Saturday, June 7, 2008

Special Friday Scoffing(ton) Post

SCOFF: an expression of derision or scorn.

A. LSU vs UC-Irvine. There's a notion out there about how great UC-Irvine's pitching is. How great UC-Irvine's coach is. How tough UC-Irvine's conference is. Yeah. Whatever. I'm scoffing. LSU will likely break it's remarkable winning streak this weekend. But I don't see UCI being able to hold LSU bats down for more than one game.

Now, I'm not challenging the claim that UCI is a very good baseball program with a good coach, lots of talent, and a great pitching staff. All of that appears to be true. I'm just sayin', "so what"? LSU is a very good baseball program with a good coach, lots of talent, and a great group of hitters, and a decent pitching staff. And that aint chopped liver.

Hollander is due. Dean is on fire. Clark is, well, Clark. This LSU team is peaking at exactly the right time. PLUS! LSU's pitching and defense, which - HELLO! - has been really pretty good lately when it counts, is not going to roll over. I don't think UCI has the chops to hold LSU bats off for two straight games.

Small ball is interesting from a statistical standpoint, but this is a three game series and LSU has the home field advantage. (Poseur at ATVS agrees, sorta). And I think the home field advantage will be the difference in game three. Plus - Aardvarks get pwned by Tigers, everytime. Obviously. Carnivores don't give way to nocturnal bug eaters. Buh-bye UCI. I scoff in your general direction. (I have my crow-eatin' kit ready, just in case...)

B. Appy State Day Game. Intellectually (I know, big stretch), I understand the concern about moving the season opener earlier. Season ticket holders want a night game. I get it. But I think this amounts to growing pains for an LSU football program that is pretty much now established in the elite group of NCAA football programs. So, I don't care if we play these guys early. In fact, I scoff at the notion that this is somehow a bad thing.

First of all, TV exposure means recruiting exposure outside of Louisiana. That's a mighty good thing! High school kids need this exposure to generate interest. For them, two years ago is 12-15% of their time on the planet! So, seeing purple and gold every Saturday, hearing "4th Quarter" and "Neck" in their sleep, and listening to the ESPN talking nuggets wax on about the Tigers - these are a few of my favorite things.

Check the LSU commit list so far for 2009. Cha-ching! I don't think many other programs are dragging the quality out-of-state talent that LSU has recently. (Notre Dame is one of the obvious exceptions). Hell, USC hasn't had to buy a plane ticket yet!

Secondly, like the Purple Jersey hex, the day game hex needs to be exorsized. Again, I'm not local, so it actually works well for me to have a day game. But I am a Coon Ass. I have been drunk by noon. Ain't no big whoop! And you can sober up by midnight and drive home reasonably rested on Sunday. What a concept! Get over it, folks. I think it's part of breaking through to the other side - the elite side. Besides, although I give Appy State props for their championship last year, I also give Destrehan (my Alma Mater) props for winning the LA State championship in 5A High School football. But I ain't worried about losing to either team. Powerful scoff, there. Powerful.

Third, money money money money......MONEY! 'Nuff said.

C. Home Games. Joshua is justifiably exercised by the notion that LSU appears to be breaking tradition by not having eight home games on the schedule in 2009. In fact, currently there are only six home games. Anyone think this has any chance of standing? Prolly not. But, I scoff at the notion that a road-heavy 2009 schedule is bad for LSU. Here's why.

First, LSU is likely to have a very, very talented team on the field in 2009. The QB situation will have fixed itself. LSU will have another great class of seniors, including OL, DL, RB and WRs that will be the envy of many, many schools.

Second, LSU has Auburn, Florida and Arkansas at home. Impossible to underestimate the importance of those first two.

And third, a credible road series would do wonders towards street cred in a fight for the BCS championship nod. Of course, ya gotta win 'em. But we aint scairt.

All in all - I scoff at the notion that LSU must play 8 home games (or even 7) to be successful (every year).


So - I scoff. Scoff, scoff, and scoff.

And. I stand ready to devour crow. But I have lunch handy, cause I'm (over)confident...

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