It’s apropos in a way that LSU is playing Florida this week. That’s because folks will be talking about LSU AD Joe Alleva’s role in moving last season’s matchup between the two from Gainesville to Baton Rouge after Hurricane Matthew postponed the scheduled meeting.
The upshot was that LSU now travels to Gainesville this season and next, and this week’s game in the Swamp will come on the heels of LSU’s embarrassing home loss to Troy on Saturday.
We don’t mean to disparage Troy by calling it an embarrassing loss. Troy won 10 games last season, will be in the thick of the Sun Belt race this season, coach Neal Brown is going to be a hot commodity once the coaching carousel gets going and the experienced duo of QB Brandon Silvers and RB Jordan Chunn could play at a lot of Power Five schools. But come on – LSU should not lose to Troy.
And that brings us back to Alleva. By all accounts, he targeted Jimbo Fisher and Tom Herman as his top two choices to replace Les Miles. Those are big-time targets and it’s obvious LSU set its sights high. But neither took the job, so Alleva hired Ed Orgeron. That’s like going from Plan A and Plan B to, well, Plan O – there should have been a lot of other plans in between.
Alleva settled when he hired Orgeron. The athletic director at LSU settled. Not the AD at Louisiana Tech or UL Lafayette or Tulane. LSU.
We said before the season that LSU was a flawed team and that it would be a rocky first season for Orgeron. But no way did we think the Tigers would be this mediocre. LSU is 3-2, and it’s not a stretch to think the Tigers could lose four more games. They’re not beating Alabama. They won’t beat Auburn unless Auburn gives it away. Florida, Texas A&M and Arkansas are going to be tough, too.
LSU has lost as many as five games just twice this century, going 8-5 in 2002 under Nick Saban and 8-5 in 2008 under Miles, so at least in that regard Orgeron will be in some exalted company.
Running on empty
Tennessee’s rushing defense was historically bad last season, when the Vols surrendered 2,841 rushing yards – the most in school history. Unfortunately, after Saturday’s loss to Georgia, Tennessee is on a pace to smash the school record for badness.
Georgia rushed for 294 yards against the Vols, who now are surrendering 252.6 yards per game. Over a 13-game season, that equates to 3,284 yards. (It’s 3,031 over 12 games.) No SEC team ever has allowed 3,000 rushing yards.
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