Only the Golden Girls missed out on LSU Award Weekby J.W. Miller on 12/16/19
As far as weeks go, the past one was a pretty good one for lovers of LSU’s top-ranked football team. Not only did LSU take over the top seed in the College Football Playoffs but it turned out to be Award Week in Baton Rouge. Gad, there were more awards up the river than a Betty Crocker bake-off!
Wide receiver Ja'marr Chase received the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the top wideout in college football. Safety Grant Delpit won the Jim Thorpe Award as the top defensive back even though on Monday freshman Derek Stingley was named to the AP All-America first team while Delpit was named to the second team. Passing game coordinator Joe Brady won the Frank Broyles Award as the top assistant coach in college football. QB Joe Burrow won the Davey O’Brien award as the top quarterback in the nation and also the Maxwell Award as the top college player. Those were merely preliminaries to the big one, the Heisman Trophy that Burrow was presented on Saturday night. Fittingly, Burrow’s emotional acceptance speech gave due credit to “Coach O,” Ed Orgeron, who was named the top coach in college football.
I really like and admire what Orgeron has done since taking over for Les Miles three years ago. Yes, when he talks it sounds like he's gargling gravel, and I believe his "Go Tigers" signoff of every interview is more genuine than contrived. The kids love him and they'd go through a levee wall for him. You can tell that just watching the body language, and it was confirmed by Burrow's heartfelt, tearful thank-you.
Did I miss any awards? Surely there was a national award for the Golden Girls. What? There wasn't? Every true resident of Fansville would lift their Dr. Peppers in the direction of their pristine pedestals if given a chance. I demand a recount! Even if the Golden Girls were not eligible for an award, Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin was justified in putting wings on a slow Monday by naming it “LSU Football Day” around the state. Winning teams deserve all the honors they get, but most players would probably trade the individual baubles for the national championship trophy. Stick around, lads, the Tigers are hot.
Burrow’s confidence and cool in the pocket reminds me of the college years of Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning. Mr. Cool! His offense is taken right out of the Saints playbook (literally, thanks to Sean Payton disciple Brady), and he has the weapons to execute it. His line gives him time, but he also has the wheels to get out of trouble. I believe Burrow’s offense can outscore Oklahoma’s, but they will get an Alabama-type of test with QB Jalen Hurts. Nick Saban’s former pupil leads the nation in yards per attempt (11.8) and yards per completion (16.4), and he is responsible for 51 touchdowns. But I believe the difference will be the Tiger defense that has more playmakers than Oklahoma’s.
And that would set it up for a final game in the Superdome against the Ohio State and Clemson winner. Bring'em on!
The Saints' pasting of the Colts on Monday night sets up a very interesting final two weeks in the NFL. The hated Falcons did the Saints a big favor in upending the 49ers Sunday to revive the local chances for home field throughout the playoffs. Now the Saints, 49ers, Seahawks and Packers all have 11-3 records, which allows us to establish rooting interests for Who Dat Nation. Now listen closely ...
The following scenarios work only if the Saints win their last two games, at Tennessee and at Carolina and finish with a 13-3 record. The Titans still have a chance at the playoffs and won't go away gracefully. In fact, the Saints are only favored by a point-and-a-half. A tussle at division rival Carolina also will be expected, but our local heroes should prevail.
The Packers go to 10-4 Minnesota next Monday night and enter the game as 4-point underdogs. Go Vikes! A Minny win would give the NFC North rivals four losses each. The 49ers host the fading Rams this weekend, and we'll concede that one to those renegades. Then in Week 17, those who shall not be named travel to Seattle where they will be decided underdogs. Pray for a pummeling by the home team, which would give the 49ers four losses and the Seahawks the bye. But, since the Saints beat Seattle, Brees and the Gang will hold the top seed and home dome throughout the playoffs.
You got that? Stay tuned.