Monday, November 5, 2007


Poseur checking in…

If there has been two general comments about LSU seasons so far it has been this: 1) LSU is way more talented than anybody but manages to not play to their ability and 2) LSU is really lucky. OK, these two beliefs aren’t anyway consistent when you stop to think about it. I believe #1 is pretty much correct. LSU is loaded with potential draft picks but manages to play nail-biter after nail-biter against teams it should blow out on paper. The Alabama game was probably just the worst example of it, as LSU made penalty after penalty and committed turnover after turnover.

“Luck is the residue of design.” – Branch Rickey

I want to talk about luck. If Belief #1 is correct, that LSU has extremely talented but finds ways to keep inferior teams in the game, than there are a lot of words to describe this team… but lucky ain’t one of them. LSU commits more penalties than anyone else in the SEC. That is not luck. It’s probably the complete opposite of luck.

LSU is among the SEC leaders in just about every imaginable statistical category. 4th in scoring offense. 2nd in scoring defense. 4th in total offense. 1st in total defense. Not surprisingly, LSU is 8-1 and leading the SEC. That’s not luck. That’s just being a good team. Luck would be if the team could barely find ways to score yet won every week.

The Tigers have played four straight games that have gone down to the wire, and they’ve gone 3-1 in those games. So we can assume they just weren’t lucky against Kentucky. The Florida game involved all those fourth down conversions, but were any of those plays lucky? There was no trick play, there was no lucky bounce. It just required Les Miles making some ballsy calls. The luck was simply having the guts to go for it.

How was Auburn lucky? Sure, there was a conversion for a TD on the last play of the game, but that’s not a luck. If that play happens with 8:42 left in the third quarter, it passes without comment. It was just a simple deep route. Nothing fancy, nothing lucky. Just executing a play in the clutch.

How was Bama lucky? The only reason the game was even close was because LSU played so bad as to let Bama in the game. They allowed 34 points in a game in which they allowed negative rushing yards. LSU played about as bad as a team can play and still won. It wasn’t a performance I’d describe as lucky.

This is not a lucky team. It is a maddeningly inconsistent team. It is team that plays on pure emotion, meaning it runs both hot and cold. It is a team that can’t seem to stand success and makes things difficult on itself. It is not a lucky team. Dumb? That might be fair. Inconsistent? Yes. The most talented and exciting LSU team I have ever seen in my entire life? Most definitely. But lucky? Absolutely not.

But let’s put it like this, I’ll put LSU up against anyone in the country anywhere and anytime. You want lucky? How about Ohio State’s luck that the Big Ten has absolutely imploded this year? That isn’t to say OSU isn’t good, they have certainly earned the benefit of the doubt, but the Buckeyes have played only one team ranked in the BCS top 25 (#23 Penn St). LSU has played five. It’s not in their control that the Big Ten stinks this year, but I’ll trade their luck for our luck.


PurpleTiger006 said...


Good comments all around. I do believe that LSU going into that type of environment and coming out with a win was exceptional.

Yes, they allowed Bama to stay in the game. Yes, they commited too many silly penalties. I do think that there were probably more Bama penalties on the field than were called. Don't get me wrong, I don't think there is a officiating conspiracy towards LSU. I just think that LSU gets more scrutiny than some of the teams they play.

I just hope they can get their stuff straight and put some complete games together in the next few weeks.

uberschuck said...

Every year there are teams in the national championship hunt about whom we can say had a couple plays gone the other way, they would have lost/won a particular game or two. The dramatic plays are great for fans because of the excitement, but they distract from a reliable evaluation of the team.

So, when people play the woulda/coulda game with LSU, tell them to shove it. Woulda/coulda isn't nearly as important was what did happen: Kentucky beat us, and we beat everyone else we played. There were no gifts--we won & we earned it.

Plus, there is no such thing as luck.