[Note: this column probably has ten or fifteen inside jokes that only Tank and I will get. Basically, I just wrote it to amuse myself. Six months without an LSU post is an impressive streak nonetheless.]
Over the past couple weeks, espn.com has continued its partnership with the Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook (henceforth referred to as BRCFY) by releasing team previews for every I-A, er, Football Bowl Subdivision school. Luckily, LSU's was the 'free' preview for the SEC West, which seems kind of unfair, because I remember that it was last year as well. It's not like they automatically take the best school or the champion or anything-- North Carolina is their free preview for the ACC Coast-al (?) Division. And it's not like I've been using the same free, whored-out Insider account for five years or anything, but that's neither here nor there.
Anyway, the Blue Ribbon previews are pretty vanilla and predictable: stat regurgitation, depth chart namedropping, coach quotes. But there are some intricacies in tone and word choice that I just couldn't let go; therefore, TANBR has taken exact quotes from the Blue Ribbon preview and determined their hidden meanings.
"The Tigers not only lost a lot of talented players but they lost some tough, solid, dependable leaders in defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, tailback Jacob Hester, wide receiver Early Doucet, strong safety Craig Steltz, quarterback Matt Flynn, outside linebacker Ali Highsmith and cornerbacks Chevis Jackson and Jonathan Zenon, tight end Keith Zinger, outside linebacker Luke Sanders, right tackle Carnell Stewart and punter Patrick Fisher."
Whoa! Someone researched the rollcall of draft-eligible Tigers from last season! I'll let Zenon go (he regressed last year), and I'll see you with Luke Sanders (undrafted but underrated at weakside when Beckwith was hurt), but I can't let you slip Zings and Carnell Stewart by. I remember Zinger, who was drafted like fifth-to-last in April, was Kiper-analyzed with "decent run blocking tight end, but drops many catchable balls." Oh, really? Keith Zinger, though white but gastrointestinally sensitive, probably caused about 200 Junckie-types to enter cardiac arrest in 2005 and 2006. I liken him to the homeless man's homeless dog's Richard "Ricky" Dickson. Carnell Stewart had multiple games with two false start penalties. In a row.
Waiting in line for the bathroom.
"It's kind of every guy's responsible role to improve and make their position the best it can be. If we can do that again, we'll be very competitive." - L. Miles
"Um, I'm pretty sure we've got to give 110% and leave it all on the field. Or something. And, oh yeah, improve. So 120%. Where's my sandwich from AM Mart? It's 11:15, damn it!"
"We lost a lot of good players, but we have a chip on our shoulder and have a lot to prove to everyone."
Thanks, Jai. But actually, every other team in I-A has a much more substantial chip on their shoulder. Keep telling yourself this before Patrick Johnson sneaks up the depth chart and captures the starting role by midseason.
Miami fans are so cute with their funny little photoshops. And if you think the football office's checks don't have tiger stripes all over them, you're sadly mistaken.
"We'll do some things differently, add a few of our own wrinkles. Coming out of the spring we were pretty similar to what we were doing the past three years."
- D. Mallory, on the post-Pelini defensive philosophy
So... Doug, can we expect a lot of Nickel packages? Five-DB sets? Heavy doses of Danny McCray and Kelvin Sheppard as hybrid linebacker/safeties? Call me pessimistic, but I'm not too keen on the Doug Mallory/Bradley Dale Peveto defense era in Baton Rouge, not when the pair of names sounds like it should be hosting a postgame show (live from Walk-On's) on WJBO.
"Talent won't be an issue for the Tigers, so the real key will be the emergence of leaders who can show the way through tough times in big games."
Not enough white dudes.
"Between Hatch, redshirt freshman Jarrett Lee (6-2, 190) and incoming freshman Jordan Jefferson (6-4, 210), Crowton believes the Tigers will find an effective, productive"
Yeah, that's copied verbatim-- the paragraph just ends there. I see what you did, Blue Ribbon! Don't call him a quarterback yet. Ryan Perrilloux would be chuckling to himself if he bothered to hook up internet at his Jacksonville State dorm room or knew how to read.
An effective, productive... something or other.
"Chris Mitchell played well and started for awhile until he injured his ankle. R.J. Jackson and Ricky Dixon are both really solid receivers."
- G. Crowton
When we redo our player rankings this fall, there will be a "Top Five Players with the Most Wipeyourpace Photos on Fbook" category. Rich Dickson is the favorite.
Are we prepared for a season of Jordy Hultbergian nicknames like "Ricky"? If you're going to be so bold, BRCFY, at least spell the last name correctly.
"Jean-Francois served an 11-game suspension but still started in the SEC and BCS championship games and won the defensive MVP award in the national title game."
RJF scoffs at your silly "NCAA sanctions."
"[Perry Riley's] main competition, redshirt freshman Shomari Clemons (6-2, 220), missed the second half of spring practice after a suspension for an off-the-field incident."
More specifically, he missed half of spring practice primarily for assaulting a police officer, and otherwise just for hanging around Ryan Perrilloux too much. See, it's players like Shomari that would keep us relevant in the polls that matter.
"Sophomore Kelvin Sheppard (6-3, 223) hasn't seen a lot of playing time, but he had an outstanding spring."
The biggest winner in the whole Perrilloux suspension? It's not Andrew Hatch or Jarrett Lee, no, it's Kelvin Sheppard. See, about half the time last year, the cameraman focused on Kels on the sideline when the commentators were talking about Perrilloux. A lot of old people were undoubtedly confused, as they both wore #11.
"The Tigers still return starting free safety Curtis Taylor (6-3, 204) as well as junior strong safety Harry Coleman (6-2, 205), junior free safety Danny McCray (6-1, 206) and talented sophomore Chad Jones (6-2, 222), who may be the team's best overall athlete and will probably play a regular role even if he doesn't start."
CHAD JONES, ATH. That was his designation during the 2007 recruiting season, and apparently it's just stuck for the Blue Ribbon writers. I haven't been shy about my deep mancrush for #3; in fact, I'll start apologizing for his punt return fumbles before the season even starts.
"When he wasn't running for a 15-yard touchdown on a fake field goal against South Carolina, senior Colt David (5-9, 175) was busy emerging as one of the nation's best kickers in 2007."
When he wasn't "but hey"-ing his way around Cabo San Lucas, senior Colt David was busy emerging as a productive jort sporter.