We're getting back to normal here at ATVS, as we slide back into the rhythm after the bye week messed with our system a bit. The bye week came at a perfect time, giving us the chance to look at this team and honestly assess the state of the program.
And while there are things that are not going well (it rhymes with "schmoffense"), the fact remains that the state of the program is still extremely strong. We're still loaded with lots of talent from several highly rated recruiting classes, and a lot of the talent is young. Yes, this team will lose a lot at the end of the season, but there are a lot of guys who will probably be ready to step up. Long term, the program is quite healthy.
Short term? The team is 5-1. We're an upset against Bama away from being the top team in the West and while Bama is clearly a better team than LSU right now, an LSU win is not inconceivable. LSU will be favored in every other game it plays this season, barring another late season collapse. A BCS Bowl is still possible, and a really good New Years Bowl is still likely.
We've said it many times, the only thing that a team can control is winning the conference championship. LSU still controls its fate in the SEC, and that is what matters. No one was predicting this team to be a national title contender in the preseason, so there's no reason to hold the fact that LSU's national title hopes are on life support against the team. It wasn't a realistic goal anyway (and one could still argue LSU controls its own destiny in the national title sweepstakes).
Winning ugly is still winning. Bill Parcells used to say he liked ugly wins because he still got the victory but he had something to yell at his players in practice about. Miles has been racking up the Bill Parcells wins. The team is winning, but there is much to work on. Hopefully, the team spent the bye week working on those issues. In fact, I'm 100% positive they did.
This isn't figure skating. Style points don't matter. LSU is winning games, and at the end of the day, that is how you evaluate a team. LSU has to improve if it wants to keep winning, but all of the teams on the schedule, other than Bama, are thinking the same thing. Auburn needs to improve. So does Ole Miss. Would you rather need to improve while sitting at 4-2 or need to improve while sitting at 5-1 and ranked in the top ten?
Criticism is fine. We're pretty critical around these parts as well. But this Chicken Little attitude which has infected the LSU fanbase has got to go. When Auburn comes to Baton Rouge this weekend, I want all of you Tiger fans to give them the greeting they deserve: loud as hell and full of vitriol. It is the coaches' job to teach, it is the players' job to learn, and it is our job to cheer. Let's hold up our end of the bargain.
Down with Auburn.