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Friday, October 31, 2014
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Hobbs Column: Maybe it’s just that kind of year

Last Modified: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 9:28 AM

By Scooter Hobbs / American Press

LSU has an open date and my mind is open to anything.

Note to television announcers: There is nothing — repeat nothing — in football that “They’re going to call every time.” It doesn’t make you look knowledgeable about the game. They may call it every time they SEE it, but … come on.

Yes, one could say LSU had to expect a defensive drop-off with so many top players leaving early for the NFL draft. But that doesn’t explain why, from the first of the year really, it hasn’t seemed to have gotten any better. The Tigers are nine games into the season.

I don’t care how much you see it or how cliché it looks, a little girl toddling around the tailgate scene in a cheerleader outfit is still too cute for words. Doesn’t matter that she has no idea why she’s there.

Nine games into the season and the much-talked-about helmet-to-helmet rule hasn’t come up yet in an LSU game. Neither the Tigers nor the opposing team has been flagged, and I don’t even remember a play that they would have “called every time.”

Of course, you have to be relatively close to a defenseless receiver to become a human missile launched at him.

Even when an errant throw lands in the guacamole dip, it’s hard to fuss at little boys tossing the football around the parking lot. They can’t help it. It’s in the little boy gene. It’s why Nerf was invented.

What if Les Miles called out LSU fans, and particularly the student section, for leaving early or not showing up at all?

Oregon and Florida State may flip-flop the rest of the year for that No. 2 spot in the BCS standings. If it was just about this year — if Alabama hadn’t won three of the last four titles — it would be a true and equal threesome in this game of musical chairs.

Nick Saban got away with calling out Bama fans, particularly students, but he’s won two of the last three and got immediate results. Bama students, some of whom had their saved block-of-seats privileges suspended last week, were afraid to go to the bathroom against Tennessee.

LSU played badly, but Ole Miss wasn’t a bad team that night. Maybe it’s that kind of year.

Second note to TV analysts: OK, OK, we get it. It was a tougher, rougher game back when you played.

Nobody in the banged-up SEC East can beat Alabama in the SEC title game. Why not just admit it and give that spot to Florida State, which has always been an SEC team stuck in the ACC clothing anyway? Winner gets Oregon.

Shouldn’t John Chavis have fixed this LSU defense by now?

There’s no real harm in Condoleezza Rice being on the football playoff selection committee when it opens for business next year. They promise to be long, drawn-out meetings. At some point they’re going to need some extra zzzzzz’s. Good one, huh? I’ll be here all week, folks. But even if she knows as much football as the rest of them, it still reeks of needless politically correct showboating.

If you don’t want the fans staying home or heading home early, then don’t schedule the Furmans of the world. Simple as that.

The Saints defense really is better. Way, way better.

They will still go as far as Drew Brees takes them — and he doesn’t have the protection he’s had in some years past.

For my money, the best LSU has played this year was a loss against Georgia. Maybe it’s that kind of year.

Good thing it was for a really good cause, or else we’d all be sick of pink uniforms by now.

I don’t know who the best quarterback in the SEC is, but South Carolina’s Connor Shaw is the toughest and most inspirational. If you tried to sell Hollywood on the fourth quarter of the Missouri game, they’d tell you it was too over-the-top syrupy. And it wasn’t an isolated incident for Shaw.

There’s something to be said for really good college players who the NFL scouts aren’t interested in.

I have no problem with anybody on the playoff selection committee — yes, I trust them to set their biases aside or else leave the room. But these active athletic directors have plenty to tend to (big boosters to schmooze) at their own games and are kind of busy. There’s plenty of retired and knowledgeable football guys out there begging for an excuse to be dedicated couch potatoes.

Also, having Sean Payton on the sidelines really does make a difference.

I’ll be honest. When Auburn left Tiger Stadium after losing to LSU 35-21, I didn’t see the War Eagles being 7-1. Gus Malzahn has to be doing something right.

I’m pretty much OK with full-grown menfolk fans wearing jerseys to the game, even with a current player’s name on the back.

I draw the line when they add a silly helmet to the ensemble. I’m thinking of one Mississippi State fan in particular.

For that matter — and I know I’ve said this before — what’s wrong with just using the current BCS formula next year? Its only problem always seemed to be needing a third or (rarely) fourth spot to really settle things fair and square. They’ve got that now.

My buddy Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports reported, in one of those promotions, a Mizzou fan came out of the stands and won something for nailing a 30-yard field goal during the break between the first and second quarters. With the game on the line in overtime, Mizzou’s scholarship kicker doinked one off the left upright from 24 yards out. How come the movies never end that way?

Most of those West Coast games are worth staying up late for. San Diego State-Fresno State last week especially.

I really wouldn’t know where to start with LSU’s defense. That’s why Chavis is getting the big bucks.

I remember it from his LSU days, but I had forgotten just how fast Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher talks. Good stuff, but I feel for the guys who cover FSU — he’s the devil to take notes on. He could do the end of those shady radio commercials when they have to cram 22 disclaimers into three seconds.

So who thought LSU had a chance against Alabama last year anyway? Just saying.

• • •

Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at shobbs@americanpress.com

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