The wheels are not falling off LSU.
#4 LSU lost to #10 Florida in the Swamp yesterday, and judging by the Gameday Crew’s reactions, you would think that this was a 3-3 team that was getting ready to pack it in for the season. LSU shut out Florida for the entire first half. They held Florida to 237 total yards of offense for the game. LSU’s defense forced two turnovers. Sure, Florida gained 176 yards rushing, but it was on 58 attempts for a 3.0 yards-per-carry average. That is not getting manhandled. I think we tend to overreact to every hiccup and every loss because we now have the ability to see every play of every game, and to see them over and over. Losing to the #10 team in the country by one score on the road when you are the #4 team is not an embarrassment and doesn’t mean that the program needs to be blown up. It means they lost a game to a very good team.
Army ran over Boston College in their 34-31 win in West Point yesterday. Literally.
Army rushed for 516 yards on 79 carries against Boston College. Think about that number for a second. Army (as a team) averaged 6.1 yards per rush, which is insane with a normal number of carries like 25. Being able to consistently count on six yards on every hand-off or option pick throughout a game is a huge advantage. Tat average wasn’t skewed by a few big plays either. Army’s two longest runs of the day were 55 and 29 yards. Ask any coach if they would rather run or pass for five hundred yards. Ten out of ten would say “run” because it is much easier on the linemen, and you can count on running the ball well more consistently than passing.
The Notre Dame / Miami matchup was nice to see, but it’s not the same as it once was.
The atmosphere surrounding the Irish / Hurricane game was a nice touch, but neither of these teams come close to what they were back in the eighties and early nineties when Notre Dame was led by Lou Holtz and Miami by Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erikson. Both of these teams, Notre Dame more so, are a long way from from their Golden Age (no pun intended). Miami hasn’t had a truly great team since they lost the Fiesta Bowl to Ohio State following the 2002 season, and Notre Dame hasn’t had a legitimate shot at the National Championship since the 1993 season. These aren’t the old heated rivals from the eighties. Players on both teams probably got recruited by the other, and both schools are basically going after the same kind of players.It’s nice to remember the history of the rivalry, but you can’t manufacture that kind of atmosphere. It’s just not the same today. It’s like how a few weeks ago when the Steelers were playing the Raiders. During commercial breaks, the network kept playing flashbacks to the seventies matchups between the two. Those old games and the old rivalry have absolutely nothing to do with the game today. The rivalry now is about the fan bases, not the players or the schools.