LSU coach Les Miles, his staff, and the Tigers players enjoyed a rare off day on a Saturday in football season.
After handling then-No. 3 Oregon (40-27), tuning up against Northwestern State (49-3), and out-punching No. 25 Mississippi State (19-6) in a span of 13 days, LSU earned the right to take it easy on a non-open date Saturday.
They had a chance to sit and watch pretty much everybody else play after everybody else had watched them beat the Bulldogs on Thursday night in Starkville.
Here’s a guess at some of the things that might have gone through their minds while channel-surfing:
e_SBlt West Virginia’s passing game, which accumulated 388 yards against Maryland on Saturday, is much different than anything the Tigers have faced in the first three games. Then again, the LSU defense is unlike anything the Mountaineers have seen against the Terrapins, Norfolk State and Marshall.
The 18th-ranked Mountaineers’ 37-31 victory at Maryland pushed their game against the No. 3 Tigers in Morgantown next Saturday into the prime-time spotlight. It might well also draw the ESPN Gameday crew to the site of an LSU game for the second time in a month.
e_SBlt Auburn won’t be bringing the nation’s longest winning streak into Tiger Stadium on Oct. 22 after Clemson ended the defending BCS champs’ win streak at 17 with a 38-24 beating.
e_SBlt Florida, which plays in Tiger Stadium on Oct. 8, might be on its way back to national prominence, but it’s unclear if Tennessee, which hosts LSU a week later, is. The Gators’ 33-23 victory against the Volunteers in the Swamp showed which team is a contender in the SEC East, and which still has something to prove.
e_SBlt Alabama and Arkansas would be really hard to handle in the Sun Belt Conference, as evidenced by the expected lopsided victories by the No. 2 Crimson Tide against North Texas and the No. 14 Razorbacks against Troy.
e_SBlt It’s hard to imagine what kind of shape the Ole Miss program will be in when LSU arrives in Oxford on Nov. 19 after the downtrodden Rebels were thrashed, 30-7, by Vanderbilt.
e_SBlt Kentucky, which visits Tiger Stadium on Oct. 1, and Western Kentucky, which comes in Nov. 12, aren’t exactly bluegrass thoroughbreds, though the Wildcats did beat the Hilltoppers to start the season.
e_SBlt Oregon is enjoying the early part of its post-LSU schedule, averaging 62.5 points and 642 yards in back-to-back routs of Nevada and Missouri State.
• No. 1 Oklahoma’s 23-13 victory against No. 5 Florida State no doubt means the polls will still say that the Sooners should be the measuring stick for everyone else.
But regardless of what the rankings say, it’s unlikely Miles or the team saw anything Saturday that would lead them to believe the team to gauge all others against right now is anyone other than themselves.