posted on Sep, 26 2011 @ 10:48 AM
2011 - the year Louisiana dominates in the pros and in college?
When it comes to football, I'm a bit spoiled. My pro team is the New Orleans Saints and my college team is the LSU Fighting Tigers.
After a showstopping comeback against the Houston Texans, the New Orleans Saints have made a case for themselves as one of the 2 teams to be afraid of
in the NFC. The other team, of course, is the Green Bay Packers, who the Saints barely lost to in the opening game of the season. The N.O. defense
played horrifically in that game and the team still came within 1 score of tying. Despite a slate of injuries and an early lead by Houston, Drew Brees
would not be denied the victory in week 3.
And that is the crux of why the Saints will win it all this season again. Last year, Brees and Co. had a lot of distractions, and Drew played with a
knee injury for most of the season. All the starting running backs were injured for most of the season. And defense sputtered toward the end.
Coach Sean Payton considered this in the offseason. He dumped the inconsistent, always injured, reality show star Reggie Bush and replaced him with
the much more reliable Darren Sproles. He drafted Alabama stud running back Mark Ingram and kept the "bluecollar" workhorses Pierre Thomas and Chris
Ivory (currently on PUP list). They cut the good but often injured Jeremy Shockey for the younger version in Jimmy Graham and kept Brees' stellar
receiving corps. A combo of running and passing will keep opposing teams from focusing solely on Brees' passing.
Greg Williams' defense is still very focused on physicality, complex and varied schemes, and taking risks due to the fact that the offense will most
certainly be putting points on the board. However, he's added a mix of younger players and veterans to beef up the D and minimize problems of last
season. Safety Malcolm Jenkins is a name you will be familiar with by December.
My prediction: NFC Championship game will be a rematch between the Saints and Packers. This time with a different outcome. Saints take Superbowl
It's hard to argue against the AP's decision to rank LSU #1 this week. Thus far, no one has stood a chance against their incredible defense. Former
#2, Oregon - the PAC-12's best team, might have shown off their slick new uniforms, but couldn't come close to provide decent competition. West
Virginia, a big boy in the ACC, got blown away, despite all the media hype that they may give the Tigers a run for their money.
LSU's only real competition, of course, comes from the SEC. They already took out a decent Mississippi State team with Florida, Alabama, Auburn, and
Arkansas in the coming lineup. Auburn and Arkansas, both good teams, are not what they were last season.
The biggest game is the Nov. 5 matchup against Alabama. Many people see this as the real National Championship Game, as both teams are better than
whoever their opponent will be in the January BCS Champ game. I have to admit that I am very nervous about this game. If anyone can take Les Miles'
Tigers down a notch it will be Nick Saban's Crimson Tide.
And it is personal issue for Tiger fans, since Saban is a former LSU coach, who left temporarily for the pros and came back to compete against his
former team as an SEC coach.
Anyway, there is a good likelihood that Louisiana Teams will dominate in both college and the NFL this year.
From the swamps to the oil fields to Bourbon street, January/February will be a good time to visit Louisiana. And the celebration will run right into
If the 2012 Apocalypse is real, Louisianians will be a step ahead in terms of Armegeddon blowout parties.
Geaux Tigers, Bless you Boys, and Laissez Les Bontemps Roulez!