BATON ROUGE, La. — OK, LSU football fans. One thing you need to know about me is that I take song parodies very seriously.
After the LSU football team hired Matt Canada to be its offensive coordinator on Wednesday, there was an in flux of jokers and wannabe pun artists who tried to come up with ways to force the phrase “O Canada” into their stories and tweets and, apparently, billboards.
You get it? Because that’s the name of Canada’s national anthem! And it’s funny! We can all make jokes!
No. Stop. If you’re going to make jokes, go all out. Take it seriously. Which is why I’m here.
I’ve decided to go all out. Here’s my first draft of a rewritten version of “O Canada” about Matt Canada. Enjoy.
The new offensive coach!
Ol’ Baton Rouge, you’re about to approach.
Your quarterbacks, they played so well
Though, in the ACC
The points they scored, Matt Canada,
Raised interest in thee.
You beat Penn State, and Clemson too!
Matt Canada, welcome to LSU!
Matt Canada, welcome to LSU!
That’s how you take a joke seriously.
Yes, I have a second verse written. No, I’m not going to share that with you. Maybe some other time. But for now, let’s get to talking about football.
About that time Matt Canada beat Alabama …
Boisterous and sarcastic, Canada made headlines in his introductory press conference on Wednesday by drudging up the time he and his Northern Illinois team defeated Alabama in 2003.
Of course, Alabama wasn’t the same team in 2003 that it is now. In fact, the closest programs to what Alabama is now back in 2003 were LSU, which was coached by Alabama coach Nick Saban at the time, and USC, which had LSU coach Ed Orgeron on staff. But that’s a digression.
Still, it’s impressive that a MAC team five years removed from a 23-game losing streak could go into Bryant-Denny Stadium and steal a win from the Crimson Tide. So, how did Northern Illinois do it? The old-fashioned way, of course. Northern Illinois crammed the football down Alabama’s throats and took advantage of mistakes.
Northern Illinois running back Michael Turner, later of San Diego Chargers and Atlanta Falcons fame, rushed for 156 yards as the Huskies won, 19-16. One of the most memorable plays of the game came in the first quarter when Northern Illinois blocked an Alabama PAT and returned it for two points, setting the tone that this wouldn’t be a cupcake game.
Can Canada repeat this success against Alabama? Well, if he can, it’ll have to be in a different way. As Leonard Fournette learned the hard way over the last three seasons, bruising tailbacks don’t just bully Alabama anymore. You need a different plan.
Canada’s experience is valuable. It shows that he and his players aren’t afraid to go into a stadium as an underdog, or in the case of Northern Illinois, an afterthought. But if he wants to replicate that success, Canada is going to need to show that he’s grown as a play-caller and as a developer of talent.
What did Myles Brennan and Lowell Narcisse do Wednesday?
Because the grand college football complex is a monster unto itself, I know the second Canada was hired, many of you immediately swung your attention to what the hire meant for high school quarterback targets Myles Brennan and Lowell Narcisse. So, here are your answers:
Had a great talk with Coach Canada, willl make visit in january to meet face to face #geauxtigers
— Myles Brennan (@mylesbrennan12) December 15, 2016
Brennan tweeted last night that he and Canada had a conversation and reaffirmed the already-known fact that he plans on taking an official visit to LSU in January. Earlier in the day, the 4-star quarterback’s high school coach told SEC Country’s Sam Spiegelman that Canada’s scheme is perfect for Brennan.
As for Narcisse, he’s been a little quieter. He told the always-busy Spiegelman that he plans on using this week to watch tape of Canada’s Pittsburgh and N.C. State teams. Given that Narcisse will be an early enrollee wherever he decides to commit, Narcisse will be able to speak with Canada more freely than Brennan in the given weeks, but Narcisse still doesn’t plan on announcing his decision until the Under Armour All-American Game on Jan. 1.
Narcisse has narrowed his recruitment down to three schools: LSU, Auburn and Memphis.
LSU football: ICYMI
With the Canada hiring and all, Wednesday was a pretty busy news day for on the LSU football circuit. In case you missed anything, here are some articles you should give a read:
- Canada might just be an unpredictable play-caller. Is that his allure?
- How have quarterbacks performed under Canada? The Advocate made a chart.
- How have running backs performed under Canada? I made a chart.
- Here’s a full transcript of everything Canada said in his press conference Wednesday.
- Dave Aranda once bought a house from Canada. And lost a football game. Aranda thinks he should’ve won.
- Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples gave his thoughts on the Canada hire.
- Who will Canada play at quarterback? The best guy. Duh.
What’s wrong with SEC basketball?
The SEC is a football conference. Then it’s a softball and gymnastics and baseball and equestrian and swimming and golf and tennis conference. But there’s also basketball. And that sport has a lot more notoriety. So, why is the conference struggling so much this season?
On Wednesday night, Mississippi State lost to Eastern Tennessee State, adding to a list of embarrassing losses the conference has endured this year, including Lehigh, Chattanooga, North Carolina Central and Bucknell, to name a few. Additionally, teams from the SEC are 3-13 against teams ranked in the AP Top 25 and are 3-8 in true road games.
In theory, this shouldn’t be happening. If anything, the SEC should be progressing. Schools like Alabama, Auburn, South Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi State have made splashy head coaching hires in the past couple of seasons, but only South Carolina has seen tangible benefits so far.
Sure, no team is under .500 right now, but the fact that four teams are within one game of or at .500 this early in the season is a sign that something is truly amiss. The SEC won’t be a one-bid league in the NCAA tournament this year. Kentucky and South Carolina should both be shoo-ins, and teams such as Arkansas, Georgia and Texas A&M have a chance.
But it’ll be worth monitoring this trend all season. Especially at LSU, which has struggled early in nearly every game it’s played this season. In a down year for the SEC, LSU might be the furthest down. That doesn’t bode well for the conference, the program, or the job security of anyone involved.
This week in Derrius Guice smack talk
In addition to being an all-SEC running back, Derrius Guice is also a gifted talker. So, it should come as no surprise to you that he likes to speak his mind on Twitter, even to his own teammates sometimes.
— 5⃣ (@DhaSickest) December 15, 2016
@_31Savage is LSU defensive back Cameron Lewis, who replied to the tweet with a “LMAO” and a “let’s get it” and a couple of emojis that I don’t know how to describe properly. But the thing that gets me is that Guice got more than 100 likes on this tweet.
Boy, fans must really love it that Guice is eager to crush anyone, even if it’s someone wearing the same jersey. I know what I’ll have an eye out for at practice this spring, that’s for sure.
Today in made-up holidays
We started off this post by celebrating Canada. Let’s talk about the U.S.A. to finish.
On this day in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created “Bill of Rights Day,” a day where we as American’s celebrate the first 10 amendments to the constitution. Of course, those amendments were ratified on Sept. 25, so I have no idea why FDR chose Dec. 15. But it’s the thought that counts, right?
So, as I do just about every day, let’s try to apply LSU football thoughts to a national day of the year.
Below, I have summarized all 10 of the amendments from the Bill of Rights, each complete with a way that I believe the LSU football team or an individual player took advantage of those liberties this season.
1. Freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition
You call it “bulletin-board material,” I call it freedom of speech. Kudos, Dwayne Thomas, for exercising your first amendment right and saying you thought LSU would dominate Alabama. Who cares if you were wrong? You were American in the process.
2. The rights to a well-regulated militia and to bear arms
“A well-regulated militia” sounds like a good nickname for Dave Aranda’s defense, doesn’t it?
3. The right to be protected from quartering of military officers
LSU’s coaches have chosen not to follow Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh’s lead and hold sleepovers with recruits. Good on coach O and the gang for continuing their American duties into the realm of recruiting.
4. Protection against unreasonable search and seizure
Danny Etling threw only 4 interceptions in 2016, the fewest of any SEC quarterback with more than 200 dropbacks. That is a perfectly reasonable rate of seizure in my book.
5. Protection under due process of the law
6. The guarantee of a trial by jury
Though you could also argue that Ed Orgeron’s audition for the LSU football head coaching gig was a trial by fire, I’d say his interview with Joe Alleva and the LSU board of directors was a jury-esque experience.
7. Guarantees juries in civil cases and prohibits judges from overturning jury findings
If the LSU fan base is the highest jury in the court of LSU football and Joe Alleva is the judge, I think this one is pretty self-explanatory.
8. Protections against excessive bails and cruel and unusual punishments
Oh man, how many times this season did an LSU player make a mistake that 50 years ago would’ve ended with him running windsprints until he passed out? I can count at least 15. Thank goodness coaches are smarter now. Because those things are cruel and unusual.
9. All rights not explicitly listed or forbidden are reserved to the people
This amendment might as well be directed at Guice. Every shake, every shimmy, every cut, everything Guice does looks unplanned. Those are the rights reserved to him.
10. Powers not reserved for the federal government belong to the states
When the government (the SEC) can’t figure something out, it’s up to the states. Like Florida and Louisiana, for example. If they need to reschedule a game, they figure it out themselves. What patriots.
Celebrate your Bill of Rights responsibly today. I know I will. You know, the whole freedom of the press thing and all kind of hits hard for me.