Monday, January 7, 2008

Forecast: Can Miles and Flynn win a Title?

Ralph Malbrough writes regularly for but sometimes contributes to us. Even though he doesn't curse or insult people we like him anyway.

Welcome to the good old days. We are either in the middle of or at the climax of the golden age of LSU football. Don’t let the old timers tell you any different.

The Tigers are in their second national championship game in five years, have won at least 10 games three straight years, and Les Miles is a crazy person.

And really, that’s what makes this even more fun.

Admit it; you are both horrified and delighted at the thought of what Les might pull tonight.
I know I am.

He might go for it on fourth down early and often, fake a punt or field goal, scream at a sideline reporter or he might have a team so undisciplined that the Buckeyes take advantage of Tiger turnovers and penalties and ruin what should be a great ending for the most talented LSU football team in the school’s history. But most likely the game will come down to an in game decision by Miles that will either be called brilliant, stupid or both.

In a way Les Miles is the perfect coach for LSU. I mean deep down we like our politicians, celebrities, and football coaches to be entertaining don’t we?

Miles might be “a Michigan man” but his craziness makes him almost a perfect fit in the Bayou.
I’m sure rooting for winning teams with great boring coaches like Jim Tressel or Bill Belichick is fantastic because winning is always the thing but being in the car that Les Miles drives is an experience all it’s own.

If Ohio State drove a BMW on the interstate to get to the title game, Les Miles is the wacko neighbor with the raised up pickup truck with the winch going off road to get where he’s going.
You make fun of that neighbor until he’s helping you get your car out of a ditch.

From the fourth downs against Florida, to the touchdown against Auburn, and even the comeback against Alabama, Les has made the journey to the title game a series of escapes Jesse James would be proud of.

As for how the actual game will go tonight, I think the experts have over thought it.
Talking about something for a month will have that affect.

I’ll try and break it down by what I know.

LSU will definitely be the most talented team Ohio State has played this year.

Ohio State might be the most talented team LSU will play.

The Tigers could jump out early and seize control.

Advantage LSU.

Teams that got healthy going into their bowl have done very well. (See Michigan over Florida)

Advantage LSU.

LSU’s signature win against Virginia Tech isn’t as good as it looks.

The Hokies in truth played in the weak ACC and had no consistent quarterback play and the Tigers defense was showing weakness against the run before all the injuries hit.

Advantage Ohio State

Ohio State will likely try to spread LSU defensively and attack on the ground with Beanie Wells.
If LSU stuffs the run and can pressure Buckeye quarterback Todd Boeckman I think they win.

For all of Ohio State’s defensive dominance Illinois moved the ball on them and I’m sure LSU is at least as good as the Illini.

So it all boils down to what every LSU fan asked in September, “Is Matt Flynn good enough to win a National Championship?”

I know you are expecting a prediction but I really have absolutely no idea because I think Tressel is a much better game day coach than Miles and that will even out all of LSU’s advantages.

Just enjoy the final chapter of the wildest football season I’ve ever watched. The Tigers somehow someway are where we all hoped they’d be.

Ok fine, you want a score?

LSU 24-17

Ralph Malbrough is an LSU and Saints fan living in Houston. He can be reached at

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