National media spotlights LSU
Tigers basking in limelight after strong showing
By Glenn Guilbeau
Louisiana Gannett News
BATON ROUGE — One of the hobbies of LSU fans is to rip national media members for not loving on their precious Tigers enough.
Not hearing a lot of that this week in light of the No. 2 Tigers demolition of former No. 9 Virginia Tech 48-7 Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.
Other than ESPN GameDay host Chris Fowler complaining about the humidity — he should have been here last month — there is virtually nothing but purple and gold love out there. Few, though, were expecting such an awesome display against what was the No. 1 defense in the nation in 2006.
"It's frightening. It's alarming, eye opening, stunning," Joe Schad of ESPN.com said in a phone interview Tuesday morning. "I knew the LSU Tigers had as much talent as USC, but what they did offensively was almost unfathomable. The way they picked apart one of the nation's best defenses makes you wonder if anyone can stop them. Matt Flynn is as good as Jimbo Fisher told me he was."
Bowl Championship Series expert Brad Edwards of ESPN felt the same way.
"I was shocked at the way that LSU's offense was able to dominate Virginia Tech's defense," Edwards said Tuesday. "Going into the game I would not have been surprised at all if Virginia Tech had been shut out by LSU's defense. But I thought LSU would struggle to get to 20 points. Not only was the number of points they put up impressive, but the way they did it with those long sustained drives and never having a three and out. The offense makes LSU a lot more dangerous team than most people thought they were."
Edwards said if No. 1 USC and No. 2 LSU finish undefeated, those two will meet in the BCS national championship game regardless of whether or not Texas, Oklahoma, Penn State or someone from the Big East finishes undefeated.
"Everybody else in the country needs LSU or USC to lose a game," he said. He gave three reasons:
1."Virtually every analyst in the country sees the SEC and Pac-10 as the top two conferences."
2."Given the way Florida manhandled Ohio State (41-14) in the national championship game last year, there is no chance that an SEC team (like Auburn in 2004) is going to go undefeated and not be in the national championship game again, especially just one year removed from Florida's performance."
3."Even if LSU has some close wins over some average SEC teams and Oklahoma is blowing everybody out, which could happen, the people who vote will want to see the LSU-USC game because of the story line concerning Les Miles' disparaging comments about USC and LSU. The BCS formula still is two-thirds voters (from the Harris and USA Today coaches poll), and I think voters want to see that game."
LSU is getting described in USC terms.
"LSU LOOKING MORE AND MORE LIKE A COLLEGE FOOTBALL MONSTER," blares a headline on SI.com.
"LSU's roster is looking increasingly like an embarrassment of riches for coach Les Miles," says the story.
Don Borst of Foxsports.com ridiculed anyone not voting LSU ahead of USC, a school that LSU fans like to say the national media favors. But USC did share the national championship in the 2003 season (with LSU), won the national title in the 2004 season, lost a close national championship game in the 2005 season and missed the national title game last season after an upset to UCLA in the regular season finale. USC was the preseason No. 1 and beat Idaho 38-10 on Sept. 1, but that "idle" team must have hurt USC Saturday.
"Anyone voting USC No. 1 over LSU is doing so strictly on reputation, not on 2007 season performance" Borst wrote. "OK, so if somebody has really watched LSU's two games and USC's one, and truly believes USC is the better team, then fine, they should vote the Trojans No. 1. ... And then they should give their keys to a designated driver."
Sounds like USC, which is still No. 1 in both polls, may have to beat No. 14 Nebraska Saturday worse than No. 2 LSU has to beat 0-2 Middle Tennessee.
"While LSU's defense has been much feted, the speed, talent, and depth shown by their offense Saturday night was just as eye popping," Borst wrote. "The team speed resembles that of the great Reggie Bush Trogan teams of recent yore."
ESPN.com senior writer Pat Forde praised LSU by making fun of a Miles comment — "We're so far away from being the second-ranked team, it isn't even funny" — by writing:
"He's absolutely right. LSU should not be the second-ranked team when the new polls come out this week. LSU should be the first-ranked team. By a mile. If you're voting on who has done the most in the first two weeks of the season, you must put LSU ahead of USC, West Virginia, and perhaps the Oakland Raiders."
Here are a few other samplings:
"The man who must feel like he's been handed the keys to the Playboy Mansion right now is Gary Crowton (LSU's new offensive coordinator)." — Stewart Mandel, S.I.com.
"LSU looks like a national title contender that could match up with anyone, including SC." — Rece Davis, ESPN.
"OK, I have an idea. All in favor of restarting the preseason poll, raise your hands. Now everyone, follow along with your fearless leader and pencil in these three letters in the No. 1 spot: L-S-U." — Matt Hayes, The Sporting News.
"After humbling the Hokies on Saturday, the Tigers have to be a favorite to Geaux all the way to New Orleans." — ESPNU's Power 16 ranking that has LSU No. 1.
The News Star - www.thenewsstar.com - Monroe, LA
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