeron was promoted and despite Kiffin’s supposed connections to head coaching jobs at Houston, Oregon and South Florida.
But they’re gone. And now all we can do is remember the good times.
Like when everyone freaked out because LSU offered a scholarship to 5-star quarterback and Alabama commit Tua Tagovailoa. Remember that? Remember how it looked like that was a pull to entice Kiffin, if only for a moment? That was fun.
Or how about the time that Clay Travis suggested that the LSU football program should hire Kiffin as a head coach instead of Orgeron? That was a hoot. That really riled up the Internet for a bit.
Because that’s what our memories of this bizarre saga should be. We shouldn’t wonder what could’ve been or what might’ve happened. We should savor the lunacy. Because, at the end of this whole process, the best part of the situation was that it allowed us to use our imaginations, but never get down when things didn’t live up.
Like, we all got to imagine what it would be like to see Kiffin return to both Bryant-Denny Stadium and Neyland Stadium next season. But we didn’t actually have to see Nick Saban ice Kiffin out, then use all of his knowledge of Kiffin’s plans against him. And we were given the opportunity to imagine Kiffin giving Derrius Guice the ball 30 times a game like he did with Derrick Henry in 2015, but we didn’t have to see Guice get worn out by the inevitable pounding.
Look. I know it’s a bit disappointing right now that Orgeron is known as a recruiting expert and he couldn’t get his No. 1 guy. But that doesn’t mean he won’t find the right fit. And even if he doesn’t, that’s what position coaches are for.
So, let’s not feel sad that the Kiffin rumors are gone. Let’s cherish the rumors we get to remember. And in three years when Kiffin is bored with FAU, maybe we’ll open the casket and do this all over again.
Your weekly LSU football poll results
You know that scene in the first season of Arrested Development where Michael Bluth sees a paper bag with the inscription “DEAD DOVE Do Not Eat!” on it and he opens it and there’s a dead dove inside and he says, “I don’t know what I expected.”
That’s how I am with this week’s LSU football poll question.
In Bayou Bengal Briefing on Monday, I asked you how you thought Louisville quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson would fare against the LSU defense. And, given that this column is written for LSU fans, I don’t know what I expected.
Out of the more than 160 of you who voted, 70 percent of you predicted that Jackson will be held under his season averages in both rushing yards and passing yards. (Disclaimer: This has happened one time this season, in Louisville’s loss to Houston.)
In the next-highest faction, 14 percent of fans voted that they think he’ll throw for his season average of 282.5 yards or more, but he’ll be held below his rushing average of 128.8 yards. Twelve percent of fans voted on the opposite opinion, predicting that DBU will keep Jackson in check, but he’ll be able to run rampant.
And then there was a brave 4 percent of fans who expect Jackson to go off on LSU, reaching or surpassing his season averages in both rushing and passing. (Disclaimer 2: This has happened twice in 2016, against Syracuse and Clemson.)
Thank you to everyone who voted Monday. Be sure to follow along with the Bayou Bengal Briefing for future polls about LSU football, and sometimes Heisman Trophy winners.
Three things: Lowell Narcisse de-commits from LSU
On Monday, in “run around like your hair is on fire” news, 4-star dual-threat quarterback Lowell Narcisse de-committed from LSU. Should LSU football fans be panicking or stay cool?
I have thoughts:
Thing 1: No, you should not be panicking
Narcisse is a good quarterback prospect, and it’s easy to get invested in the well-being of recruits who have been committed for a good while. But at the end of the day, he’s still an unexplored commodity. There’s no rationale to believe that LSU is losing a sure-fire All-American. The Tigers are losing a lot of potential, but potential isn’t the currency in college football. Production is.
Thing 2: OK, maybe you should be panicking
That said, it is strange that Narcisse decided to de-commit right after he took an official visit to LSU. Either something happened that dissuaded him from coming to Baton Rouge or he isn’t interested in the way Orgeron’s staff and era looks like it’s headed. Either way, the timing is dubious for LSU fans.
Thing 3: Yeah, you should panic a little bit
Narcisse plans on being an early enrollee, meaning he only has a couple of weeks to make his decision instead of two months. And last weekend when Narcisse took his official visit was LSU’s best chance to sway him. I’m sure there will be contact between the two parties. But given that we just entered into a dead period for recruiting, there might not be. And Narcisse might be making his decision blind. Which is not what LSU fans want.
News happens fast. Sometimes you miss things. That’s fine. Here’s a catchup, in case you missed it:
- SEC Country’s own Alex Hickey broke down the three main non-Lane Kiffin candidates to be LSU’s next offensive coordinator.
- Ethan Pocic was voted a first-team All-American by the FWAA.
- History shows that LSU doesn’t need to make a splash at OC to find success, writes Glenn Guilbeau.
- 3-star linebacker Monty Rice committed to LSU for the Class of 2017.
- Senior defensive end Lewis Neal did something no one else ever has. It’s cool.
Look at the twirls and flips and twists!
On Monday, the LSU gymnastics team held its “Gymnastics 101” event, a season preview of sorts where fans could get a glimpse of what the 2017 squad has to offer. I was there and wrote this about it.
But, just for some eye candy, here are two of my favorite videos from the night that you can watch and marvel in amazement at the athletic majesty that is upper-level collegiate gymnastics.
— Nick Suss (@nicksuss) December 13, 2016
— Nick Suss (@nicksuss) December 13, 2016
Today in made-up holidays
According to the fine folks at NationalDayCalendar.com, today is the National Day of the Horse. And apparently this is like a congressional thing or something. This holiday isn’t really all that made up; the U.S. Senate voted this into law back in 2004.
So, how should we celebrate the National Day of the Horse? By talking about the LSU football team’s workhorses, of course. Here’s a list of the 10 LSU running backs with the most carries in a single season:
- Charles Alexander (1977): 311 attempts
- Leonard Fournette (2015): 300 attempts
- Charles Alexander (1978): 281 attempts
- Dalton Hilliard (1985): 258 attempts
- Dalton Hilliard (1984): 254 attempts
- Stevan Ridley (2010): 249 attempts
- Kevin Faulk (1996): 248 attempts
- Art Cantrelle (1970): 247 attempts
- LaBrandon Toefield (2001): 230 attempts
- Kevin Faulk (1998): 229 attempts
So, what are the chances that Guice cracks this top 10 list as a workhorse in 2017? Well, that’s not too difficult of a question to answer.
In 2016, Guice carried 157 times in 11 games. In the four games he started with Fournette injured, Guice carried 22.5 times per game. Assuming LSU plays a 13-game schedule, meaning 12 regular-season games and a bowl, that rate would work out to 292 carries in a season, placing Guice third on the list.
Is this how it’s going to be? Probably not. LSU is trying to get away from the pound-and-pound offense it favored under Les Miles and Cam Cameron. But if Guice is willing and able, he should have no problem making it to at least ninth on this list.
LSU football caption contest
Speaking of Guice, how about we turn to him for the Caption Contest this week?
As you know, every Tuesday here in the Bayou Bengal Briefing I provide you with a photo and ask you to put your own caption in it. The entry for this week comes with a little twist. You’re competing against Guice himself.
The following tweet is one that Guice posted of himself last week. He tweeted it with the caption: “When you make 1st and 2nd team All SEC!”
When you make 1st & 2nd Team All SEC?? pic.twitter.com/Wi0FOoWdiJ
— 5⃣ (@DhaSickest) December 6, 2016
But I think you can do better. At the bottom of this article, or on our LSU Insiders Facebook page, contribute your comment for the contest. The best handful of submissions will be featured along with your name in the Bayou Bengal Briefing on Wednesday. And remember to be creative. I don’t take comments if multiple people use them.
Have fun and good luck!