Sometimes, words fail.
LSU football, you have me trumped.
If someone sat down before the season and had the clairvoyance to write all the twists and turns this LSU football season would take, no serious media outlet would have gone with the story.
But it couldn’t have been done. Nostradamus didn’t see this coming.
The odd and often wonderful story so far. No, really:
Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron undergoes a medical procedure over the summer for treatment of prostate cancer.
The lawsuit between LSU and former defensive coordinator John Chavis drags on and on and on, with Chavis’ attorney threatening to depose LSU assistant coaches during the season (not likely).
Les Miles is rushed to the hospital before his first Monday news conference of the regular season, scrapping said news conference before returning to practice that afternoon.
That Saturday, LSU’s season opener against McNeese State is canceled by persistent lightning near Tiger Stadium, the first time LSU’s had a game go unplayed since 1918.
Tailback Leonard Fournette emerges as the prohibitive Heisman Trophy favorite and quickly becomes a lightning rod for people calling for him to challenge the NFL’s draft rules and/or sit out the 2016 season.
Before the smallest crowd in Tiger Stadium since 1957, LSU plays its first home “road” game as South Carolina has to travel in the wake of deadly flooding in its home state. Afterward, Fournette offers to auction his game jersey for flood relief, is told he can’t because of NCAA rules, only to have the NCAA later tweet he will be allowed to do so. And two days after that, Steve Spurrier retires as South Carolina’s coach, making Miles the answer to the triva question.
And the latest: Will Grier, the starting quarterback for unbeaten Florida, is suspended Monday for one calendar year for violating the NCAA’s drug policy, testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance in what Florida coach Jim McElwain said was an over-the-counter supplement (more on that later).
Barring some successful 11th hour appeal to the NCAA — not likely, but they were pretty snappy when it came to that Fournette jersey ruling — the Gators will likely open with former starting quarterback Treon Harris on Saturday night. That will make him the fourth straight backup quarterback to start against LSU.
The fourth straight.
Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty is one of the top quarterbacks in the country. He comes calling at LSU next. If I were him I’d spend the time between now and kickoff next Saturday encased in bubble wrap and have WKU’s compliance officer taste my food.
It all really is par for the overall successful course LSU football has been on since the Nick Saban era, an era that included its own brand of occasional loopiness.
Remember the play from high school Josh Booty audibled to and threw for an interception against UAB? Remember The Bluegrass Miracle, followed that season by Arkansas’ Markham Street Miracle? Remember the last play of the Saban era, an Iowa senior catching his first career touchdown pass in the Capital One Bowl?
LSU football wouldn’t be LSU football without some strange shenanigans: barns burning, earthquakes rocking and now quarterbacks incriminating themselves.
In some ways, maybe all the weird turns of the season point to this season being a special one indeed for the Tigers. I mean, four straight starting quarterbacks going “Poof!” before they play LSU is like something out of an Agatha Christie play.
As for Grier, the whole “I didn’t know what was in my over-the-counter supplement” story is to say the least, leaky. College athletes have their workouts, their meals, their practice, their classes all scripted for them. He just happened to pop some supplement that contained something performance-enhancing without knowing what was in it?
It already sounds a bit suspicious, then there’s this from a blog at AJC.com (the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) in August, which quoted a story that said Grier went from 172 pounds as a true freshman to 215 pounds this summer.
“That’s a significant increase,” the AJC’s Chuck Kingsbury wrote.
Indeed it is, though in fairness Grier was listed as 190 pounds when Florida signed him in February 2014 and 201 pounds in this week’s game notes.
As a general rule, though, if a story sounds too good or too strange to be true, it probably is.
Then again, I’ve witnessed all the strangeness from this LSU football season that collectively seems impossible to have happened over a roughly two-month span.
One can scarcely imagine what might happen next.
Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter, @RabalaisAdv.