It's no surprise that offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher's name is being linked to opne head coaching job at North Carolina. Fisher has long been considered a top candidate for a head job and it's a little surprising LSU has been able to hold on to him for seven years. Right now, Fisher says there has been no official talk between him and North Carolina. At 41, he is ideally suited to move on relatively soon if the right offer comes along. Despite its recent struggles, UNC is an attractive job if the administration commits the resources needed to compete at the level they desire.
Welcome to the post-Seimone Augustus era for women's hoops at LSU. A lot of you probably didn't know there was a pre-Seimone era as well, and the Lady Tigers did just fine thank you. Obviously, she took the program to another level. With her departure, the media doesn't think LSU can live up to its back-to-back SEC titles this year. All I have to say to that is Sylvia Fowles. She is without question the most dominant force in women's basketball right now and should be unstoppable in the post this year. Without Augustus filling it up, look for Fowles to post 20 and 10 on a nightly basis. Point guard Erica White is as good as there is in the nation and will find Fowles regularly.
The men's program is getting a lot more love nationally, earning a No. 7 ranking in the preseason coaches poll. Florida is everybody's No. 1, but if you ask me North Carolina and Ohio State will be the nation's two best teams this year. However, LSU is still being slighted by the media in conference circles. Despite winning an outright SEC title and returning three starters including the SEC Player of the Year, the Tigers were predicted to finish second -- in the DIVISION! To Alabama. I don't know what some of the media are on, but can they hook me up a little. Davis lost out on preseason SEC Player of the Year honors by three votes to Joakim Noah of Florida. Noah is still honeymooning from last year's NCAA Tournament.
This open date seems to be coming at the best possible time for LSU. The Tigers have played eight straight games to begin the season and could use the break. Also, it gave them a one-day headstart on prepping for next Saturday's mammoth showdown with Tennessee. The players and coaches all seem to realize there is a lot left to play for this year. While its unlikely, there's an outside shot at the SEC Championship game and the team can still finish in the top 10 for the third time in four years.
Apparently, the Travelle Gaines saga won't end anytime soon. LSU maintains no players did anything wrong and there won't be any eligibility issues. I believe them. But, the longer this takes to play out, the more there will be a hint of impropriety on campus and that's something we could stand to avoid right now.
Last but not least, former Tiger Tyrus Thomas is getting aquainted with the NBA, and the league is starting to learn about his freakish abilities. Thomas will have the luxury of working his way into the rotation with a solid Bulls team instead of just being thrown to the wolves. Coach Scott Skiles seems to have done well in recent years developing young talent on his "Baby Bulls" squads.