Bayou Bengal Briefing: Thoughts on the LSU football team’s ranking in the preseason coaches poll
Welcome to the Bayou Bengal Briefing, SEC Country’s daily morning column covering LSU football with beat writer Nick Suss. Today, we discuss the preseason coaches poll, decide what statues we’d like to see, make weekend plans and much more. Enjoy!
The poll position
The preseason edition of the USA Today Amway Coaches Poll was released Thursday, with the LSU football team ranked No. 12. Sitting at 12 is an interesting place, as most national media attention is either on the teams that didn’t make it or the teams that landed in the top 10. No one wants to talk too much about the teams in the early teens.
But it is worth noting that LSU ranks higher than Auburn, a team which was predicted to finish ahead of LSU in the SEC West at the SEC Media Days. In fact, LSU ranked ahead of every SEC school other than No. 1 Alabama in the poll, including the rival Florida Gators and Kirby Smart’s preseason darlings, the Georgia Bulldogs.
If anything, this is respect to the talent LSU has on roster. Losing eight defenders and seven offensive cogs to the NFL or graduation hasn’t done much to sour the attention on LSU. If anything, LSU looks a little bit better this season, after finishing No. 14 in the final coaches poll in 2016.
Is LSU ranked a little too high? Probably. These are pretty high expectations for a team that has to replace as much as it does. But it’s worth noting that Alabama, Clemson and Michigan have to replace just as much as LSU, if not more, and all of them landed in the top 10.
As we all know, preseason polls don’t affect the way a team plays when it finally takes the field. But they are fun to examine. And you better bet that when the first AP poll comes out next week, we’ll give it the same amount of attention.
If these statues could talk
LSU made a major cosmetic announcement Thursday, unanimously approving the construction of a statue of Heisman Trophy-winning former LSU football player Billy Cannon. Where the statue will be built hasn’t been announced yet.
Cannon will join basketball stars Shaquille O’Neal and Bob Pettit as the former LSU athletes to be memorialized with statues on campus. But statues are cool. So, here are a few suggestions of other LSU athletes who might deserve the treatment:
- Lolo Jones: If three-time national champion and 11-time All-American isn’t enough to persuade you, how about the fact that she’s competed for the U.S. in both the Summer and Winter Olympics? That’s quite a legacy.
- Pete Maravich: This is a bit of a cop-out since Pistol Pete has an entire arena named after him. But he has an argument for being the best college basketball player ever. He should certainly have his likeness memorialized somewhere on campus.
- Skip Bertman: Coaches get statues all over the country. And if there’s any coach who deserves recognition somewhere on LSU’s campus, it’s the legendary baseball coach and athletic director who brought LSU into the national spotlight in a sport it now calls its own. Five national championships as a baseball coach, two football championships as an AD and two Olympic medals is pretty darn impressive.
Who do you think should have a statue on campus? Let us know in the comments below.
More Maea Teuhema news
As we discussed in the Bayou Bengal Briefing on Thursday, the LSU football team released junior offensive lineman Maea Teuhema from his scholarship Thursday night. Well, the story continued Friday.
According to reporting from SEC Country’s Sam Spiegelman, five schools were given permission to speak with Teuhema. From east to west, those schools are: Houston, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, USC and UCLA. Teuhema is from Texas, so Houston and the two Oklahoma schools make regional sense.
Before anyone makes jokes, no, TCU doesn’t seem to be in the picture in this one. No need for coach Ed Orgeron to block the lines of communication this time.
Other LSU football news worth reading
In case you missed them, here are three other LSU football stories that ran on SEC Country on Thursday:
- Redshirt freshman cornerback Greedy Williams is working his way up the depth chart.
- Think you were surprised by JaCoby Stevens’ position change? Imagine being one of his teammates.
- In recruiting news, one 4-star athlete is changing his perception of LSU.
The Atlanta Falcons mic’d up former LSU linebacker Duke Riley during training camp Thursday. So, yeah, you’re gonna wanna watch that.
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) August 3, 2017
Elsewhere in almost-football, Riley’s former teammate Lewis Neal saw action in a preseason NFL game that I refused to watch. But here’s Twitter proof of the existence of that occurrence.
Ex #LSU DL Lewis Neal on the field. Word in press box in Canton is rash of suspensions among Cowboys DL bodes well for him to make the 53.
— Scott Rabalais (@RabalaisAdv) August 4, 2017
What should I do with my life?
Football is back, but it isn’t all the way back yet. As a result, we don’t have much to do this weekend. So, here are a handful of activities you can partake in in Baton Rouge this weekend:
- It’s a tax-free weekend in Louisiana. So, go and spend money to your heart’s content. You won’t be taxed. Which is dope.
- The LSU Museum of Art will be open and free all day Sunday. So, go and get your culture on. And if you need a place to keep the kids, there’ll be children’s activities in the Family Foundation Education Gallery.
- If you’re a fan of the earliest days of rock ‘n roll, there’s a show Saturday night at the Manship Theatre that you’ll love. It combines the music of the Everly Brothers with that of Roy Orbison. Which sounds like a cool blend to me.
- For a full look at all the activities in and around Baton Rouge this weekend, check out this calendar.
This weekend in made-up holidays
According to the folks at NationalDayCalendar.com, Saturday is “National Work Like a Dog Day.” I have no idea what this means, and neither does NationalDayCalendar, it seems.
On one hand, most of the dogs I’ve ever met don’t have jobs. The average dog sleeps about 14 hours a day. If that’s what Saturday is celebrating, I’ll gladly work like a dog. But I think the holiday is insinuating that we should work hard, as dogs do.
So, if you have to work hard like a dog on Saturday, be sure to emulate this dog.
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