On yesterday's edition of Double Coverage I was fully prepared to talk college football for an entire three hours. The Selection Committee had just released their final Playoff rankings and the inherent drama was a prime conversation piece with Baylor and TCU getting left on the outside looking in.
If you listen to the show, you know that one of our Double Coverage mainstays is the "Take it or Leave it" segment we do in the first hour every day. I like to have a couple topics chosen that I believe will encourage quick debate, and one of Tuesday's topics was whether or not professional athletes should get involved in social issues. I assumed that me and Timmy would throw it back and forth for a couple minutes (he thinks they shouldn't while I think they should) and then that would be that. Little did I know that the next hour would be filled with some of the most passionate and intelligent calls I have received since starting Double Coverage 14 months ago.
After talking to everyone yesterday and hearing a ton of great perspective from multiple different viewpoints I believe that there is no "right" answer to this question and that is OK. You are allowed to have your own personal thoughts on a subject and if someone disagrees with you it doesn't necessarily mean one of you has to be correct while the other is in the wrong. It just means y'all are approaching a topic from different perspectives.
Personally, I think athletes have been given a stage, and if they want to use that stage to make a statement for something they believe in, I am OK with that. I don't think it is negative for athletes be proactive and stand up for their beliefs. I should also say that I believe it has been done in a responsible and unobtrusive manner thus far. This is not to say that I am only in support of the athletes with whom I agree. I would have no issue with a player taking a stand in support of the police because that too is their CHOICE to make.
As far as whether or not these players should get in trouble for speaking out that is a CHOICE for their bosses to make… whether it be the NBA, NFL, or any other organization whose employees are making a statement. Let me point out as well, that if the NBA was to get involved and fine these players (which they said they wouldn't) that would be well within the Association's rights. "But what about freedom of speech?" Well you must keep in mind that freedom of speech applies to the government and getting in legal trouble.
The US isn't censoring these players. They aren't threatening to send them to jail. THAT would be a violation of free speech. As an employee you have to be mindful of what you say and how you act because fair or not, you represent the organization. I could get fired from WWL not for doing anything illegal but for just saying the wrong thing and none of my rights would have been violated.
Earlier I talked about the stage that these athletes have due to their popularity. Many of the callers yesterday believed that athletes have a social responsibility to get involved because of their visibility. Now, I want to make it clear that, personally, I do not agree that athletes have a responsibility to do anything if they don't wish to. Once again it goes back to the common denominator of choice. If a player wants to keep their view points to themselves that is their CHOICE.
Another sentiment brought up by many in the listening audience was that plenty of fans like to use sports as an escape. A chance to ignore the real world and all of its ugliness. A chance to turn off your brain and enjoy some high quality entertainment. There is legitimacy to this argument and I understand where they are coming from. Hell, I play video games all the time as a way to relax and take my mind of the rigors of the real world. In my opinion, however, the statements that the players are making (think of the t-shirts/holding their hands up) have not affected the on court/field product. If you disagree, then I have got great news for you. You can CHOOSE not to watch.
It now seems clear to me that we all have a choice to make. Players choose whether or not to get involved, Bosses choose whether or not to take action, and as fans we must choose whether or not to watch. Through our choices we can make ourselves heard and if you disagree with someone's choice there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, I would argue that disagreement is a positive because it encourages discourse.
And how do we learn? By looking at things under a different light and hearing perspectives that we ourselves would not have thought of. If nothing else these athletes have us engaged in active debate and discussion and I think that is great because it is how our society will continue to grow and evolve. But who knows… perhaps you disagree, which is fine by me.
This week on the WWL NFL Podcast, we try to predict how the end of the season will pan out all the way up until the Super Bowl (very unprofessionally, I might add). I struggle with my Arizona Cardinal problem. It seems as if the redbirds are a drug that I just can't kick.
As I ponder what I am doing with my Bruce Arians love, Seth attempts to dispel the myth of the dominant Packers. So kick back, relax, grab a drink, and listen to the WWL NFL Podcast. Click the link below.
The LSU Tigers are preparing to go bowling and everybody wants to know, where will they end up? Gone are the days when it was easy to predict where a school will go. In fact, gone are the days where the school gets to choose where to go. Instead, now the SEC puts six schools into a pick six pool where there are six bowls to choose from.
They include the Taxslayer Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., the Advocare V100 Texas Bowl in Houston, the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Autozone Liberty Bowl in Memphis, the Outback Bowl in Tampa, and Music City Bowl in Nashville. The schools will now rank their preferences 1-6 and turn in their ballot into the Conference homebase in Birmingham (o_O). The Conference will then inform the school of where they will be going. Allow me to share my opinions on the games!
Off the bat, I am going to throw out the Music City Bowl because I haven't read anything online with anyone reporting a potential LSU appearance in Nashville. So, sorry all you country music lovers.
Next to receive the headsman's axe will be the Outback Bowl in Tampa. LSU went there last year and the fanbase proved themselves to be disinterested. The tickets didn't sell especially well, neither did the fans travel in great numbers (realistically, as ValleyShook pointed out there are only two spots LSU fans will drive to on this list).
Speaking of travel, who wants to go to the Belk Bowl in Charlotte? What, you don't? Well don't worry, the Belk Bowl is going to be down near the bottom of Joe Alleva's preference list as he already has said that proximity is an important point of consideration, and North Carolina isn't exactly close. So goodbye to you as well, land of basketball. That leaves but three candidates from which to choose and I will tell you what I think each has to offer.
Lets talk Memphis Bowl in Tennessee. The scuttlebutt is that if the Tigers end up heading to the land of dry rub and blues, they would square off against the West Virginia Mountaineers. The reason why this one personally appeals to me is that I married into a family of Mountaineers and although the 'shine has slowed their minds somewhat (:D) they are a kind folk that I enjoy sharing drinks and football with. Also I love BBQ and wouldn't mind hitting up Beale street for some spirits and ales. Memphis also scores high in the proximity department.
Finally, WVU's fanbase is not unlike LSU's own. Both sides are renowned for their partying and hospitality. Add in the fact that a mixture of the Mountain culture and Swamp culture could fortuitous to both sides and I think you have a solid potential candidate. Plus I want to talk trash to my father-in-law.
Speaking of drivable bowls. The next one I want to talk about is probably the sexiest mathcup, but it is also the most ridiculously named. The AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl in Houston is one that holds a ton of appeal for LSU fans. The Wisconsin game to kick off the year proved that Tiger fans don't mind making the trip to NRG Stadium. This is mainly due to the HUGE LSU alumni and fan base living in H-Town. So I don't expect ticket sales to be an issue here. Proximity is a plus as I know plenty of people who make this drive semi-regularly.
Also, there is a strong recruiting benefit to playing games in Texas as it helps get the Tiger logo in front of the highly sought-after recruits of Texas high school football (Louisiana HS football is better per capita though). Finally, the potential sparring partner for LSU in the Texas Bowl would be none other than Texas themselves. That's right! Put on your boots because the Tigers might be going steer wrastling. These are two big names going through a down year. However, they would still be a decent draw on TV because of their respective reputations.
It certainly would not be hard to get a hype train started for this fight. I believe the Texas Bowl to be the majority favorite right now amongst LSU fans. Plus, who doesn't want revenge for what Roy Williams did to LSU in 2003? BUT there is a final challenger yet… one that I believe has the strongest case…. And of course I'm talking about…
THE TAXSLAYER BOWL IN JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA. Boom. Read that again and let in soak in. I know you are saying to yourself "But T-Bob, it isn't close at all!" "But I don't want to play an ACC team, BORING!" To that I respond with but one word, "Cabana." That's right, Jacksonville has cabana pools that you can kick it in and watch the game while you sip on deliciously fruity drinks with an unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt.
After re-reading this last sentence a couple times it has now become crystal clear to me that there is no way I want LSU to go anywhere else. The Mad Playboy Shahid Khan knew what he was doing when he first uttered the phrase "built in stadium cabanas." Thank you Mr. Khan. Cabana… Cabana… Cabana.
On this week's edition of the sexiest podcast in the Crescent City, we talk Packers vs Patriots and the downfall of my Cardinals, plus Ryan "Fitzmagic" and his 6 TD performance, as well as Julio Jones dominating Patrick Peterson.
For the nerds out there, this week's episode features some random video game, board game, and movie talk (I finally saw Interstellar). And just as the sun rises from the east and sets in the west, Seth Dunlap has once again failed to pick correctly in his sucker line of the week. So what're you waiting for? Kick back, grab a drink, unwind, and listen to the WWL NFL Podcast!
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! For the third year in a row the LSU Tigers defeated the Texas A&M Aggies on the back of a dominant defensive performance. The game didn’t start well as an early INT and a big play saw A&M jump out to a 7-0 lead - however the defense would stifle Kevin Sumlin’s dynamic offense throughout the entire night.
LSU moved the ball well, controlled the game, and potentially could have won by a much larger margin were it not for a few special teams’ miscues and an inability to finish drives with seven. That said the Tigers are now 8-4 (4-4 in the SEC) which means that LSU has won at least 8 games for 15 years in a row. This is the nation’s longest active streak and an accomplishment that these seniors can be proud of.
Anthony Jennings played well and made the plays needed in order to win the game
I spoke two weeks ago of the ignorance displayed on social media in regards to Anthony Jennnings. Well, unfortunately there was still plenty of that talk going on tonight, but I am here to say that I thought Jennings played a solid game all things considered. He threw the ball with better accuracy and was deadly efficient running the ball.
I came away from this game extremely impressed with Jennings. For the last two weeks all he has heard is how bad he is and how LSU needs to be done with him and look towards the future. Despite all this noise Jennings came out tonight and led the Tigers to victory. He was a sizzling 12/21 for 107 yards with one TD and one INT. BUT he was also great on the ground carrying the ball 14 times for 119 yards. Bottom line I am happy that LSU was able to move the ball and score against a defense that was every bit as bad as we said they were. I salute you Anthony Jennings. You showed a ton of mental toughness tonight.
This LSU Defense is very good
What a transformation this LSU defense has gone under, when you look at the beginning of the year to now. When we first were describing the Tigers D we used words like porous, pitiful, and putrid. Now I find myself using phrases like super, stingy, and stout (yay for alliteration). It has been a pleasure to watch this defense grow this season and it warms my tiny Tiger heart to know that the future looks extremely bright on John Chavis’ side of the ball.
The Tigers held a prolific Aggie offense to just 228 total yards and just 18:47 of possession. Unlike the game against Arkansas, LSU did a great job of winning 3rd down as the aggies converted on just four of their eleven attempts this week. Can’t wait to watch this group in the upcoming bowl game and next year. The Tigers have some dominant key pieces in place with DT Davon Godchaux, LB Kendell Beckwith, and DB Jamal Adams.
LSU got lucky with the final interception
Jalen Collins caught the game winning INT tonight on a ball that was carelessly heaved up by AM QB Kyle Allen. At first I was wondering what in the hell made him think that the throw was in any way even remotely a good decision and then I noticed that Allen thought for sure that offsides had been called (defensive offsides is essentially a free play for the offense). However much to Kyle Allen and the rest of the Aggie Nation’s dismay no such call was made. The replay revealed that LSU was definitely offsides and the interception never should have happened.
Good! Who cares? LSU deserved a break, right? Well I will be the first to admit that I have no problem with the Tigers getting a lucky break however I bring this up to remind all LSU fans that next time something unlucky or “unfair” happens to LSU, remember tonight. Football is a funny game and sometimes the breaks go your way and sometimes they screw you. In the end, however, it all balances out and thankfully tonight the football gods found it within their cold, icy hearts to reward the purple and gold.
The LSU Tigers have had a bad taste in their mouths for the last two weeks. After falling to Arkansas 17-0, the Tigers were punished with an extra seven days to ruminate on exactly what happened. How did one of the more impressive rushing attacks in the entire nation only put up 36 yards on 32 attempts?
Well regardless of how it happened the Tigers can’t change it now, so there is no need to dwell in the past because Thursday’s Thanksgiving Throwdown with Texas A&M offers the perfect opportunity for LSU to show the country that this offense is better than the embarrassingly bad effort displayed against the Hogs.
Keys to the Game
Don’t allow the Aggies to start fast
In Kevin Sumlin’s 37 games at the helm of Texas A&M the Aggies’ offense has been dominant. Most impressively is Sumlin’s ability to get TAMU on the board early and often. The Aggies have scored first in 31 of the 37 games in the Sumlin era including 8 out of 11 in this year alone. The key to accomplishing this feat is to put points on the board with the first opportunity you are given (next level insight there).
TAMU has scored on their opening drive 24/37 times including on 7/11 of their attempts this season. This means that when the Aggies first touch the ball they have about a 65% chance of scoring. I will be extremely interested to see how this LSU defense handles the Aggie attack. This is an LSU defense that is much improved but has been prone to giving up big plays at times this year. That said, this year’s Tiger D should look to emulate the defenses of the last couple seasons which completely shut down A&M’s Manziel led attack.
Defensive Backs will have their work cut out for them with this Texas A&M receiving corps
One of LSU’s best position groups throughout the year has been the defensive backs. This is a group that Defensive Coordinator John Chavis has a ton of confidence in as evidenced in the Alabama game in which he chose to consistently put the backs in one on one situations with Amari Cooper and it worked for the most part.
Well, this week they will be facing the SEC’s leader in TD catches when Soph WR Josh Reynolds takes the field. Reynolds has tied the single season school record with 12 scoring grabs this year, but the real strength of this A&M receiving corps goes beyond just one guy. A&M currently has four different players with forty or more catches and five players with at least four hundred receiving yards. These astounding numbers are made even more impressive when you look at what LSU has done in the passing game this season.
The Purple and Gold have yet to have one receiver grab 40 catches and are currently last (by a wide margin) in the SEC having completed just 119 passes on the year. That means that the reception numbers of three of Texas A&M’s receivers can account for more completed passes than the Tigers as a whole. LSU’s defense however is ranked #1 in the SEC allowing just 164 yards per game and limiting opposing QBs to a 49% completion rate (only sub 50% in the SEC). The matchup between these two groups truly is one of the best you will see.
Texas A&M’s defense is bad and LSU should take advantage of it
Texas A&M’s defense is almost as bad as LSU’s is good. Currently A&M is second to last allowing teams to throw for 236 yards per game. Also, they have allowed 15 TDs through the air while grabbing just four interceptions, but who am I kidding? LSU won’t be able to throw the ball anyway so let us take a look at the A&M rush defense.
The Aggies are currently second to last in the SEC and one of just three teams to allow over two hundred yards rushing per game (208.9 to be exact). Opposing ball carriers are gaining chunks at 4.9 yards per rush while they have allowed 22 TDs on the ground! For those keeping score at home this puts Texas A&M dead last in the SEC in yards per game giving up an average of 445.
In my opinion there is no excuse for LSU’s offense to not have success. I don’t care if Porter is out and Pocic is at center. I don’t care if the game is on the road. I don’t care who plays quarterback. This is a terrible defense and the Tigers should be able to move the ball and score bottom line. If LSU cannot accomplish this than the offense is worse than I thought.
I like LSU in this matchup. I tend to favor the teams with the better defense and ability to run the ball however there are a couple red flags which cause me to hesitate. The first of which is just how bad the LSU offense has been this season (like I said just 119 completed passes on the year O_o). The second red flag is that the game is being played in College Station. Much like LSU Texas A&M also added to their stadium this offseason except that they made it even bigger and unlike LSU the Aggies have managed to fill it out this season.
Currently A&M is averaging 104,981 people per home contest. This is an impressive figure. A figure that translates to LOUD NOISES. I look for LSU to rely heavily on the running game early (shocking right?) in order to simultaneously take pressure off of Anthony Jennings and bore the A&M crowd into silence.
I predict the game will be close but I like LSU to pull it out in the end. 27-24 LSU wins :D
On this weeks edition of the WWL NFL Podcast we attempt to figure out whether or not the AFC North and the NFC South are the best and worst divisions in NFL history.
Also, Seth gloats throughout the show as his Seahawks defeated my Cardinals in dominating fashion 19-3. Keepin with tradition, Seth has once again completely missed the mark in his "Sucker Line of the Week" predictions and is now a putrid 0-5. BUT he swears that this is the week in which he gets off the snide.
Finally, we look at the plethora of GREAT matches coming up this weekend including the Turkey Day Slate. So kick back, relax, grab a cup of gravy and enjoy this week's edition of the WWL NFL Podcast.
On this week's edition of the WWL NFL Podcast, we discuss the rise of the Kansas City Chiefs, and because we just can't help ourselves, the argument over system quarterbacks continues to rear its ugly head.
We also take a look back at the biggest results from Week 11 including the shocking Rams dismantling of Peyton Manning and the Broncos.
The Mailbag once again remains empty we have not a single question to answer, and Seth claims that the 5th time is a charm w/ his sucker line of the week (he is 0-4 currently). Email us your questions! email@example.com!
We preview the upcoming biggest matchups of the week including Arizona @ Seattle and the argument over who is truly better will be settled.
Finally, I'm delivering the most shocking Lock of the Week ever seen. The only thing more shocking is how boring Seth's Lock Of The Week is (can you tell who wrote this promo?) So sit back, relax, grab a drink and get ready for some WWL NFL Podcast fun.
This is perhaps the coldest edition of Hot Takes I have ever written. LSU was miserable Saturday night against an Arkansas team that proved once again why you should never doubt the almighty minds over in Vegas. The Razorbacks took the Golden Boot from the Tigers for the first time since 2010. The most disappointing part of the match isn’t just the fact that LSU lost, rather it was the way in which they lost. LSU gained just 123 yards en route to a 17-0 loss to Arkansas. That means that the Pelicans scored more points Friday night than LSU gained total yards. Let that sink in.
There Isn’t Just One, Singular Reason for the Loss
Everyone wants to blame Anthony Jennings for the loss and while Jennings didn’t play well he is far from the only reason that the Tigers lost. In fact, I would argue that he wasn’t even the main reason. Vadal Alexander was a surprise scratch from the lineup as apparently he is hurt. This was an immediate red flag. During the beginning of the game, starting center Eliot Porter went down and all of a sudden the starting offensive line is down to 60% of their maximum strength.
Although the O-line has looked great these last few weeks think back to the beginning of the year when Porter was suspended. At that time they were disappointing and looked nothing like the group that was expected to lead this team. When Porter returned, however, they started to play better and better culminating in a fine showing against Alabama. Well last night the line traveled back in time. LSU ran the ball 32 times for 36 yards. That is an insane stat. I don’t know when the last time I saw a rushing total like that. Added to the pot beyond the poor quarterback and offensive line play were poor special teams and defensive play as well.
Colby Delahoussaye was unlike himself as he finished 0 for 2 in the freezing cold conditions. The defense played well enough to win, however their inability at times to get off the field on third down would only exacerbate the issues the offense were facing. Arkansas finished 10/17 on 3rd down. When you add all these ingredients together you get a dangerous mixture that can result in an outcome as unexpected as this game.
Twitter is an insane place
I broke one of my cardinal rules. I engaged in extended negative discourse on Twitter. Normally I love talking to everyone, but if there is a senseless negative comment I ignore it and move on. Despite the fact that I know better, I found myself arguing with a few people and starting to get angry. Why would I let a person’s opinions affect my mood?
I think one of the main issues that I had with the comments was the blind hate thrown at Anthony Jennings. It wasn’t criticism. It wasn’t thought out. It was just simple, reductive statements that ignored the possibility that anything else could have been contributing to the poor play from LSU. Now, I should point out that I have an issue with boo-ing college players. I have written about this previously, but basically I think that criticism is valid but should have reasoning attached. Either way at the end of the day everyone is entitled to their own opinions. I write this paragraph merely in the hopes that next time you go to make a “*Insert Player Name Here* sucks and is the worst thing ever to happen” tweet just be aware of how dumb you sound.
Bottom line is this game was terrible. Pretty astute observation right? The reason why I think such a simple statement is appropriate is because this is one of those games that you have to digest and move on from immediately. No one is going to get better or improve by feeling sorry for themselves. Normally the best thing is to wash the bitter taste out of your mouth with a victory the next week - however, LSU will have to wait a bit longer. The Tigers will have an extra week to gnaw on this unpleasant bone due to next Saturday’s bye week. The question now becomes whether or not they will give up or come out swinging. Once again the answer lies in the response. Last week I would have said that the Tigers would definitely rise to the challenge, now I’m not so sure.