December is the worst time of year for LSU sports. It’s like summer, only without the anticipation of football season. Aside from an exhibition game, the football season is over, and it wasn’t a terribly good one.
LSU went into the season as a national title contender, and it limps into the New Year with four losses, three in the final minute, two on the last play. We fired the most successful coach in school history after a 2-2 start, and then failed to salvage the season by blowing a game against Florida that LSU dominated statistically.
Volleyball just wrapped up a 9-20 season. Soccer limped home with a 7-11-1 record. Dajour Braxton placed 11th in the NCAA South regionals in cross-country, but neither the men’s nor women’s team qualified enough runners to post a score. LSU men finished 11th, the women 12th in SEC cross country.
Outside of basketball and swimming and diving, LSU sports has hung up its spurs for the calendar year. There wasn’t a whole lot in the fall to be thrilled about, and December promises to be worse. Swimming hasn’t been competitive in years, and both the men’s and women’s team fell to Auburn already in SEC play.
Basketball promises to offer little respite. The men’s team is off to a 5-2 start which at least included a nice win over Houston. However, the losses were ugly: a double digit loss to VCU and a 35-point thrashing at the hands of Wichita St. About the only cause for optimism is just how bad the rest of the SEC promises to be.
The women’s team is off to a similar 6-2 start, though there have been some encouraging signs after last year’s miserable campaign. We’ll spot the Lady Tigers a loss to UConn, but LSU acquitted itself well in the Paradise Jam, finishing second overall by defeating NC State in the final seconds. I’m trying not to get my hopes up, but it’s really all we have right now.
Yes, LSU gym will have an event next week, but actual competition doesn’t begin until January 6th. That seems like a lifetime away right now. That is the shining beacon of the safe harbor of this rocky month of December.
Frankly, this has been a semester nearly devoid of good news, and we likely have to wait another month before something good happens in LSU sports again. Well, if we’re lucky, LSU football can go out on a high note, and sneak in one positive right before 2016 goes dark.
This has been three months of disappointment, and I’m just ready for it all to end. We’re trying to talk ourselves into promoting a 55 year-old position coach who has arguably the worst head coaching record in the SEC since expansion as the oasis of good news. Heck, things have been so bad the last few months, it likely is the best news we’ve gotten.
Now, we ride out two depressing basketball teams and a near irrelevant swimming & diving team while checking twitter for news of underclassmen football players declaring for the pros. It’s just one more month, and then we get to the fun times of gym, which transitions to softball and baseball. Good times are on the horizon, we just have to make it through one more godforsaken month in this godforsaken year.
2016 sucks. I cannot wait for this trash year to end. But first, one more trash month which promises to be among one of the worst months of the LSU sporting year.