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30 Greatest Tigers of the Decade: The List

Over the past month, we have counted down the top 30 31 Tiger athletes from the last decade.  First off, thanks to everyone who said nice things about the feature.  It was a labor of love, but it was a labor.  It was also just one jackass' opinion. 

I was going to list all of the honorable mentions, but that would end up slighting those that I forgot to put on the honorable mention list.  It never ends, really.  But I did leave off some truly great athletes.  Brandon Bass was an SEC Player of the Year, for example, and he's not on the list due to his short career .  Was I wrong to leave him off?  Maybe.  I snubbed other basketball greats like Tyrus Thomas and the two Mitchells, Taz and Darrel.  I could have easily done a top 30 of just football or baseball and populated it with All-Americans like Craig Steltz, Andrew Whitworth, Herman Johnson or beloved players like LaBrandon Toefield and Matt Mauck.  From baseball, I left off stars like Matt Fontenot, Ryan Theriot, Aaron Hill, and Jon Zeringue.  Not to mention last year's studs like Matty Ott, Anthony Ranaudo, and Ryan Schimpf. 

Then there are all of the "minor" sports stars I'm leaving off like Kelly Baptiste (2008 SEC Runner of the Year), Ken Skupski (2006 indoor tennis champ), Leslie Klein (three-time softball All-American), or Nicki Arnstad (2002 floor champ).

And that's just the tip of the iceberg.  The amount of talent to pass through LSU over the aughts was staggering.  And it paid off in wins and titles.  Football, of course, won two national titles and three SEC titles.  Baseball went to Omaha five times and won two national titles.  Softball almost kept up the pace, making the WCWS three times.  Women's basketball never won the title, but they went to the Final Four five straight years, and the men's team got in the act, making it once and winning two SEC titles. 

Track had another successful decade.  The men's team netted three team national titles and 28 individual national titles, while the women's team earned six team national titles and 11 individual titles.  And before some A&M fan brings up Pat Henry leaving, the women's team won the 2008 indoor title.  The program's doing okay.  Gymnastics is a regular in the Super Six.  Volleyball just won the SEC title and the tennis and soccer teams are tournament regulars.      

This truly is the Golden Age of LSU Athletics.  Enjoy it, folks.  After the jump, the entire Top 30 (with links!).  Use the comments to tell me where I screwed up.

1. Glenn Dorsey, football 

2. Seimone Augustus, basketball 

3. Louis Coleman, baseball 

4. Britni Sneed, softball 

5. Josh Reed, football 

6. Glen Davis, basketball 

7. Corey Webster, football 

8. April Burkholder, gymnastics 

9. Richard Thompson, track 

10. JaMarcus Russell, football

11. LaRon Landry, football 

12. Lolo Jones, track 

13. Sylvia Fowles, basketball 

14. Michael Clayton, football 

15. Blake Dean, baseball 

16. Kristin Schmidt, softball 

17. Xavier Carter, track 

18. Jacob Hester, football 

19. Lane Mestepey, baseball 

20. Marcus Spears, football 

21. Bradie James, football 

22. Brad Cresse, baseball 

23. Susan Jackson, gymnastics 

24. Stromile Swift, basketball 

25. Megan Falcon, tennis 

26. Chad Lavalais, football 

27. Marcus Thornton, basketball 

28. Temeka Johnson, basketball 

29. Brittnee Cooper, volleyball 

30. Ben Wilkerson, football 

31. Wally Pontiff, guardian angel