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A Harem of the Gridiron Goddess Post: ByronVolFan on SEC Preview 2008

July 7, 2008

Gridiron Goddess is happy to welcome back ByronVolFan, our resident Tennessee Volunteer Alum and official SEC previewer!

Your SEC Preview

by ByronVolFan

Hello, once again, from the banks of the Mississippi River and the Bluff City. It is getting to that time of year when the sandstorms of the sports year have us crawling through the wasteland of the summer in search of the Promised Land…there it is…COLLEGE FOOTBALL!!! It’s juuuuust around that next dune, my friend. We will soon make it there…fear not.

This heat has begun to suck from my memory the idea that a cold fall morning calls for getting the grill ready for the BBQ and a strong and spicy bloody mary. I have forgotten how, no matter how crazy the night before may have been, all God-fearing sports fans are up in time for ESPN’s College GameDay. There are very few excuses for missing this and the only REAL excuse you have is that you are en route to an actual SEC game. [This year, I learned, that your roommate will chastise you if you miss GameDay because your fiancé wants to talk on the phone. There is no purgatory big enough for such crimes. We may miss church tomorrowbut Herbie and Corso demand our reverence…even if they malign our beloved alma mater. And, they probably will even as we slam down our red Dixie cups, sloshing our Bloody Marys on the table, and call them every 4-lettered word we have ever heard. In fact, we probably make some up just to let those Yankees know we mean business.

Your Gridiron Goddess says: A commitment to GameDay is no small feat on the West Coast. It starts at 7am out here. And yet, it is my 2nd favorite time of the week. College Football Saturday is my Holy Day.]

Your humble Southern correspondent also learned some other valuable truths this year. Do NOT assume that your team will not make the conference championship unless it is mathematically impossible to do so. I made the mistake of planning the proposal of marriage on the day of the SEC Championship. When I bought the ring and set up all the necessary surprises, I would not have bet that UT would have made the game. However, we did but to watch that game at a surprise party in honor of your new fiancé…was disheartening, at best, for this Volunteer. Thankfully, my soon-to-be bride loves football as much as I, was equally as disheartened, and was distracted by the wedding magazines her friends had brought her. So, up yours, Football gods!!! You tried to ruin my impending marriage by letting her see me lose my mind over Ainge’s “play”, however, I outsmarted you with those wedding magazines…the first, last, and only time those things have ever HELPED a guy in need!!

On to football news…last year, I humbly submit to you, that I I was pretty dead-on. Got the championship game right and was fairly close on most teams, with some notable exceptions. So, gloating aside (as this is a new year and ample opportunity to get my butt handed to me) here’s the “down and dirty” breakdown of the SEC in the 2008 season.

SEC East

Florida (9-3, 5-3). Tebow is the man. I know that I’m supposed to hate him as the Florida QB, but I can’t. However, I’ve heard the same song and dance out of UF about RB’s and D. I’m sorry, but I just don’t see the improvement to win the title here and the rest of the conference is figuring Florida out. Good year, close games…but no Atlanta.

Georgia (11-1, 7-1). The hottest team in football last year–well in the 2nd half of the year at least. Moreno will be in New York at the end of the year and Stafford will prove much better. The Georgia/Florida game will make/break the division…and probably the conference. I’ve got Georgia beating them again as Moreno will just kill the Gator D. A good deal of pundits are worried about the schedule. Really? Their road games are South Carolina, Arizona State, LSU, Kentucky, and Auburn. So, they lose at LSU and play one INCREDIBLE game at Auburn…but where’s the BIG scare here? Other than Richt’s inability to close the deal when highly rated, I just don’t see it. Conference champs and SEC rep to the Sugar Bowl.

Kentucky (5-7, 1-7) Kentucky’s back to their doormat status. Loss of their star athletes and a coach who probably secretly wishes he could run the Full House triple option every game with players with no facemasks…makes for a hard rebuilding process. (Note: It would be cool, however, if someone pulled out that kind of BS consistently…I mean, it works on NCAA Football on PS2!!!)

South Carolina (8-4, 5-3) Spurrier’s QB’s…Spurrier’s QB’s…blah blah blah. First, in the interest of full disclosure, I have them beating Tennessee. This is not biased, but I’m just still not sold on them…never have been. The Ol’ Ball Coach is slipping. The program will never usurp Georgia, Florida, and UT in the East on a consistent basis (and yes, I know that in my 2008 rankings, they are ahead of UT…I’m talking about the program level). New QB, loss of some key players…mid level bowl and more “aw shucks” from Darth Visor himself.

Tennessee (8-4, 5-3) Bias Alert! Gonna be an ugly year. I’m sorry, Amy, but I just don’t see us going back to the Coast and leaving with a victory against UCLA. , I wouldn’t put money on that game if I were you. New OC and QB and the same inept banana hammock calling the defense. However, we’ll be better than expectations. Crompton is mean as a snake at QB. I like him a lot and the new OC could really take us to the “next level”. Also, I wouldn’t be super fan if I didn’t point this out…there was another time that we lost a superstar QB, had a new QB coming in a great OL, experienced RB’s and WR core, and a ready-made-tough-as-nails D…that was in 1998. It’s a stretch, I know…and I’m not predicting it! Back to reality, close games but coaching and inconsistent play at QB will eat us alive.

[Your Gridiron Goddess says: UCLA is going to STINK up the joint this year my friend. They barely have a QB that can even WALK right now But they do have Norm Chow, grrrrr..]

Vanderbilt (4-8, 2-6). The only good thing about Vanderbilt being so bad is, as I’ve spent more time in Nashville for work and personal, the Vandy fans make me laugh. There’s always next year. Personal highlight of my Vandy picks…beating Ole Miss!

SEC West

Alabama (8-4, 4-4). But wait, didn’t Saban walk on water and bring sight to the blind and cure cancer and find Jimmy Hoffa and figure out what Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row” was about? No. Good QB…but inconsistent QB…will lead you to the Liberty Bowl every time. Just ask South Carolina and Miss. State. Wilson’s got the talent and the fire in his gut, but damn, that boy looks stupid sometimes. That, and a ridiculous schedule this year makes it tough for me to find a much better path.

Arkansas (5-7, 2-6). I have to admit, that when I got to Arkansas on my picks sheet, I couldn’t believe that they, by default, had this many wins. The latest stop on the Petrino Boat to Nowhere is pretty bare. Casey Dick? Really…a Petrino-style QB? I’m just not seeing it. Thank God for Western Illinois!

Auburn (9-3, 6-2). Year in/year out the toughest team to call but this seems to be about right given the schedule and the fact that, apparently, I’m drinking the Georgia Kool-Aid this year. The only interesting call I’m making here is that Alabama beats Auburn in the Iron Bowl. They’re just due for it and I smell something like that brewing in the last month of this year. Incidentally, the month of November will be ridiculous in SEC football. Jobs will be secured and lost in those four weeks.

LSU (11-1, 7-1) SOMEHOW, once again, LSU benefits from a ridiculously great schedule. They’ll lose to either Auburn or Florida on the road (my money’s on Auburn) and they’ll have to play South Carolina on the road (yawn). The rest of the games are at home (or neutral site against Arkansas…yawn). I mean, I don’t care who’s at QB, they’re still loaded and all of those drunk Cajuns (not a term of derision!) provide an incredible home field advantage. Still great on D and have great skill players and one BIG OL.

Ole Miss (5-7, 1-7). As has been noted, I’ve never been impressed with Houston Nutt. I always thought he was overrated as a coach. All I’ve heard is “Snead will save the day for the Rebs”. Ok, but Snead is not Tebow…who else do you have? Riiiiiight, that’s what I thought. Not convinced, here, that this is the year that Houston Nutt sends the Rebs to Atlanta (the only SEC West team never to have done so…tee hee hee!).

Mississippi State (8-4, 5-3). Bias Alert! WOW! Ok, so I should have sent my beloved Bulldogs bowling last year. 8 wins though? Byron, are you crazy? Yes. Sure, they lost some people, but they’re stacked behind them. A coach like Croom seizes momentum in his program and uses it to get his guys back in the game. I’m betting on a one game improvement? “8 wins Byron?”. Yes, remember, that if Arkansas didn’t have one of the greatest RB tandems in football history last year, State would have crushed the mighty Arkansas. They only lost by 2 touchdowns…which for MSU standards vs. a Heisman candidate…pretty dern good! This year, there’s no Heisman in Fayetteville and State has a chance to beat up on the new guy, Bobby Petrino.

Championship Game: Georgia vs. LSU…Georgia gets revenge on LSU and heads to the Sugar Bowl.

On a side note, for those of you that like your football to be fun and crazy…pay attention to New Mexico State. Hal Mumme, disgraced former coach at Kentucky who makes Mike Leach look like a run-first coach, and Joe Lee Dunn have teamed up down there. Dunn is notorious for having some of the most odd-ball defensive formations imaginable. Ever seen 2 down linemen on D? He’ll show it to you. That combined with Mumme’s 158 passes/game, it’ll be funny to watch.

So, that’s the preview from south of the Mason-Dixon line. I’m not even going to pretend to forecast the nation this year. There’s just too many variables and changes this year that it’s going to be a toss-up year. Good luck to your teams. If you’re a Big 10 fan, can’t wait to see OSU be overrated and shown up in the post-season. HA!

(Your Gridiron Goddess says: Sept 13 is the day the Buckeyes dream of another trip to the BCS Championship game dies)

Good luck everyone and continue to check out The Gridiron Goddess for all of your football needs!


Guest post: College Football Preview – UGA #1 team in BCS

June 30, 2008

I want to start by introducing myself. I am ‘eneffell’ (NFL) and I am the author of The I-Form (be sure to visit it) and secondly, I would like to thank Amy for letting me contribute on her blog. I am here to tell you why the Georgia Bulldogs are the number one team college football.

The main summary of Georgia’s 41-10 beating of Hawaii is sacks. If you remember the 2008 Sugar Bowl

correctly, your mind will conjure up visions of Colt Brennan on the ground with a Georgia D-Lineman standing triumphantly over him.

Georgia sacked Brennan eight times and knocked him down 20+ times. He couldn’t get the ball off. Reports surfaced that Brennan now sleeps with a night-light because he thinks Marcus Howard is in his closet or under his bed. Howard was the first defensive player to be Sugar Bowl MVP

Now, Howard is gone, but most of the offense and defense is back. And with a Top 5 Recruiting Class, the Bulldogs are definitely a pre-season Top 5 Team along with the likes of Ohio State, USC, Oklahoma, and Florida (not necessarily in that order) if not the best.

And, in the expert opinion of Todd McShay, Knowshon Moreno and Matt Stafford are Top 5 Picks in next years draft. And, in my amateur opinion, I think they are both Heisman candidates for next year as well. Both are young, and both are very good.

But, there are possible problems down the road. Georgia does have a very tough schedule. Combined with SEC Conference play, which is always difficult, they have to go to Arizona State to play the Sun Devils, who are also a Pre-Season Top 25 team. Then, on top of that, they have road games at LSU and Auburn.

I like my Dawgs a lot this season. The Gridiron Goddess would tell you that USC is better. But, UGA would tell you ‘Go Dawgs’

– eneffell, Author of

Note from Your Gridiron Goddess: eneffell is right about one thing, I do think USC is better. But I also think the top two teams in the country are not Florida and Ohio State (the choke master 1) or Florida and LSU or Florida and Oklahoma (the choke master 2) The top two teams in College Football heading into the season are USC and Georgia.


Who will LSU’s QB be?

May 4, 2008

Hey Football Fiends!

Well, LSU, fresh off their latest BCS National Championship, finds themselves mired in QB controversy four  months before the start of the 2008 season. Reports out of Baton Rouge this weekend are that Tigers Coach Les Miles has kicked troubled QB Ryan Perrilloux off the team.

The Tigers may not go into summer as a lock to content for the 2008 title, but don’t write them totally off just yet. The dismissal of Perrilloux will benefit the Bayou Bengals in the not so long run. Perrilloux has been suspended from the team three times for personal problems. Though the LSU athletic department has been mum on the extent of the troubled QB’s issues (and good for them for being classy like that!), but his behavior to date has made it clear he is ill fit to lead a team, let alone a major SEC contender like LSU.

So although the Tigers find themselves four months from the start of the college football season and staring down the neck of Harvard transfer Andrew Hatch or redshirt freshman Jarrett Lee as their starting QB, this is a far better place to be in than having Perrilloux rot the team from the inside with his off field issues.

Whichever QB takes over will find themselves behind one of the nation’s best offensive lines, and that is not the worst of places to learn on the job, my football fiends. Hell even your 5’9″ girly girl Gridiron Goddess might not feel so unsafe behind the likes of LSU’s four returning offensive lineman, you know? (OK, so that’s slight exaggeration.)

In any case, Perrilloux was shaping up to be a distraction to the team. Better he is dismissed before the season starts than self-destruct during the season.

Best of luck to the Tigers new QB!

-Your Gridiron Goddess


Geaux Tigers! Congrats to LSU!

January 7, 2008

Congrats to NoLaChick and her LSU Tigers on their BCS Nat’l Championship!

Now, I only wish USC and LSU were playing a home and home starting next season like SC and Ohio State are.


-Your Gridiron Goddess

(no pics due to photobucket being down for maintenance and my need for sleep)


A Harem of the Gridiron Goddess post: Byron’s midseason look at the SEC

October 15, 2007

Alabama–Too lucky for too long. You may beat UT next week, you may not, but don’t get too excited about this year. You still don’t have the talent you need to compete.

Arkansas–Goodbye Houston Nutt…Goodbye Heisman Trophy…Hello upset by an upstart SEC West team.

Auburn–That Byrum kid is spooky good…but #2 in the West is not a bad place to be this year.

Florida–*gags on words* dangit, y’all are good but you need to go ahead and beat this Kentucky team before the Apocalypse comes and Kentucky wins the East. *shudders at the thought*

Georgia–Sorry dawgs, Stafford just isn’t there yet. Alabama may have been a fluke.

Kentucky–yeah, nobody saw you coming…congratulations…but you haven’t beaten Florida yet. It may come down to a 3-way tie for the East after you beat my Vols like a stepchild.

LSU–tough loss and I hated it…but didn’t I say at the beginning of the year that I questioned Miles’ X’s and O’s? 4 plays up the middle…and 4th down was the backup…not your stud RB? Uuuuhhhhhhh…ok.

Ole Miss–get over it. ‘Bama beat you. It was the right call. Enjoy going 0-8 in the SEC. Maybe next time you’ll get a real coach.

Mississippi State-The positives: Good game…over the next 2-3 years, you’ll get better and better. It’s coming. Stay with Croom. He’s the best guy for the job. The negatives: Tell your fans to shut the #$%^ up. Comments like “hope the Music City Bowl likes that call” should not be uttered from fans who haven’t played in December since 2000. Biased Upset Call here….State’ll beat either ‘Bama or Arkansas.

South Carolina–Spurrier won’t go all the way with the Special Ed offense he has now. It’ll bite them…possibly October 27th.

Tennessee–Look guys. Just win, ok. Win out and we go to Atlanta. You can beat ‘Bama. South Carolina doesn’t have the offense this year…pull something out of your butt for Kentucky (because that’ll take a miracle). Oh yeah…and when it’s 2nd and 6 and the other team only has one decent receiver…don’t line up 7 yards from the line and then start backpedaling. It’s called a hitch route…they will use it and get the 1st down…everytime. We learned this in Jr. High football.

Vanderbilt–dangit, guys, I want to believe…I want y’all to go to a bowl (but not beat Tennessee) so bad…but you just manage to be…Vanderbilt. Sorry guys…not happening this year…but, there is always next year.

Harem Member Byron


CFB wrapup: MADNESS, I tell you, MADNESS

October 14, 2007

Hey there football fiends-since my BRONCHITIS (lovely, right?) is keeping me up I figured why not write the CFB wrap up now? A win-win…at least until I start coughing up internal organs with this painful bronchial cough thing I have. Ah…fun times here on the couch of your Gridiron Goddess. Fevered dreams of Matt Leinart being madly in love with me aren’t bad, though….

But I digress. I blame the Ny-Quil and diet Coke combo.

College Basketball season kicked off last night around the country with Midnight Madness. Now, had your Gridiron Goddess not been coughing up a lung, I would have trucked my butt down to Southern California’s Galen Center to report on all the O.J. Mayo goodness. But there is plenty of time for that once CFB season is over.

Two weeks ago we had the Wacky Weekend of Upsets. Then #3 Oklahoma lost to an unranked Colorado. Then #7 Texas fell to an unranked Kansas State. Then #10 Rutgers took a dive against unranked Maryland. Then #21 Penn State got beat by unranked Illinois. #22 Alabama got beat by unranked Florida State. Then #4 ranked Florida fell to unranked Auburn. #11 Oregon got beat by then #6 Cal. And my then #1 ranked USC Trojans squeaked past UDub.

At the end of the weekend the top 25, but the top 10 especially, were in disarray and heading into the 5th weekend of the CFB season the top 10 were:

1. LSU

2. USC

3. California

4. Ohio State

5. Wisconsin

6. South Florida

7. Boston College

8. Kentucky

9. Florida

10. Oklahoma

Then LAST WEEKEND, tragedy struck in the heart of Your Gridiron Goddess and her fellow Trojan fans. And I am sure other things went on too, like Florida losing to the hated LSU, but all was eclipsed by my melodramatic heartbreak.

Heading into this weekend, the top 10 was:

1. LSU

2. California

3. Ohio State

4. Boston College

5. South Florida

6. Oklahoma

7. South Carolina

8. West Virginia

9. Oregon

10. USC

Today, more insanity occurred. LSU lost to Kentucky. Cal lost to 3-3 Oregon State. Oklahoma handed Missouri their first loss today in Norman. Penn State drilled Wisconsin. Ohio State and BC won–but Ohio State’s quality win comes against one of the teams at bottom of the Pac-10 ladder: UDub. And who has BC played to convince us they are as strong as they look? No one yet. South Florida beat Auburn at Jordan Hare and beat WVU, so IMO have a more legitimate claim on the #1 position this week.

Now, concerning USC, interestingly enough we’re in about the same position as 2003. 1 loss, ranked 10th. That was the year we ended up winning the AP Nat’l Championship while fellow 1 loss teams LSU and Oklahoma played in the BCS Title game.

Um, deja-vu anyone?

This Trojan team we have now is not as strong as 2003’s squad but only for one reason: INJURIES. Our vaunted O-Line is now made up of back ups and in many cases the back ups back up. Our D is decimated, and today we lost the lynchpin of our defense in Rey Maualuga after primo O-Line go to guy Sam Baker went down for duration of the game.

BUT, while our loss last week to Stanford shows the world we ARE beatable, doesn’t this week’s loss by Cal to Oregon State show the same thing and shouldn’t they fall to 10 or below in the rankings while we move up to 9 or higher? I don’t know. LSU, I’d keep them in the top 6 or 7 at the lowest, since their sole loss comes from a strong Kentucky team.

Consider this–every single AP pre-season top 10 team now has at least one loss and it is only October. This is the craziest college football season ever, people.

The first BCS rankings come out in the morning.

It’s not going to be pretty for many of our teams. I have a feeling traditional power houses like LSU and Oklahoma will fare better than South Florida and BC, even though those two teams remain unbeaten.

Is it fair? Nope. But when did I ever proclaim the BCS fair? LSU and Auburn fans would agree with the USC crowd, though for their own reasons, on that statement.

Oh, but I did go 11-5 today, which considering the #1 and #2 ranked teams losing, is pretty flipping good IMO. And now, I must sleep.

-Your Gridiron Goddess, signing off with a picture representative of how I feel right now with this bronchitis thing


Let’s get one thing straight…

October 3, 2007

These rumors about Pete Carroll and the Chargers? Are just that, rumors. IF and that is a big IF Pete Carroll were considering the Head Coach job in San Diego there is no way in hell he’d be giving any press to it or much thought to it during the Trojan’s season. He is too loyal, too focused, too smart and has far too much fun coaching Southern California to let gossip and rumors distract him from the job at hand– winning the 2007 BCS National Championship, OK. So all you sports writers and fans out there can yammer on about Carroll and or Offensive Coordinator Steve Sarkissian leaving for the Chargers but it just ain’t gonna happen. It for sure ain’t gonna happen during the season. And I’d place money on the fact that come the kick off of the Trojan’s 2008 season against the Cavaliers of UVA, Pete Carroll will still be our head coach.

Ah, getting that off my chest is such a relief. Hello Fellow Football Fiends! I am so happy to hear so many of you did well in your office pools using my NFL picks! I’ll put them up on the site on Fridays all season for you and will be sure to note which ones I am not sure about so you can make a determination on those.

Also in USC Football news, tailback C.J. Gable is out for the season with his groin injury. He will be taking a medical redshirt and undergoing surgery to correct his injury. Best of luck and super fast healing goes out to C.J.!

Fortunately my Trojans are so loaded that losing a stellar player like Gable should be barely a wrinkle in our offense.

The Guys over at EDSBS have my favorite quote of the week so far:

“USC’s backups have backups that fart lightning and sweat pure liquid awesome into their silken robes of excellence”

But it only beats out this EDSBS quote by a fraction

“USC has become so consistently good that we, as observers, have cruised past the offramp to boredom and instead gone deep into the territory serviced by the highway of absurdity. It’s nice out here, really…”

Indeed boys, indeed, it IS nice out here. And I hope your Gators kick the crap out of Les Miles’ Tigers of LSU this weekend.

My Cubs currently trail the D’backs by 1 in game one of the NLDS. Come on Zambrano, pull a win out for the Cubbies and their loyal fans!!!

-Your Gridiron Goddess, still going with the McNabb sacked pics.