LSU proves SEC championship won't be won by faint of heart
AUBURN, Ala. --
With a little more than 70 seconds on the clock, Crowton ordered
Translation: In a tight clash of SEC heavyweights, be prepared for anything, because LSU is loco.
We really didn't need Saturday's 26-21 heart-attack inducer to figure that out. Last year's win against Auburn, when LSU, down one, declined a reasonable field-goal attempt for a shot at the end zone that easily could have sapped the remainder of the clock, told us all we need to know about Crowton and his boss,
Saturday began with five SEC teams in The Associated Press top 10. Now that No. 6 LSU has dispatched No. 10 Auburn, that number will drop to four. Now, pull out your day planners and get ready for some viewing recommendations.
Sept. 27: Alabama at Georgia, Oct. 11: LSU at Florida, Oct. 25: Georgia at LSU, Nov. 1: Florida vs. Georgia in Jacksonville, Nov. 8: Alabama at LSU.
This is going to be an absolute bloodbath. We should expect no less from a conference that embraces the spectacle of a War Eagle flying into a stadium, landing at the 50-yard line and gobbling two live mice while 87,541 people go berserk. The SEC is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. The tree- and mouse-huggers can stay over in the Pac-10.
First-year Auburn offensive coordinator
Miles, whose team won a few of these games en route to the title last year, never had a doubt. "Our guys play in tight quarters," he said. "That's this league. That's how we were raised."
Lee, the redshirt freshman quarterback, was raised rooting for
On Lee's next play following the interception, he fired a 16-yard dart to
Down 20-14, Franklin's spread offense -- which is available to high school coaches for the low, low price of $3,495 -- began to look like something worth buying. Auburn had managed to exploit LSU's aggressiveness a few times in the first three quarters, but never more than once in a possession. That finally changed midway through the fourth quarter. As quarterback
As Auburn fans filed out of the stadium, several complained at high volume about the chances of Franklin's offense succeeding in the SEC. They should relax a bit. The same offense that produced a whopping three points in a pitcher's duel win last week at Mississippi State scored two touchdowns and gained 320 yards Saturday against the nation's most athletic defense. That's quite a one-week improvement. "We took a major step forward," Auburn coach
If Auburn's offense continues to get better, the Tigers could make life miserable for the rest of the teams on their schedule. In fact, by the time Auburn goes to Tuscaloosa for the Iron Bowl on Nov. 29, the Tigers may be back in the top 10. That's something else LSU taught us last year. Though SEC teams throw haymakers at one another, the league is not a knockout pool. One loss is not the end.
But in this series, it does leave the losing team with a considerable climb. Since 2000, the LSU-Auburn winner also has won the SEC west title six times. Want some more history? LSU's Scott, who finished Saturday with 132 yards on 21 carries, is the first LSU player to ever rush for 100 yards at Auburn. "Right now, I'm thinking it was the hardest 100 yards of my life," Scott said. "They have a great defense."
Any rational coordinator would, out of respect for that defense, have told Scott to keep running the ball between the hash marks. But this is LSU, and Crowton would have drawn the ire of an entire team had he played it safe. On the sideline during that final offensive possession, LSU defensive end
"It was just pitch-and-catch from there," Lee said.