88 days until Tailgating
I am disappointed to report that despite briefly regaining the lead, A'Trey-U Jones has fallen far behind in the NOTY voting. The polls are still open, but I fear the late push that is needed will not materialize.
In his exit/entrance interview with The Birmingham News, the ex. softball coach Patrick Murphy sounds honest when admitting he made a mistake accepting the LSU so quickly (while also revealing he accepted the job over the phone before even coming to BR) The cynic in me says he just played his best Jimmy Sexton and got himself a nice raise, but his remorse sounds genuine. Had this been football, I'm sure the next two months would be spent agonizing over the time line of how it all went down. But it's softball, so at the end of the day it'll just be an amusing anecdote that will be brought up when ever the two teams play each other. As for a replacement, Bama's highly touted asst. from Crowley has taken herself out of consideration and I've seen rumors about one of the Arizona coaches being a possibility.
As for the hire on Friday who didn't leave, Pitching coach Alan Dunn made the news of his hiring official in a press conference (after the break), citing a desire to get back to teaching the art of pitching, rather than the more managerial role he held with Baltimore.
For much of the team, summer league baseball has already begun, including a Cape Cod league match yesterday that saw Kevin Gausman and Ryan Eades face off as opposing starting pitchers. In all, 27 LSU baseball players are participating in collegiate summer leagues around the country. Locally, Matt Fury, Chris Cotton, and Grant Dozar will play for in-state Texas League teams, while Jackson Slaid and Nick Rumbelow head for the greatest named team in all of semi-pro ball, the Danville Dans. Kevin Gausman will also participate on the USA Collegiate National team, though unlike last year, the team will not be travelling internationally.
One more honor to report as JaCoby Jones made the Freshman All-American team.
A curse is developing for those who dare to schedule LSU in an off-site OOC game to kickoff the season. Oregon's leading CB Cliff Harris was pulled over early Sunday morning for doing 118 mph in a 65 and was subsequently discovered to be driving on a suspended licence. If that weren't enough, Harris' car turned out to be a rental in the name of a woman who is an employee of the university. If history holds true, expect this to turn into a huge rental car ring that gets half the starters suspended, though the matter will remain unresolved until nearly the 2012 season. (Yes, Butch Davis still has a job, though the NCAA would like you to know they certainly haven't forgotten about it.)
You have no doubt heard by now, but our other big name OOC opponent this year will in fact have a new HC, as Bill Stewart and WVU have parted ways over his shenanigans involving new HC Dana Holgorsen. And there was much rejoicing in Morgantown.
Vegas released early betting lines on some of the College football slate on Friday. Some of the lines have moved with weekend action, but here's how they started out.
LSU vs Oregon -3
LSU vs. Miss St. -1
LSU -4 vs. West Virginia
Florida vs. LSU -5.5
LSU -9.5 vs. Tennessee
Auburn vs. LSU -9.5
LSU vs. Alabama -9
Arkansas vs. LSU -4.5
In a survey of the 100 best venues in sports, Alex Box Stadium beat out several MLB, NBA, and NFL locations to come in at 85 on the list. Tiger Stadium ranked 23rd, just behind A&M's Kyle Field as the highest ranked college football stadium on the list.
Only the most desperate of you will click on this link to watch parts of the 2000 Independence Bowl. I suspect that is most of you.
Is South Carolina becoming the Kentucky of college baseball? (before you blow your top, think about what that really means)
Terry Bowden is coming back to D-1 football.
After the break, the Alan Dunn press conference and the Trent Johnson Italy debriefing
Alan Dunn Press Conference
Trent Johnson Italy Debriefing