Earlier this week, the Advocate's Scott Rabalais penned a column regarding a "Mount Rushmore" for LSU athletics, and the faces that belong on it. Rab's foursome of Skip Bertman, Billy Cannon, Pete Maravich and Seimone Augustus got us all discussing it behind the scenes. Yes, this is very much a "it's the offseason and we're bored" topic. So what?
Turns out, this really is the kind of issue that everybody views differently. Heck, Poseur thinks we should have two, for coaches and players alike. So we figured why not take it to the People?
I'll give you mine, along with a list of options to vote on. Obviously, everybody can weigh in on the comments with their own write-in votes, and we'll see if we can't sort all this out.
For starters, I'll go with Shaquille O'Neal. The Diesel may be LSU's single most famous alum, a hall-of-famer at his chosen sport, and one of the single most beloved, and recognizable athletes worldwide.
Secondly, give me LSU's lone Heisman Trophy winner, college football royalty -- Billy Cannon.
Skip Bertman, obviously, has had as much an impact on the university and LSU Athletics as any single person. He built the baseball dynasty that spawned one of the premier venues in college baseball, and really helped to pull the department out of the hell that politics, penny pinching and really bad decisions pulled it down to in the 1980s and early 90s.
Finally, a very personal choice for me: Sue Gunter. She was a legend in her field, likewise built an incredibly successful program, and always carried herself with incredible class and dignity. Women's sports don't have the profile that men's do, but was damn good at her job, and I would argue that LSU is a better place for her time here.
Some other names that are all worthy in their own way...
- "Pistol" Pete Maravich. I mean his name IS on the basketball arena. The greatest college hoops scorer of all time with a record that will never be touched, and probably LSU's second-most recognizable hoops name after Shaq.
- Dale Brown. The architect of Tiger Basketball, and the man that gave us a reason to believe that LSU could compete for championships in the sport.
- Rudy Macklin. All-American, SEC Player of the Year, and member of the LSU basketball pantheon. Led the program to a Final Four.
- Bob Pettit. Basketball hall-of-famer, and the NBA's first ever MVP. One of the original great scoring big men. His number adorns the PMAC ceiling.
- Tommy Hodson. Still holds nearly every major LSU passing record. A part of one of the greatest moments in program lore, and in the mystique of Tiger Stadium.
- Kevin Faulk. When the football program was at one of the darkest times in its history, No. 3 made it cool for the best players in the state to stay in Baton Rouge. Became LSU's all-time leading rusher, and now a three-time Super Bowl champ and one of the university's best ambassadors in the NFL ranks.
- Charles Alexander. Heisman Trophy candidate for LSU in the 1970s. Finished his career as the school's all-time leading rusher, and still holds the single-season record. College Football Hall-of-Famer.
- Bert Jones. The Ruston Rifle is one of LSU's only All-American quarterbacks.
- Dalton Hilliard. Personal all-time favorite. Just a stumpy kid from Patterson that set the SEC on fire and went on to break all of Alexander's career records.
- Charlie McClendon. Coach Mac still holds the record for most wins in LSU history, and did it while representing the university with about as much class as any coach ever could.
- Les Miles. Personally, I'm a big believe in looking back when it comes to these things, but you can't ignore the fact that the man is more than well on his way to topping this list.
- Nick Saban.
PAWWWWWL DON'T THEM BOYS KNOW LSWHO FOOBALL DIDN'T EXIST BEFORE COACH SABAN GOT THERE!!!Seriously, the guy came here, did his job and then some, and whatever we may feel for him now, he deserves to have his name called here.
- Josh Reed. The 2001 Biletnikoff Award-winner put together one of the single most dominant seasons in school history, and helped end a very long SEC title drought.
- Tommy Casanova. The only three-time All-American in school history, and one of two numbers retired by the football program.
- Glenn Dorsey. The most decorated defensive player in school history (SEC Def. Player of the year, won the Lombardi, Nagurski, Outland and Lott trophies), and the heart of LSU's third national championship in 2007.
- Patrick Peterson. Thorpe and Bednarik award winner in 2010, with the most dominant season I've ever seen from any LSU defender. Kneel before Zod.
- Todd Walker. Perhaps the best ever to put on the spikes during Bertman's 1990s baseball dynasty.
- Ben McDonald. One of the original stars that put Bertman's dynasty on the map.
- Warren Morris. There's a freaking statue of this guy outside of the stadium they play the College World Series in.
- Pat Henry. Twenty-four men's and women's track & field national championships. Read that last sentence again.
- Seimone Augustus. The greatest player in Lady Tiger basketball history. Led the program to it's first Women's Final Four.
- Sylvia Fowles. Starred with Augustus on those teams, and is now a WNBA All-Star and two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner.