LSU football is in the news every day, and the Bayou Bengal Briefing is here to keep you updated with the latest headlines five mornings a week. Join us every Monday through Friday for the biggest news on Tigers football, recruiting, baseball and more. Enjoy!
College Football Playoff catchup
The final regular-season edition of the College Football Playoff rankings dropped Tuesday night, with Clemson, Auburn, Oklahoma and Wisconsin comprising the playoff teams. LSU came in at No. 17, fourth best among three-loss teams behind Stanford, Notre Dame and Michigan State.
Because of the strength at the top of the SEC this season, it’s looking awfully unlikely that LSU can climb into a New Year’s Six bowl. Even if two SEC teams are selected to the College Football Playoff and the third top-ranked team makes the Orange Bowl, LSU will need to climb at least five spots with no more games to be played to sneak into the Peach Bowl.
As such, it’s looking like LSU’s most probable destinations are in Orlando for the Citrus Bowl and Tampa for the Outback Bowl. This isn’t shocking news. A New Year’s Day noon game in Florida is always the destination for the SEC’s top-ranked team outside of the New Year’s Six. But now it’s becoming a little clearer which teams LSU might play.
For one, Notre Dame is in the picture now. With their loss to Stanford, the Fighting Irish fell to No. 15, on the outside looking in for NY6 contention. If LSU lands in the Citrus Bowl, Notre Dame would be an extremely attractive opponent because of the school’s national fan base and the huge cloud of love and hate that follows it wherever it goes.
Additionally, it looks like Michigan State and Northwestern are the likeliest Big 10 candidates. There’s a world in which Ohio State or Penn State falls out of the New Year’s Six, but that’s a little tough to imagine. Especially when four Big 10 teams made the NY6 last season. There’s also the chance of an ACC team crashing the Citrus Bowl, but it seems improbable that the committee would choose Virginia Tech over any of these Big 10 teams or Notre Dame.
Where in the world are LSU’s coaches?
We’re smack dab in the middle of the contact period, where coaches can visit with recruits face to face in their homes. As such, LSU’s coaches are traveling the country meeting up with all the recruits they can. Here’s a breakdown of where some of the coaches visited Tuesday and will visit Wednesday:
- Running backs coach Tommie Robinson will soon visit all three of LSU’s RB commits.
- A 4-star Florida athlete has caught LSU’s attention.
- Mickey Joseph is going in-home with a priority receiver target.
- General manager Austin Thomas is returning to his home state to recruit.
- Quarterback Justin Rogers has plenty to think about with LSU.
LSU offensive coordinator Matt Canada is going to be a head coach someday. It’s just not clear if that day will be within the next month or in a year or two.
Canada reportedly sought an interview for the coaching vacancy at Rice, according to a report from Football Scoop. The first-year LSU offensive coordinator has no connection to Texas, so his viability as a coach in Houston is so-so at best.
And as SEC Country’s Alex Hickey put it, there might not even be a market for Canada as a head coach yet. As of now, it seems as if Canada is poised to stay in Baton Rouge one more year. Of course, the way this year’s coaching carousel is going, this could change by the time you finish reading this sentence.
But for now, Canada’s aspirations may be bigger than his appeal. Key words being “for now.”
In praise of Devin White
I played around with some stats Tuesday trying to find what it was that made LSU linebacker Devin White so dominant in 2017. The answer? Collaboration.
As you can read here, White might not be the most productive solo tackler in the nation, but he makes up for that by being the country’s best gang tackler. No one has more assisted tackles than White in 2017. So, even when he isn’t making the stop by himself, he’s helping his teammates make them. There’s no stopping this guy. He’s always full speed to the ball.
It really is an interesting dynamic. White exemplifies a gang-tackling attitude that LSU thrives in. Only one Power 5 team finished the regular season with more assisted tackles than LSU. So, White was dominant as an individual at something LSU was equally dominant at as a team. Everything adds up there.
Pro Football Focus released its last regular-season conference honors of the 2017 season Tuesday, ranking the best offensive and defensive players in every conference for Week 13. One LSU player appeared on the offensive and defensive SEC lists, and it’s probably not the two players you thought they’d be.
PFF Week 13 – SEC Team of the Week – Defense pic.twitter.com/qzjnThEBau
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) November 28, 2017
PFF Week 13 – SEC Team of the Week – Offense pic.twitter.com/ee7K6fn6nc
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) November 28, 2017
It shouldn’t be much of a surprise to see Kevin Toliver ranked where he is. Toliver made 2 tackles, 1 for loss, with a forced fumble and 3 pass breakups Saturday versus Texas A&M. Greedy Williams and Donte Jackson might’ve come away with interceptions, but Toliver had his best day.
On offense, freshman left tackle Saahdiq Charles made the team. If LSU had an award for most improved player, Charles would almost certainly win it this year. He went from a borderline liability at guard to a stalwart at left tackle in the span of three months. Which is quite impressive.
The LSU men’s basketball team plays University of Tennessee-Martin on Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT. The game will be streamed online through SEC Network Plus and available on the radio through the LSU Sports Radio Network.
If you’re planning on attending the game at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, swing past the press box and give me a wave. It gets lonely up there.
Today in arbitrary anniversaries
On this day in 1963, one of the most important songs ever recorded was released as a single.
On Nov. 29, 1963, the Beatles released I Want to Hold Your Hand in their native Britain, with This Boy on the B-side. Less than a month later, The Fab Four packaged I Want to Hold Your Hand with I Saw Her Standing There as a U.S. single.
The rest is history. The Beatles performed this song on the Ed Sullivan Show for their first appearance stateside and changed the course of music forever. Rolling Stone Magazine ranks I Want to Hold Your Hand as the 16th-best song ever written and the third-best Beatles song. It’s a classic, mixing doo-wop harmonies and the jangling sound of early rock ‘n roll. And it’s nearly impossible to get out of your head.
So, for your listening pleasure, here’s the song. Feel free to “WOOOO” along.
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