Hobbs Column: Maybe it’s just that kind of year

By 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


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


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


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.

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