BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU reportedly has hired Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
A lot of the focus has been on how the new coordinator would jell with LSU’s current players and committed recruits. And that’s completely justified. Whenever a new coach comes in, the first question that needs to be asked is whether the players are going to buy in.
But one thing that isn’t really discussed is who, if anyone, that coach might bring with him. From recruits to position coaches to graduate assistants to analysts, certain coaches like to be surrounded by their people. So, who might come to Baton Rouge with Canada?
From a coaching perspective, the answer is probably no one. Canada has a transient history — Pittsburgh is his fifth job since 2010 — and therefore doesn’t have long-established relationships with anyone on Pitt’s staff. In fact, going through the bio pages for all of Pitt’s offensive assistants, GAs and analysts, it doesn’t look like anyone has worked with Canada for longer than this season.
Thanks to his history of moving around, Canada shouldn’t have a difficult time implementing his system with a group of coaches he’s never worked with. It won’t be easy, but he did it this season and led Pitt to a top-10 offense.
As for recruits, it wouldn’t be shocking to see a few Pittsburgh commits or targets receive LSU offers now. That said, it’s kind of hard to know who because Canada isn’t listed as the primary recruiter for any of Pittsburgh’s offensive commits or priority targets.
Mike Vukovcan of Pittsburgh Sports Now talked to a few of Pitt’s priority recruits about Canada’s situation. None seemed to indicate they would be interested in following Canada. Canada and Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi visited 3-star quarterback Kenny Pickett last weekend. Pickett described the visit as great and reaffirmed his 100 percent allegiance to Pitt.
For what it’s worth, only one Pitt offensive commit or primary target actually has an offer from LSU on the table: 2-star tight end and defensive end Tyler Sear. He’s not exactly Tua Tagovailoa, but LSU offered him this month, according to 247 Sports. To say he’s destined for LSU would be making a connection that isn’t there, but he has an offer.
Point is, it’s hard to know what kind of entourage Canada might bring with him.
Facts about Canada, and also Matt Canada
You might want to brush up on Canada’s history. Here’s a list of a few facts about Matt Canada and also a few facts about the country Canada. Because why not?
- Canada has worked as the offensive coordinator at six schools: Butler, Northern Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, NC State and Pittsburgh.
- It’s estimated there are more lakes in Canada than in all other countries combined.
- In 2011, Canada’s Northern Illinois offense ranked No. 12 nationally in points per game and No. 11 nationally in yardage per game.
- 62 percent of the world’s polar bears live in Canada.
- Since 2008, Canada’s offenses have averaged ranking as the No. 49 rushing offense and No. 67 passing offense in the country.
- One-tenth of the world’s forests are in Canada.
- The longest that Canada has worked at one school consecutively is seven years.
- According to IMDB, the most popular Canadian in show business is Vikings actress Katheryn Winnick. Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds, Jim Carrey, Rachel McAdams and Mike Myers might beg to differ.
Here’s hoping you learned something.
Three things: LSU basketball edition
The LSU basketball team played a game on Tuesday night. It won, but the performance was not impressive. Here are some thoughts.
Thing 1: LSU needs to take advantage of its opportunities
I don’t even know how this is possible, but LSU had 17 offensive rebounds on Tuesday night and turned that into 13 second-chance points. You almost have to try to miss that many short-range putbacks.
Thing 2: Jalyn Patterson is better than Skylar Mays now
Patterson was sick on Tuesday night, so Mays played more minutes at point guard than Patterson. But when Patterson played the point, LSU thrived. With Patterson on the court, LSU outscored NC Central by 13 points. With Mays, on the other hand, LSU was outscored by 9 points.
Thing 3: Craig Victor had a confusingly rough night
This point probably goes hand in hand with Thing 1, but power forward Victor put up a bizarre stat line Tuesday. He scored 8 points and corralled 11 rebounds, but he shot 3 of 12 from the field and had more turnovers (2) than assists (1). If some of Victor’s should’ve-been-gimmes fell, this game barely would’ve been a contest.
Is LSU football going to start practicing any time soon?
Oh, wow, that was a blunt question. But, yes. The answer is yes. Thursday, in fact. Here’s a rundown of the LSU football team’s practice schedule through Christmas Day.
- Thursday, Dec. 15 Practice (McClendon Practice Facility)
• Open to media at 3:40 p.m. for about 30 minutes
• Coach Ed Orgeron available after practice at about 4:50 p.m. (Team Room)
- Friday, Dec. 16 Practice (McClendon Practice Facility)
• Players available BEFORE practice at 12:30 p.m. (Indoor Facility)
• Open to media at 4:10 p.m. for about 30 minutes
- Saturday, Dec. 17 Practice (McClendon Practice Facility)
• Open to media at 4:05 p.m. for about 30 minutes
• No interviews
- Sunday, Dec. 18 LSU Senior Banquet (Raising Cane’s RiverCenter)
• 7 p.m.
- Monday, Dec. 19 Practice (McClendon Practice Facility)
- Tuesday, Dec. 20 Practice (McClendon Practice Facility)
- Wednesday, Dec. 21 Practice (McClendon Practice Facility)
- Thursday, Dec. 22 Practice (McClendon Practice Facility)
- Dec 23-25 Christmas break
Caption contest results
Every Tuesday in the Bayou Bengal Briefing, I run a caption contest to see which reader is the most clever. On Tuesday, I posted the following photo from Derrius Guice’s Twitter page and asked you to caption it.
More than 50 of you played along on our Facebook page. Here are some of my favorite responses:
“Look how full my stomach is after eating up that defensive line!” — Jerry Jones
“See how much more comfortable these fruit of the loom are?!….maaaaaaan let’s do this!” — Richard Chan
“Les Miles used to eat grass!! I wonder how good this is??” — Jeff Bihm
“This jersey is too long, it should stop right here.” — John Alexander
“Shouldn’t this say ‘#1’?” — Lillian Fournet Brown
“A 5? They told me it was a Roman “S” for Superman.” — Billy Martin
“Fournette was just my opening act.” — Scott Lovett
And, my personal favorite …
“Dammit Riley!! Why you always photo bombing with your butt, when I’m trying to show off my abs???” — Kristi Marrs
Thank you to everyone who played along with the caption contest this week. Be sure to check back to the Bayou Bengal Briefing every week for more caption contests.
In cryptic LSU football player tweets news…
Senior defensive tackle Christian LaCouture sat out all of 2016 with an injury. He took part in Senior Day festivities. For the longest time, it looked like his college career was over.
But then it started to look like he might accept a redshirt and a fifth season. For a week or two, it’s seemed like a 50/50 proposition. Then on Tuesday, he tweeted two pictures of hourglasses, only to delete the tweet later in the night.
As a neurotic Twitter user, I have so many questions any time someone deletes a tweet, especially when the only images in the tweet are emojis. But in this situation, I have so many more. Like, is there significance to the fact that time seemed to be running out across the hourglasses? Or does the dual symmetry of the two emojis symbolize how torn you are?
Is time running out? Have you already made your decision and you’re waiting for the right time to announce? There are so many possibilities, not the least of which that the tweet is completely unrelated to his decision. But I’m going to sit here and ponder existence for another hour just because of one tweet.
I might have a problem.
This week in made-up holidays
According to the fine folks over at NationalDayCalendar.com, Wednesday marks the first day of the two weeks of the “Halcyon Days,” meaning we’re seven days from the Winter Solstice.
As any scholar of Greek mythology will demean you for not already knowing, the term “Halcyon Days” comes from the story of Alcyone, a woman who in despair after the death of her husband threw herself into the ocean. Delighted by her act of love, the gods turned Alcyone and her husband into halcyon birds, or kingfishers.
Later, Alcyone tried to make nest on a shore by the ocean. The storm winds threatened bird Alcyone’s nest, but Aeolus, Greek god of wind and also apparently Alcyone’s mother, diverted the wind for seven days. Now, every year, we celebrate these seven days before and after the solstice as calm, storm-free weeks.
Of course, that’s not where you know the term from. The term “Halcyon Days” has come to mean a period of calm nostalgia. And, as a proud millennial, I’m all about nostalgia.
So today, let’s be nostalgic about the past days of calm. In particular, let’s remember a time when the LSU football team wasn’t the subject of scrutiny and breaking news 24 hours a day. You know, the calm days when LSU had a coaching staff and a full roster of players and recruits committed. The days when my job was a little easier.
So, like, the days between the Mississippi State game and the Auburn game. Remember that? Man, those were the Halcyon Days.
Try to think about your Halcyon Days during the next few weeks. And, if you see a bird trying to build a nest this month, use your mystical god powers to divert the wind because the bird might just be a grieving widow.
Wow, that’s a weird moral. Greek mythology is strange.