Welcome to the Bayou Bengal Briefing, SEC Country’s daily morning column covering LSU football, with LSU beat writer Nick Suss. Today, we celebrate Louisiana’s favorite holiday, look back at some LSU history, catch up on some baseball news and much more. Enjoy!
The fattest of Tuesdays
If you’re reading the Bayou Bengal Briefing on Tuesday, you’re just too kind.
In other words, Happy Mardi Gras, everyone! I hope you’re reading this on your way to a parade or on top of a float or just while wandering through the French Quarter aimlessly. But wherever you are, thanks for taking time out of your holiday to check in with the latest in LSU football and athletics news.
Because of the holiday, I’m going to keep the Briefing a little shorter than usual today. I don’t want to take up too much of your time on a day that should be reserved for letting loose before 40 days of reflection.
That said, Tuesday isn’t just Mardi Gras. It’s also the last day of February. And the shortest month of the calendar year might’ve been the longest month of the LSU calendar in 2017. Just think: National Signing Day was just 27 days ago! Think of all the stuff that’s gone on between then and now.
You know what? Don’t think. Let me list them off for you:
- Feb. 1: National Signing Day
- Feb. 2: LSU fires WR coach Dameyune Craig and demotes RB coach Jabbar Juluke
- Feb. 7: New Orleans coaches reportedly consider boycotting LSU
- Feb. 7: Jabbar Juluke accepts a job at Texas Tech
- Feb. 8: LSU hires Tommie Robinson and Mickey Joseph to replace Craig and Juluke
- Feb. 13: QB Brandon Harris announces his transfer from LSU
- Feb. 15: Arden Key to ‘take leave of absence’ from LSU
- Feb. 17: Nelson Jenkins and Travez Moore commit to LSU
And none of this happened in the last 10 days. It’s been a crazy month. The kind of month that makes you want to tear your hair out (especially if you root for the LSU basketball team).
So, use today to celebrate. Take it easy. Laissez les bons temps rouler.
Your weekly LSU football poll recap
In Bayou Bengal Briefing on Monday, I asked you two poll questions, both about former LSU receiver Malachi Dupre. First, I asked what round you’d pick him in. Second, I asked what kind of a pro player you think he’ll be. More than 200 of you responded. Here are your answers:
For the first question, nearly all of you voted that you think Dupre is a mid-round player. Fifty-three percent of you formed a majority consensus, voting to pick him in the second or third round, with another 38 percent of you saying you think Dupre deserves to go in the fourth or fifth round.
The other nine percent of you distributed yourselves pretty evenly among the three other options. Five percent of you said you believe Dupre should go in the first round, two percent of you argued for the sixth and seventh rounds, one percent thought he should go undrafted and another one percent abstained, only to vote in the second question.
As for that other question, the distribution was pretty similar. Sixty-two percent of readers believe that Dupre will be a “pretty good” NFL wideout and another 27 percent hedged that by voting for the “average” option.
A bold six percent of voters believe that Dupre will be a superstar at the next level and five percent of readers either think Dupre will be a bust or below average at best.
Which begs the question: If only three percent of voters think he should go in the sixth round or later, who are the two percent of people who don’t think Dupre will be a good pro player but would still pick him in the fifth round or earlier? I don’t mean to criticize, but that’s the sort of thing that proves why you’re not an NFL general manager. Go with your instincts.
Check back to the Bayou Bengal Briefing every Monday for more LSU football poll questions.
Monday on SEC Country
SEC Country LSU beat writer and the person who has to deal with me and my bad jokes more than anyone else, Alex Hickey, wrote a column Monday ranking the five best athletes in LSU history. The list went as follows:
- Pete Maravich
- Shaquille O’Neal
- Bob Pettit
- Alvin Dark
- Seimone Augustus
Notice anything bizarre about that list? Yep. No football players. And here’s the crazy part: That list is completely accurate.
For a school that has so much pride in its football history, it’s hard to rank a single football player among the top five athletes in school history. And sure, Alex ranked seven football players as honorable mentions on his countdown. And those honorable mentions didn’t even include guys like Charles Alexander, Bert Jones, Glenn Dorsey or Leonard Fournette.
This strikes me as a bit odd. I know football is the ultimate team sport and teams that have sustained success don’t often rely on shooting stars. But the SEC’s other powerhouse programs all have one or two football players who stand out above the rest of their school’s athletes. Florida has Tim Tebow. Auburn has Bo Jackson. Georgia has Herschel Walker. Tennessee has Peyton Manning. Alabama has, well, take your pick. All of Alabama’s top five athletes are football players.
Billy Cannon was undoubtedly great. But he’s not in that discussion. Not with those guys.
Which is even more of a testament to LSU’s success. The Tigers have won all these games without these transcendent, historically dominant stars. Maybe you disagree. Maybe you think Y.A. Tittle is the best athlete LSU has ever seen. And you might not be wrong.
But it’s astounding how great LSU has always been without a name that doesn’t ring large outside of Louisiana. It’s really quite an accomplishment.
You probably won’t have much downtime to read Tuesday. But, in case you do, here’s a recap of some of the best stories you might’ve missed Monday:
- How sure is Nadab Joseph that he’ll come to LSU? 82 percent, apparently.
- 5-star CB recruit Patrick Surtain Jr. is mulling his LSU decision. How are the Tigers doing?
- LSU basketball forward Brian Bridgewater wants to play tight end for the football team???
- No. 2 LSU gymnastics is getting ready for a huge battle against No. 3 Florida.
- In not-LSU news: Mississippi State extended head football coach Dan Mullen’s contract.
- NFL Network’s Mike Mayock thinks Jamal Adams is a legit top 5 pick.
- How fast does Vegas think Leonard Fournette’s 40-yard dash time will be?
- The latest edition of my weekly LSU baseball column dropped, complete with thoughts on Jared Poché, Rankin Woley, Alex Lange and team power rankings.
Speaking of LSU baseball …
Three housekeeping notes about the LSU baseball team:
Note 1: Doug Norman is out for the season
LSU junior pitcher Doug Norman is out for the year with an elbow injury that will require surgery. Baseball coach Paul Mainieri said earlier in the season that he expected Norman to be the Tigers’ setup man this spring, making this loss a huge blow for the back end of LSU’s bullpen.
Note 2: Jared Poché is racking up awards
For the second time in as many weeks, LSU’s senior starter was named as one of Collegiate Baseball’s National Players of the Week. Poché has allowed one hit in 15 innings of work this season. So, there’s that.
Note 3: The Tigers have a game Tuesday night
You might be on Bourbon Street, but the Tigers will be at Alex Box on Tuesday night facing off against Nicholls State. Freshman Zack Hess will make his second start of the season after tossing five scoreless frames last week versus Hofstra.
I didn’t know this was a debate …
One NFL draft analyst doesn’t think LSU is “DBU.” And he didn’t pick Florida either.
Is Ohio State DBU? There’s a strong case for it with three first-rounders in this class. pic.twitter.com/bwjSoMqLwJ
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) February 28, 2017
OK. Um. Well, let’s go into it.
Since the late 1990s, Ohio State has put more than a handful of great cornerbacks into the NFL. Shawn Springs, Antoine Winfield, Nate Clements, Chris Gamble and Bradley Roby headline the list. And that’s not to mention safeties such as Donte Whitner.
By comparison, LSU’s list of NFL cornerbacks is a bit shorter. Patrick Peterson is better than anyone Ohio State has produced, but after him Corey Webster, Morris Claiborne and Jalen Collins are less impressive names. But then there are the safeties: LaRon Landry, Eric Reid, Tyrann Mathieu. The list goes on.
This year, Ohio State is going to add Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker and Gareon Conley. LSU is going to add Jamal Adams and Tre’Davious White. Florida, for what it’s worth, is going to throw in Teez Tabor and Quincy Wilson.
So, maybe this is a three-horse race. But I think I know which horse you guys would take.
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