If it’s August, it’s time for my Fearless Football Forecast regarding the LSU Tigers.
I should explain to any new readers that I am woefully unqualified to make any kind of prediction. The closest I ever came to a football field was on the sidelines as a cheerleader at Istrouma High School. I read only one issue of Sports Illustrated a year (guess which one), and while I enjoy the writing of The Advocate’s fine stable of sports writers, I don’t always understand what they’re describing.
That being said, my forecasts over the years have been about as accurate as the experts’, which says something about the nature of the art.
Before I start, this disclaimer: “Should more than two of the LSU football team’s student-athletes be incarcerated at any time during the season, this forecast shall be rendered null and void.”
The McNeese State Cowboys, a fine group of lads, enjoy their trip to Tiger Stadium and the thrill of playing a game before such a big crowd. They lose the game, but head home with a very large check for their efforts.
The Tigers have a much tougher game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs, silencing the cowbells in the last minute by mounting a long drive and kicking the winning field goal.
Darn that daylight!
Like vampires, LSU fans and players fear the daylight. A dreaded afternoon game against the Auburn Tigers doesn’t go well for the home team, and the other Tigers pound their way to victory — an SEC West victory. Uh-oh...
Orange you sad?
Unlike some other visiting teams this season, the Syracuse Orange aren’t pushovers by any means. They give LSU a bunch of trouble before the Tigers finally put them away and rebound from the loss to Auburn.
The Eastern Michigan Eagles, a fine group of lads, enjoy their trip to Tiger Stadium and the thrill of playing a game before such a big crowd. They lose the game, but head home with a very large check for their efforts.
Take that, Ball Coach!
After a slow start, LSU running back Leonard Fournette has a great game against the South Carolina Gamecocks in Columbia, causing Steve Spurrier, the Old Ball Coach, to remark, “Man, that ol’ boy runs like a bull!”
With LSU on a roll after the win over the South Carolina Gamecocks, their second SEC East opponent in a row, the Florida Gators, are hoping for a let-down. It doesn’t happen: the Tigers play one of their best games of the season.
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, a fine group of lads, enjoy their trip to Tiger Stadium and the thrill of playing a game before such a big crowd. They lose the game, but head home with a very large check for their efforts.
At the open date, the Tigers stand at 7 and 1, and an SEC West championship is still a possibility. But...
Swamped by the Tide
Winning in Tuscaloosa is never easy, even with the Alabama Crimson Tide having a less than stellar season. But the troops of Nick Saban, the Darth Vader of SEC football, have enough punch to control the game and knock the Tigers out of the SEC West race.
The Arkansas Razorbacks traditionally give LSU a tough time, but luckily this game is being played in the friendly confines of Tiger Stadium. It’s a brutal affair, and the Tigers emerge victorious despite some key injuries, which prove crucial in the next game.
Tears in Oxford
A battered bunch of Tigers journeys to Oxford to take on the University of Mississippi Plantation Owners, with the only thing riding on the game a shot at a better-paying bowl. Ole Miss has been up and down all season, but it’s just LSU’s luck to catch them on an upswing, and the Tigers lose a heartbreaker.
The Texas A&M Aggies roar into Tiger Stadium full of confidence, having a good season and eager to show the Tigers their new John Chavis defense. But the boys from Baton Rouge have always played the Aggies tough, and knock off the visitors in impressive fashion, improving their bowl outlook.
On to Houston!
The Tigers’ 9-3 record lands them in the Texas Bowl in Houston, where they take on the Baylor Bears. With quarterback Brandon Harris having his best game after a so-so season, and with Leonard Fournette showing the fans a dominating performance, LSU gets it all together and wins handily.
A 10-3 season and a convincing bowl win would be considered a fine season in most places, but Baton Rouge isn’t most places. The fans are restless, and rumors of big changes are in the air as the new year begins...
Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.