Wednesday, March 07, 2007

176 Days Until Starkville: A Hodson To Fuller Update

In the HTF world, there have been several developments since the site was suspended back on January 3. For one, half the offensive staff-- including both players and coaches-- has departed. No small deal. Clearly, Les Miles wasn't hired to revolutionize anything, just kind of maintain consistency with fruitful recruiting and well-conceived hirings to replace inevitably departed assistants. Let's see how he's doing.

Quarterback “controversy” “heats up”:

Miles: "You're gonna roll to your left, and throw the ball, like, 60 yards on the run."
Flynn [obviously hungover, see photo]: "Coach, I can't do that..."

Les Miles is exactly the kind of guy who'd predetermine a fifth-year senior will "win" the starting job, and I can't say I argue with him. Ryan Perrilloux completed a pass last season; granted, it was a beautiful ball to the tight end against UL Lafayette. As much shit as The Victory Cigar has had to take over the years-- actually, it's really not that much when you discount HTF's contributions last season-- one figures he'd be ready to at least manage the talent around him. Anyone thinking Our Favorite Money Launderer has a better chance of moving the ball against the Virginia Tech defense in early September is sadly mistaken.

Alley Broussard returns to spring practice:

Hide the Scooby snacks! Our boy had seemingly accomplished the impossible-- entering Les Miles's doghouse: "We will look at opportunities to use Alley when he's most prepared to compete. But he's not that right now." Miles suspended the team's second-best rapper for five of the fifteen spring practices. The Cat suited up this week and returned to practice with an unknown playing weight. And the players responded: "He brings joy to the team. He's a great guy. He's a great guy just to be around," said Keiland Williams. Per the Shreveport Times, "'[Alley] had a couple carries today, ran up in there hard. He looked good,' LSU coach Les Miles said, but he chose not to elaborate and changed the subject." Think of Alley as a more personable, subdued, un-incarcerated version of Cecil Collins.

Gary Crowton and his West Coast Offense have arrived / Jimbo Fisher receives some veiled insults / We’ve officially become the Detroit Pistons:

Gary Crowton is probably Les Miles's father.

Gary Crowton's, like, the best coach evar! And Jimbo Fisher was, like, really mean and stuff. I just love it when coaches let us relax and play football: "Actually, coach Crowton is just the nicest guy I've probably ever met," [Jake Hester] said. "He's just real approachable. You can go and talk to him about whatever. He doesn't look at you like you're crazy when you ask him what went wrong on a play. It's good to know that you can come to somebody and talk to him, and they're not going to blow up on you." You're not crazy, Jacob. You are not crazy.

Don't get me wrong, I love this hire. He had Oregon firmly entrenched in the top 10 in offensive statistical categories for each of the last two seasons. This is a case of Miles doing his homework, finding a school with considerably less talent but similar success, and pacing the brains behind it. And the West Coast Offense spreads!

Jai Eugene: remove the redshirt:

I'm totally not pulling for a Chevis injury. I'm really not. But subbing in J-Huge (I'm working on it) over Daniel Francis could win us one more game this year. And he returns punts. In that department, I am pulling for a Chevis injury.

But hey! Sure, Jai, if Greg Oden can be 18, you can be 19.

Tigers pace the Combine, prepare for Pro Day:

I know exactly what my dad said when he saw LaRon's forty time of 4.35: "He never ran that fast in four years and 52 starts." And I'd tend to agree with him. Too bad there's not a combine drill for beating the shit out of floundering wide receivers. They probably told Sidney Rice to stand at the end of the forty track and pretend he was catching a pass over the middle when LaRon was up.

Dwayne Bowe... not so hot. Still a first-rounder, though; hopefully, he could drop to the Patriots and join Kevin Faulk, Jarvis Green, and the rest of LSU North. But I think Meachem passed him up for the fourth wide receiver spot. Maybe he can make it up on the pro day, which is slated for March 14th.

JaMarcus was expectedly too hard for the RCA Dome (see below).

I’ll probably keep the same desktop wallpaper until September:

I honestly spent three hours looking for this photo after I found out about it while writing my last HTF post. Finally tracked it down about a month ago on some user's profile. I'm so proud of this team.

Bo Pelini's goal is to not allow a point this season:

And he's probably the only one working in... whatever they call the coaches' office building. He passed on Les, Gary, and strength and conditioning coach Tommy Moffitt's daytime 300-foot drive to Walk On's. They left at, like, 1:30 and haven't returned. By the way, this is the last year of The Bo Pelini Era before a team like Syracuse hires him for good. Saddening, really. I remember cursing him during and after that 1100-yard fest in Tempe in 2005; discard that game and he's become everything I want from a defensive coordinator. And he kind of looks like my research adviser.

Preorder your JaMarcus Raiders #2 jersey here:

The best part about buying the 2005 #4 JaMarcus jersey is that I now have a brand-new Jai Eugene road uni, or a Jamie Howard, four-interceptions-in-the-fourth-quarter-at-Auburn-in-1994 throwback.

I’m thinking road white, you know, for consistency’s sake. The home silver-on-black just has a real 1993, Rodney King, West Coast rap feel to it—I’m not particularly digging it. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading gushing reviews of JaMarcus’s one throw in Indianapolis . He can throw the ball “83, maybe 84 yards.” Fifty yards from his knees. Don't front, his heart is most definitely in football, although he has said on several occasions that basketball is his favorite sport. And he uses some kind of vinegar-and-clay concoction to heal ankle ailments. Um, our generation's Doug Williams, you might want to keep that last one to yourself next time; I think Al Davis just spit his dentures out (Sundays are for LOLing).

Sorry, HTF doesn’t like its running backs with names like Richard, Jacob, and Charles. Then again, HTF doesn’t trust people who don’t eat meat, either:

In the quest for the frontrunner in the Not Joe McKnight Race, some dude named Richard Murphy has compiled five nice practices, according to Les. There's of course Jake Hester, who should fill the Kyle Williams: Senior White Motivator shoes quite nicely in 2007. Chaz Scott strung a couple solid games together in 2006, but I seem to remember those were against teams like Tulane and Fresno State.

And then there's Keiland Williams, the returning starter now-sophomore who capped a strong 2006 second half with an impressive Sugar Bowl. Keiland seems like a hard worker who generally doesn't care whether he's McKnight or not. But he's a vegetarian. Why am I finding this out right now? Can you imagine the comedy at Zea's Rotisserie during Sugar Bowl week? I'm thinking Ciron Black kept holding sausage up to Key's mouth while he silently ate his cheese grits. In a perfect world, he paced a "I just don't dig on swine, that's all" line in the heat of the moment.

"We'd have to be talkin' about one charmin' motherfuckin' pig. I mean, he'd have to be ten times more charmin' than that Arnold on Green Acres."

Still, you'd think this lack of protein might affect his build. Well, you'd be wrong. Take it away, team dietician Shelly Mullenix: "He's got a great body. Look at those legs." Altogether, a truly fascinating read.

Start the sky-high, 2004-level expectations: Early BCS predictions made:

Yep, has predicted a USC/LSU national championship. I'm thinking we end the season in New Orleans, as well-- but in the other Sugar Bowl. However, anything less than an 11-1 regular season is a disappointment to me. We've never combined this much talent with such a favorable schedule. And I'm prepared to put over 4000 miles on the Jeep for home games this season.

Miles has declared a “new” rival:

Someone must've forgotten to tell Les that Alabama has always been one of LSU's chief rivals. Hey, whatever it takes, we've paced you four in a row and five out of six. But Saban's slimiest act, arguably, was dipping into the well of LSU verbal commits and promising playing time. He nabbed Luther Davis for an unofficial visit after his verbal to the Tigers, Miles found out, and withdrew his scholarship offer per university policy. Hard. Ness. But wait: "'We're looking forward to playing Florida,' Miles told a large crowd at Wednesday's Bayou Bash recruiting party at the Baton Rouge (La.) River Center . 'We're looking forward to playing Auburn . But we have a new rival in fucking Alabama.'"

Tigers net another top-five recruiting class:

All was not lost when Joe McKnight chose $600,000 homes and whatever else Reggie Bush promised him over LSU. Seriously, how stupid was a) Reggie Bush to actually call Joe McKnight and b) Joe McKnight to tell the world in his signing day press conference that he talked to Reggie Bush? This amazes me. USC assumed a little too much about former and prospective players and their grasp on the NCAA rulebook, apparently.

But the Tigers landed every other big name still on their board by that afternoon. Headliners included five-star athletes WR Terrance Tolliver and ATH Chad Jones, and four-starrers DT Joseph Barksdale (Mr. Michigan), DB Stefoin Francois, and WR DeAngelo Benton. According to Rivals, LSU landed the most four-star prospects in the country with nineteen.

I proceeded to search for every landed recruit's facebook profile, but managed only to befriend Barksdale and OL T-Bob Hebert. And let me tell you, Barksdale's facebook log-on frequency might rival Marlon Fav-o-rite's (your #1 rapper) by the time his four years are through.

That's T-Bob Hebert in the lavender polo. I'm fully making use of the final days before the NCAA prohibits its athletes from having facebook profiles, which is imminent.

The 2007 season begins on the road. On a Thursday night. In Starkville, MS. On ESPN:

I'm excited. We got this. Make sure you mark those words down; we're about five and a half months from a "Seven Reasons Mississippi State Will Keep It Close" column. I'm not foreseeing any reason to not travel to this, though. Miss, like, a couple classes? Then again, I say that six months in advance of every single road game each season. Part of me wants to put the flags on the Jeep and travel; the other part just wants to stay home and hear Kirk Herbstreit gush about how Herman Johnson's the Real Big Baby around LSU.

- P.T.

Post-script (an addition to TANBR Recommends):
Joe Mathlete Explains Today's Marmaduke. Go waste yourself some time.