Bayou Bengal Briefing: 3 connections between LSU football and Hugh Freeze resigning
Welcome to the Bayou Bengal Briefing, SEC Country’s daily morning column covering LSU football with beat writer Nick Suss. Today, we discuss earth-shaking SEC news, try not to forget about big-time LSU news, put the summer behind us and more. Enjoy!
The Hugh Freeze situation
The SEC football world was turned on its head Thursday when Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigned amid allegations that he used a school-issued phone to call an escort service. This leaves Ole Miss’ program in even more turmoil than it previously was.
But this also affects the LSU football team. Here are three reasons why:
1. Ed Orgeron and Hugh Freeze’s relationship
When LSU football coach Ed Orgeron was the head coach at Ole Miss, Coach O gave Freeze his first collegiate coaching job, overseeing tight ends and working as a recruiting coordinator for Orgeron in 2006 and 2007. This isn’t to say that Orgeron will rehire Freeze at LSU or anything, but their relationship is an interesting one. When LSU opens camp at the end of the month, expect Orgeron to be asked about the situation.
2. The obvious Les Miles connection
The list of Internet users who have connected former LSU football coach Les Miles to Ole Miss is astonishing. And yes. Miles to Ole Miss is an interesting connection. Say what you want about the way Miles managed games, but there’s no denying he ran a tight ship. If Ole Miss is looking for a rebrand away from the Freeze era, you can’t get much more different than Miles.
3. The Ole Miss-LSU game
The Tigers and Rebels face off against each other on Oct. 21 in Oxford, Miss. That much hasn’t changed. And, honestly, the game will likely be just as bonkers as it would’ve been with Freeze there. Coach O’s return to Oxford will dominate the conversation, just as LSU will have its hands full with Ole Miss’ electric offense led by exciting sophomore passer Shea Patterson.
Don’t forget about this
Lost in the shuffle after all this Freeze news is that there was actual LSU football news Thursday. Defensive lineman Isaiah Washington announced his intent to transfer from LSU on Twitter, confirming earlier media reports.
Washington worked as one of LSU’s edge rushers this spring, practicing behind Andre Anthony and Ray Thornton. With the arrival of freshman K’Lavon Chaisson and the return of all-world junior Arden Key, Washington’s chances to reach the field looked slim.
The Tigers will be lacking a little bit of depth without Washington on the roster but should be fine at the position. Because of the extra reps Anthony and Thornton took in Key’s absence, the Tigers are better off than they were even last season.
Former LSU football players get paid
Former LSU safety Jamal Adams signed his first NFL contract Thursday, inking a deal worth $22.3 million to play with the New York Jets, who selected him sixth overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. That’s about $5 million fewer than former teammate Leonard Fournette, who was picked two slots earlier by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Elsewhere in the NFL, former LSU offensive lineman Trai Turner signed an extension with the Carolina Panthers on Thursday. In his four-year deal worth $45 million, Turner will earn $20.5 million guaranteed and can cash a $15 million signing bonus as a result of the contract. The deal makes Turner one of the 20 highest-paid offensive linemen in football and gives him a comparable yearly salary to fellow former LSU lineman Andrew Whitworth.
Thursday was the LSU football team’s final day in the weight room for the 2017 summer. So, for the last time, LSU strength and conditioning coach Tommy Moffitt posted a leaderboard of the best lifters of the day. Let’s break it down.
— Tommy Moffitt (@TommyMoffitt) July 20, 2017
As always, I have three thoughts:
- There were more ties than ever Thursday and also more freshmen. It’s interesting to see Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Tory Carter and Todd Harris all sneak onto the board on what presumably was a heavy-lifting day. These freshmen are here to make their impressions early.
- Rashard “Uncle Phil” Lawrence isn’t playing around. By my count, Lawrence has been on the board three of the last six times Moffitt has tweeted one out.
- #MakingMemories is an awesome hashtag but probably not a great one for LSU football fans looking for tweets about LSU. I’m imagining a Midwestern mother looking for photos their kids tweeted from camp finding this board and being deeply confused.
What should I do with my life?
Sports aren’t back yet. If you’re in the Baton Rouge area and looking for things to do this weekend, here are some suggestions:
- Spanish Moon is hosting an ’80s Prom Night celebration Friday night. If you’re a fan of the 1980s, show up dressed in tacky attire or just dance and have some fun. Doors open at 9 p.m.
- If you prefer your music to be a little more modern and a lot more local, The Varsity is hosting the sixth Nolapalooza Saturday night.
- If you feel like making your own music, head to L’Auberge Sunday for a free karaoke night beginning around 8 p.m.
- For a full calendar of events going on in and around Baton Rouge this weekend, visit this handy calendar from The Advocate.
The King’s Tweets
Person you’ve probably heard of and a very good basketball player, LeBron James sent a tweet about former LSU basketball player Ben Simmons on Thursday. It follows:
Happy Bday to my lil bro @BenSimmons25!!! That boi 21 now. Uh-Oh!! Let's go have a Shirley temple with a twist. 😂😂🤦🏾♂️🤷🏾♂️
— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 20, 2017
If Simmons is going out partying with LeBron, hopefully a little bit of LeBron’s magic rubs off. Simmons’ first healthy season in the NBA is expected to be a big one. Here’s hoping him, Joel Embiid and Markelle Fultz can make up a big three of their own that rivals what LeBron, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love have atop the Eastern Conference.
Today in made-up holidays
According to the folks at NationalDayCalendar.com, Friday is “National Junk Food Day.” So, you know, eat up.
But this weekend has another holiday I want to highlight: Saturday is “National Rat Catcher’s Day.” Now, rat catching is a profession I don’t feel we talk enough about. Someone has to catch the rats. I assume. But I’ve never met a rat catcher. It really is a thankless job.
Unless you’re The Rat Protector. Or Charlie Kelly.
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