Monday, September 11, 2006

Ok Ok Ok, I'm back

Sorry for the absence through the first couple weeks of the season. Couple quick thoughts:

1) ESPN Sucks. The graphic this afternoon on the main screen was celebrating how tonight is the greatest day in, like, forever! Because it's football on ESPN! The poll on the main page was even "Are you ready for some football??" with a simple Yes/No answer. Given 90% of the country has already seen their team play, I just find this celebration of MNF idiotic. The self-promotion just has to stop. They dominate televised sports. Now it's just getting annoying. Quit it, idiots. Also, they overcharge for everything, their magazine is too big, and their anchors suck. Of course, EDSBS discussed all of this last year on November 29th, and the thread is still getting comments.
I have a clearer version of this if you don't believe me, fools.

2) LSU's performance this year has been beyond anything I could have imagined. I had concerns going in about 1) Offensive line cohesion; 2) Front seven ability to create pressure; 3) Russell cutting out the idiotic decisions; 4) It's Les Miles, do I even have to mention brain-dead coaching?; 5) Ability to seal the deal - which admittedly had been answered emphatically with our season-ending romp of Miami in the Peach Bowl - but who knew how that would carry over?

We've turned the ball over 5 times this year, on two punt returns vs ULL and a couple fumbles and a pick in the AZ game. So that needs to be cured, and damn quickly. But every single other aspect has been superb. I would like to think that the fumbles will go away against Auburn since we'll be more focused (i.e. all the turnovers vs AZ came after we were up 24-0), but I know better than that.

Clearly ULL and Arizona aren't teams to use as a measuring stick against most anyone above I-AA ball, but nonetheless given our problems executing in the past I'm all smiles going into the Auburn game. Despite our tremendous talent, I'd chalked Auburn up as a pretty certain loss before the season; now I dare say I have hope that ole Les can pull this off.

3) I was blown away by the Saints performance versus the Browns on Sunday. I caught 30 seconds of Around the Horn today and they were discussing how great Reggie Bush looked against the Browns. Bill Plaschke mentioned that it's a 5 compared to what he will do, and I have to say I agree. Reggie got a lot of tough yards, which was different than what we were used to seeing out of him in college, but nothing flashy. I suppose from that aspect it was almost a let down. But he was a huge cog in the win for us.

Nothing to argue with Bush's 120 yards rushing and receiving and another 20 on punt returns, but my biggest props go to Deuce McAllister. I thought he'd lost it prior to the knee injury last year; afterwards, I was certain he was done. After 22 carries for 90 solid yards (i.e. no 50 yarders skewing the average), it appears like Deuce has regained something pretty close to his old form. I think it's safe to say we all knew Reggie could play in this league; what we didn't know is how well Deuce would look in real action. What a relief.

Still a stud.

Meanwhile, I suppose it's a testament to how poorly prepared the Browns were that our defense just dominated them in the first half - the Browns didn't get a first down until 28 minutes into the game. Our inability to execute in the redzone made it a closer affair than it should have been given our respective first halves, so hopefully we can work on that.

Honestly though, I'm not even sure I care if we fix it; my expectation all along has been for a 4 to 5 win season at best. Getting one in the books in week one, on the road, against what seemed to be an up-and-coming squad (at least defensively), is just super. Juuuust super.


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