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SEC mailbag: LSU's streak in Saturday night games

9/12/2009



Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Let’s empty out the SEC mailbag:

Andy in Nashville writes: The last time LSU lost a night home game was in 2005 against Tennessee. Come on Chris! Were you not the Tennessee beat writer then?

Chris Low: I was indeed the Tennessee beat writer and covered the game and will run some extra sprints this weekend for not including “Saturday” in my initial note about LSU winning 30 consecutive night games at home. The Tigers’ last home loss in a Saturday night game at Tiger Stadium was 2002 when they were shut out 31-0 by Alabama. The LSU-Tennessee game in 2005 was moved to Monday night because of Hurricane Rita, and the Vols rallied from 21 points down in the second half to win 30-27 in overtime. So, no, I didn’t forget about that epic comeback by the Vols. Rather, I simply failed to specify that LSU’s streak consisted of “Saturday” night games at home. I’ll chalk it up to early season jitters and promise to work like heck to get better.


Tom in Cumming, Ga., writes: Hey Chris, just saw your piece on the Auburn-Mississippi State game. You were incorrect as to what type of offense Auburn runs. Auburn DOES NOT run the spread. It’s a hurry-up, downhill power running attack out of the shotgun.

Chris Low: I realize that Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn isn’t real crazy about referring to his offense as the spread, but it’s definitely a variation of the spread. The truth is that any number of teams around the country are incorporating spread principles into their offense. It’s the rage in college football. And just because you’re running the spread doesn’t mean you can’t be a “downhill power running” team. I would guess that Malzahn’s offense at Auburn will evolve as they continue to recruit to it. Right now, their strength is running the football, which makes sense after watching Ben Tate and Onterio McCalebb cut it loose in that first game.


Stephen in Charlotte, N.C., writes: Do you want to revise your Week 2 picks to embrace the likelihood that Joe Cox won't play in the Georgia-South Carolina game?

Chris Low: Nope, I’m sticking with the Bulldogs and also believe that Cox will start and play. I’m not sure how healthy his arm/shoulder is, but he’s a better player than he looked in the opener.


Frank in Raleigh, N.C., writes: Hey Chris. Love your blog. But I have a few questions for you. So you mean to tell me that the only Florida recruiter worth mentioning is Charlie Strong? How do they routinely land Top 5 classes? The power of Urban Meyer's catholic prayer? Tebow’s gravitational pull? Should the team just stop evaluating guys and let them send their videos in? Just wondering. Thanks!

Chris Low: I’m going with Tebow’s gravitational pull. Seriously, I think Urban Meyer is one of the best recruiting head coaches in the country, right behind Alabama’s Nick Saban. Sure, he’s recruiting in Florida, which is a huge advantage, but he’s also been able to go into Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and New Jersey among other states and land great players. Strong is a terrific recruiter, but he’s not the only one. Meyer’s done a nice job of putting together a staff that’s extremely balanced with guys who can both coach and recruit. The Gators haven’t missed on many players over the last couple of years.


Patrick in Madison, Ala., writes: During the Alabama-Virginia Tech game, what is your opinion on why no action was taken against Rolando McClain after his blatant cheap shot and subsequent pushing of the ref? After the Blount issue, I would have expected something to be done. While I am grateful that he wasn't ejected (and suspended), since I believe that he was a major contributor to Bama's D and could have affected the outcome of the game, I more so believe in fairness and discipline. McClain showed the same lack of control that Blount did, just not to the same extent. Sometimes I wonder if SEC favoritism really does exist. And for the record, I would have the same opinion regardless of who the offender was. Like I said, I believe in fairness first. RTR!

Chris Low: First of all, I don’t think it’s fair to compare what McClain did and what Blount did. Their actions weren’t even in the same ballpark. That said, McClain’s two boneheaded penalties certainly hurt his team and are the kind of thing a veteran defensive leader simply can’t allow to happen. If he’s going to lose his cool like that, then what do you expect from his teammates? Rogers Redding, the SEC’s coordinator of officials, has come out and said that the incident was handled properly on the field by the officials. But I can also see how McClain could have easily been tossed out of the game. Any time you put your hands on an official, you’re asking to be tossed.