October 31, 1959–Number 1 LSU faced number 3 Ole Miss in a tight defensive battle. Billy Cannon returned a punt 89 yards for the only touchdown of the night, probably securing his Heisman trophy.
LSU returned to its roots, with a smothering defense and dominant ground game, stifling Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M.
Terrence Magee ran for 149 of LSU’s 324 yards on the ground. The LSU defense, which has come under some criticism as not being up to its usual standards, held Manziel to 16 of 41 passing for 224 yards and only 1 touchdown. Manziel was sacked twice, intercepted twice, and held to 54 yards rushing on 12 attempts.
With three losses, LSU probably will not make it back into the Top Ten this week. The Battle for the Boot against Arkansas is next week in Baton Rouge, and if LSU doesn’t look past the Razorbacks, a 9-3 record and a decent bowl game should be in the works.
The Tigers play Furman in the Homecoming game tonight. We shall see if coming off a loss LSU can play well against a vastly inferior opponent–remember last year’s sloppy Towson game.
The national championship is almost certainly out of reach, at this point; there are too many undefeated teams left. If the Tigers win out from here (Alabama, A&M, and Arkansas), and meet Missouri in the SEC Championship, the Sugar Bowl is in reach.
Alabama, and I guess Missouri, still have a path to the championship, but the SEC has chewed itself to pieces this season, and it will not surprise me if everyone ends up with two conference losses for 2013.
UPDATE: If Penn State beat Ohio State, and UCLA beat Oregon, the whole FBS scene would be chaos. That leaves Alabama, with LSU and Auburn left to face, and Missouri playing South Carolina today; Miami and Florida State in the ACC still have to meet, and so do Baylor/Oklahoma/Texas Tech in the Big 12. Interesting possibilities, and any SEC champion has to be considered for the FBS championship. Anybody but Alabama, please!
The LSU Tigers moved up to sixth in the the AP Top 25 poll after their win over Florida, and losses by Georgia and Stanford. Most of the teams ranked higher have Top Ten foes to face: Alabama faces LSU on November 9 (and I think Auburn may give them trouble in the Iron Bowl); Oregon has to play Stanford and UCLA; Clemson and Florida State still have to play each other; only Ohio State seems to play an easy schedule. If Ohio State and Oregon win out their schedules, and Alabama loses, we could see the end of the SEC domination of the national championship. In the past, a one loss SEC champion would still be a lock to make the Championship game, but do not count on it this year. Even if Oregon or Ohio State loses, we would have to count on Miami beating the winner of the Clemson-Florida State game, and losing to the loser.
For LSU to make it to the championship, we have to beat Alabama and Texas A&M, and then Missouri (?!) in the SEC championship. We have a tough row to hoe to get that far.