Some random notes and observations from the Kingdom of Mike:
1. I'm hearing that Tyson Jackson, Derry Beckwith and Kirston Pittman will all return for their senior year. The deadline to declare for the draft is this week (Tuesday to be exact) if I am not mistaken. If these guys do indeed return, our defense will be loaded with talent (I never get tired of saying that, especially after living through the Dark Times) and quite fearsome.
2. I'm also hearing the DC position will be filled from within and that we will be hiring a new special teams coach.
3. I heard a great interview on the way home last Monday night. It was with a backup offensive lineman. He made a point to emphasize how hard Coach Moffitt works them in conditioning in addition to just the weight room. He said Moffitt's off/pre-season conditioning program is a big, BIG reason for LSU's success.
Many of us already know how great Moffitt is for our program. I was ecstatic when we retained him during the Saban/Miles changeover. And now hearing those sentiments on the radio, I am more thankful for him than ever.
4. We still have an open date, week 3, for next season. We already have our bye tenatively set for October (both dates off the top of my head). Winning the MNC didn't do us any favors in terms of attracting an opponent for that week in what, I'm sure, is an already tough sell. But the administration has known about this since well before last season or whenever the schedule starts being created.
I think a major problem with this situation is that our hands are tied with the Tulane home and home 10 year deal we just embarked upon. We can't offer a return visit next year to a quality opponent if they would come here because we HAVE to go to Tulane next year. I'm well aware of the decent financial arrangements we have (a % of the gate each time we play in the Dome), but I don't think the deal is worth it. For me, it's not one of Skip's brighter moments to have us locked into a monstrous 10 year deal with little to show for it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all about tradion as many of my family and friends will tell you. I love beating Tulane. But not this much and not at the cost of a schedule that is rewarding for the team and the fans.
4. It's been a while, but I wanted to mention something I got a kick out of during the Rose Bowl. The Herbstreit and the Musberger, two of the greatest voice talents in the history of the cosmos, were discussing coaching changes. Musberger just nailed Herbie with some comment about how 'we're all aware of how you are all knowing when it comes to coaching rumors' or soemthing. Oh snap! There was a nice pause and then you could hear Herbie just grind out a response. It was as if Musberger had hit Herbie with a Nature Boy Ric Flair chop whilst the crowd hollers out WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! It was well played indeed and just fun to hear.
5. My runnin' crew that watches games together came up with a great idea for instant replay challenges. If you challenge the play, the coach actually gets to take a red glove out and slap the ref across the face, thus issueing the challenge, old school like. If the challenge fails, the ref gets to return the slap with a spiked mail gauntlet. We think it would liven up the games a tad.
6. Don't forget about the National Title Party/Tailgate/Excuse to drink and cook one more time outdoors on a Saturday this coming January 19th. There will be a rally at Tiger Stadium Saturday at 2:30. The Golden Band, The Hat, your 2007 LSU Tigers and the trophy and new flag will be there. Beforehand, tailgating is encouraged. Should be a great time to cook, enjoy this beautiful spring we are having and watch recorded games from this season.
Hope that was entertaining. I'll have a nice big essay soon on the ticket increase for LSU and an extravaganza about how the BCS isn't broken, but your brain might be. Stay tuned and have a great week!