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|New offensive coordinator...|
All I want for Christmas is a new offensive coordinator.
The 2009 regular season came to an end and while LSU finished where they were predicted to finish, I believe most fans are disappointed because LSU is not playing in a BCS bowl.
Sure, Alabama and Florida are the best two teams in the nation, but LSU had its chances in both games.
The loss to Ole Miss was huge. It kept the Tigers from having a chance to finish in the top five, which would have kept the program among the elite.
For the second straight year, LSU did not finish strong. A 24-15 loss to Alabama, a 24-16 win over Louisiana Tech, a 25-23 loss to Ole Miss and a 33-30 overtime win over Arkansas.
Sure, Alabama is Alabama, Tech was after the Alabama game, Ole Miss has an outstanding team and Ryan Mallet is a stallion.
If LSU had put the pressure on Jevan Snead they put on Mallet, they would be 10-2.
But the defense is not the problem.
Against Arkansas, LSU ran the ball 6 times on first down, picking up two yards or less nine times.
And that was actually an improvement over earlier in the season.
When they did pick up eight yards on first down, it was followed by a run for no yards and a run for minus-2 yards.
Fortunately for the Tigers, Mallet was off the mark early.
And Josh Jasper was on the mark.
LSU had nine penalties for 80 yards in the 12th game of the year, including a substitution infraction.
LSU had 71 penalties on the season for 544 yards, an average of 49.5 a game.
I don't think I would be too far off in saying about 80 percent of those penalties killed a drive or helped sustain an opponents' drive.
LSU averaged 25.7 points a game this season. There are too many weapons to not be averaging at least 30.
While the defensive line had its problems, the Tiger defense bailed out the LSU offense on many occasions.
The defense is in good hands under John Chavis.
I am disappointed that Russell Shepard never threw a pass this season.
I am extremely disappointed Rueben Randle was not utilized more.
I know Shepard has lined up wrong or ran the wrong way in certain situations. Against Arkansas, Jordan Jefferson had to do a double pump when it was apparent Shepard was supposed to go right and he went left. I had to back it up and look at it twice, and sure enough there was Richard Dickson looking to block somebody on the right side, but no one behind him.
Still, you can put Shepard in the Wild Tiger and let him throw it and I believe he's going to make a play 80 percent of the time.
I picked LSU to go 11-2 this season with a win over Oklahoma State in the Sugar Bowl.
I'm not as disappointed in the 9-3 record as I am in the way it ended up 9-3.
There are a number of early round NFL draft picks on this LSU team.
At this time it looks like LSU will be playing in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Florida on January 1 against either Penn State or Iowa.
LSU should be the headline game of the day.
The best part is the extra practices the Tigers will get out of it.
That means working more to get Shepard and Randle into the offense, and helping Jefferson to feel more comfortable in the pocket. And maybe more time for Miles to work on his halftime interviews
Next year's schedule will be tougher and I imagine there will be more cliff-hangers.
LSU will open the season against North Carolina in the Georgia Dome on September 4.
The Tigers travel to Vanderbilt on September 11, followed by home games against Mississippi State, West Virginia and Tennessee on October 2.
I am very impressed with Dan Mullen at State and Tennessee will be a team to watch next season.
The Tigers play at Florida on October 9 and return home to play McNeese on October 17. The Tigers will play at Auburn on October 23 and at home the next three games against Alabama on November 06, Southern Mississippi on November 13 and Ole Miss on November 20 before closing out the season at Arkansas on November 27.
That new offensive coordinator will have his hands full.
Did you get that, Santa?