What the AP got right (and wrong) about LSU’s All-SEC honorees
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All-SEC all day
Six LSU players earned AP All-SEC nods Monday, with four Tigers making the first team and two more landing on the second team. Linebacker Devin White, cornerback Greedy Williams and edge rusher Arden Key were first-team defenders, center Will Clapp was a first-team offensive lineman, running back Derrius Guice made the second-team offense and wide receiver DJ Chark earned second-team all-purpose honors.
Let’s start this off with the obvious: White and Williams were no-brainers. There’s no argument to be made that the SEC’s leading tackler and top defender in interceptions don’t belong. Especially for first-year starters, those guys delivered phenomenal seasons. Clapp also had a great season. It’s harder to quantify an offensive lineman’s performance, but there’s a reason Clapp consistently grades among the league’s best blockers.
Guice and Chark are interesting cases. Guice is probably where he belongs on the second team, though he tends to disagree. Kerryon Johnson and Benny Snell both outrushed him on a per game basis and Nick Chubb bested him on a per carry basis. Chark belongs on the second team, but you could argue him for first team, since he was more productive than Texas A&M’s Christian Kirk on a per touch basis.
Then, there’s Key. Key might be the best pure football player in the SEC. Maybe in all of college football. But he had 4 sacks in eight games. He missed four games and was a nonfactor in two others. It’s hard to argue Key belongs on this list. Especially not when LSU had so many other defensive linemen deserving of the honor. Segue!
Breiden Fehoko knows
LSU fans should get used to hearing the name Breiden Fehoko. The Texas Tech transfer projects to be one of LSU’s best players in 2018, starting at defensive end. But right now, Fehoko’s here to advocate for his teammates.
Turn on the film and watch 90, 99, 95, & 18… https://t.co/qZV4WlfcYy
— Breiden Fehoko (@breidenfehoko4) December 4, 2017
If you’re not well-versed in numerology, the players he’s referring to are: Rashard Lawrence, Greg Gilmore, Ed Alexander and Christian LaCouture. Three of whom have legitimate cases as snubs.
Lawrence is the obvious one. When he was on the field, he was unblockable. By grades, Lawrence was the fourth-best defensive tackle in the SEC in 2017. His TFL numbers don’t support that, but nevertheless, he was dominant.
Gilmore has the numbers. His 6.5 sacks led LSU and ranked 10th in the SEC, while his 9 TFLs were second to White among LSU players. LaCouture wasn’t far behind with 6 sacks and 8.5 TFLs. Playing in a 3-4 as a nose tackle and a 5-technique, the pair’s respective numbers are impressive. Definitely worthy of second-team consideration. Potentially better.
Your weekly LSU football poll results
In the Bayou Bengal Briefing on Monday, I asked you to vote on how excited you are for LSU to be playing Notre Dame in the Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day. More than 200 of you voted. Here are your responses:
The mood is fairly positive. Forty-two percent of respondents are happy that LSU is in a good bowl and are excited for the matchup as they would be any season. Another 35 percent of people are stoked, expecting this game to be awesome.
Ten percent of voters like the Citrus Bowl but not playing Notre Dame. Seven percent of voters like playing Notre Dame, but not returning to the Citrus Bowl. And 6 percent of negative Nancies just want to skip bowl season entirely and move on to 2018.
Personally, I’m with the majority here. I think playing in this game is a win for LSU. It’s one of the most compelling bowl matchups outside of the College Football Playoff, up there with some of the New Year’s Six games. Notre Dame is a high-profile opponent and noon on New Year’s is a great time slot. LSU should be thankful for this bid. And also proud for what it earned.
Catching up with the ‘croots
The contact period for recruits meeting face to face with coaches is still plodding on, with LSU’s coaches traveling across the South to meet up with all the prospects they can. Here’s a breakdown of where some of LSU’s coaches were Monday and will be Tuesday:
- Coach Ed Orgeron will go in-home with the nation’s top JUCO offensive tackle …
- … and a 5-star quarterback hopeful …
- … and also a 4-star wide receiver target
- Dave Aranda visited 4-star linebacker Damone Clark
- Steve Ensminger and Mickey Joseph both checked in on a top tight end target
- A defensive lineman de-committed from LSU’s class
Elsewhere in the SEC
Texas A&M officially welcomed Jimbo Fisher as its next football coach Monday. A former LSU offensive coordinator who won a national championship as a coach at Florida State, Fisher will replace Kevin Sumlin after a series of middling seasons in College Station.
As SEC Country’s Alex Hickey pointed out, this might be the perfect move to ignite the stale LSU-Texas A&M rivalry. LSU hasn’t lost to A&M since the Aggies joined the SEC in 2012. Johnny Manziel couldn’t do it. Myles Garrett couldn’t do it. It never worked out.
If anyone can spark something in College Station though, it’s Jimbo. He proved he could win at Florida State; he’s a gifted recruiter who competed with Nick Saban and Urban Meyer. Maybe he’ll bring the Aggies back to the forefront. And in doing so, make LSU’s last regular season game a huge one.
Today in made-up holidays
According to the folks at NationalDayCalendar.com, Dec. 5 is “Bathtub Party Day.” Apparently, we’re supposed to celebrate luxury by bathing instead of showering. But like, don’t.
Baths are weird, right? Like, if you can stand up and hold a bar of soap, you should shower. Even if you can sit down and hold a bar of soap, showering seems like the better alternative. What’s luxurious about taking a bath? I don’t get it. You’re just boiling yourself. Which is suboptimal.
I know I sound like Chandler Bing. But he’s right. Until he gets tricked into being wrong.
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