My first Christmas as And The Valley Shook's blogger has certainly led to some slow times. Of course, there has been much family time, and there will be more this coming weekend as well.
It doesn't help that there has been no SEC football, that conference play has not started in basketball, and that the sources of informations around the intertubes have all dried up. We still don't know what's going on with the LSU coaching search, and much seems to hinge on what New Mexico State will do. Potential LSU defensive coordinator Dewayne Walker is a finalist for their head coaching job. If he is not hired for that position (either because he decides he can't succeed there or because they decide they want someone else), it seems he is very likely to be LSU's next defensive coordinator.
But then again, we've been faked out before. Some are saying Walker is not the guy for the job and that it will go to former Tennessee defensive coordinator John Chavis. There are multiple people saying that both of those are done deals, and they can't all be right.
In recruiting, a former LSU target for defensive tackle, Jamarkus McFarland, has committed to Oklahoma. He was heavily involved with LSU early in the process, but we pretty much knew we were out of it by midseason. He and his family, however, took the unusual step of airing out all the sordid details of his recruitment to the New York Times.
Jamarkus McFarland has always seemed like a good kid. He's an honor student, a leader, a tremendous football player, and a hard worker both on and off the field. His family, frankly, sounds nightmarish. The article paints his mother as controlling the entire recruiting process, to the point of telling Oklahoma coaches in April, "I am never setting foot in Norman, Oklahoma again." She later disingenuously says that it is her son's decision where he wants to go. She also gets mad at Mack Brown for not immediately responding to her phone calls or emailing her as often as Oklahoma coaches did.
They describe a party in Dallas among Texas boosters and fans, where alcohol and drugs were freely available, and where young women were taking off their clothes. He describes a trip to USC where the athletes rented a stretch Hummer after the Notre Dame game to go partying.
Strangely, LSU made the worst impression, because recruiting hostesses sat on recruits' laps, Les Miles had a "dry" personality, and athletes get once-a-week maid service (a perk, btw, that various commenters have said they had never heard about despite knowing athletes at LSU). I think it's strange that Texas boosters tried to give her son drugs and had naked women at their parties and LSU makes the worst impression because of girls sitting in athletes' laps and occasional cleaning service. But to each his own, I guess.
I don't think they did themselves any favors by putting all that out there, though.
Just to continue the meandering nature of this post, there is an excellent article on Jordan Jefferson in this morning's Advocate. I think it's pretty clear he still has a ways to go before he reaches his full potential, and I certainly wouldn't count Jarrett Lee out of the race to be the quarterback in 2009 (plus, of course, there's Russell Shepard). He sounds like he's come a long way though. If he can have a solid performance on Wednesday night, it will go a long way towards propelling him to the starter's position in 2009.