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Seeing is believing: How LSU coach Brian Kelly turned Tigers into West Division champs

SystemSystem Posts: 7,416 admin
edited December 2022 in Article commenting
imageSeeing is believing: How LSU coach Brian Kelly turned Tigers into West Division champs

ATLANTA — The SEC regular season ended right where many thought Georgia would be, but Brian Kelly’s LSU Tigers were not supposed to be here.

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Comments

  • 99nout99nout Posts: 210 ✭✭✭ Junior

    Let's be honest, LSU is the west division champ b/c Alabama imploded this year. No other reason that a 2 loss team would be a division champ in the SEC.

  • UGA66UGA66 Posts: 4,110 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    LSU had two losses and one was a big loss to a previously poor performing TAMU squad. Was the loss beacuse LSU played porrly or TAMU played the way it was predicted to? Both. Therefore, the team that shows up against UGA could be a poor performer or the aggressive LSU some saw earlier. Bet on the latter. Kelly has these guys motivated. However, UGA comes in with the talent base few, if any, in NCAA football can boast. The Dawgs should chase the kitties all over the field. LSU QB Daniels is supposedly healthy and laying a little shade on the Dawgs. Well, he better put on his best dancing shoes. He will need them. I expect Stetson Bennett to have a very good Saturday afternoon. Enough said.

  • UGA66UGA66 Posts: 4,110 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Errata .....LSU 6 and 2 in the SEC West is what I meant....9-3 overall.

  • DawgCrazy76DawgCrazy76 Posts: 478 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    This is going to be a barnburner. Go Dawgz, sic'em offense and defense petal to the metal. 😎

    

  • thadecthadec Posts: 611 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    5-7 years ago a lot of SEC programs made bad hires. Texas A&M, Arkansas, LSU, Auburn, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Missouri. (Yes, I am leaving out Vanderbilt, Kentucky and the Mississippi schools.) Who does that leave? Alabama and Georgia. And Bama made questionable hires at offensive and defensive coordinator (Saban hired O'Brien to help out an old coaching buddy and he retains Golding "for stability" precisely because he knows no one wants him as a HC.) Result? Entire SEC is on a downcycle. The question is how much longer it is going to last. Going down the list: best scenarios.

    A&M is stuck with Jimbo Fisher for at least one more season which means 3-4 more years before they will be any good.

    Arkansas could field their best team since 2006 or 2011 in the next year or 2 and still not threaten UGA.

    LSU could repeat in the SEC West in 2023 if Jayden Daniels comes back for a pandemic year 5th season - which is unlikely - but they would still get blown out by a UGA team featuring Carson Beck hitting Brock Bowers on vertical and corner routes.

    Auburn pulled the short straw again. Not that he is a bad coach, but the spread offense is on a downtrend.

    Tennessee: see Auburn.

    Florida is on the right track but Mullen left such a mess behind that they are at least 3 years away.

    South Carolina: see Arkansas.

    Missouri: see Arkansas.

    Which leaves ... Alabama. Saban vehemently doubled down this year: he will never fire Golding, whom Saban claims deserves as much credit for the 2017 and 2020 national titles as Muschamp and Smart for the 2003, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015 ones. (In a sense he not wrong ... Bama won their toughest games in 2012 and 2015 by scoring 32 and 45 points, and in 2009 and 2011, well Colt McCoy got hurt and LSU never had an effective QB. Golding's main problem is that he doesn't recruit nearly as well as Smart did at Bama.) As for O'Brien, everyone thought that the combination of A. his success at Penn State, B. his winning playoff games as an NFL coach and C. being the OC for a Bama title team would lead to his getting a head coaching job by now. The problem is that C. hasn't happened, causing all the desirable jobs (Nebraska, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Wisconsin, Big 12 bound Cincinnati) to hire others. Based on Bama's heavy use of the portal for players at OL, WR and RB in recent years and breaking their string of successfully landing 5 star QBs, it looks like O'Brien is no better at recruiting than Golding is. So long as the main trio at Bama is Golding, O'Brien and a clearly past his prime Saban, their days of contending for titles are over.

    Bottom line: I think that UGA is going to dominate the SEC for at least the next 2-3 years past this season. How many national titles they wind up with will be mostly determined by injuries and QB play during that time.

  • MacroDawgMacroDawg Posts: 50 ✭✭ Sophomore

    Good analysis, you probably should be writing some of these articles. Sometimes I read your stuff here and makes me question whether or not you’re a dawg fan. But, good analysis anyway.

  • MontanaDawgMontanaDawg Posts: 1,821 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited December 2022

    @99nout... actually, LSU has 3 losses...yes, it's unfortunate. LSU built its team quickly using the transfer portal. Kirby has done the opposite. He has developed players that believe in the program and the ability to grow from start to finish. It doesn't always work but does more times than not.

    One of the main reasons we're getting rid of divisions in all the conferences is to avoid a scenario like we are having this season in the SEC Championship game and the B1G game. Purdue has 4 losses. Again, the B1G will be going to no divisions. Going forward when divisions disappear you'll have #1 vs. #2 in each conference. Much better...

  • GoodOlDawgGoodOlDawg Posts: 433 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited December 2022

    “Another thing is visualizing yourself making plays. He believes that if you see yourself there, it’s going to come to fruition.”

    Jayden Daniels is going to see more than just himself making plays. He's probably going to see Javon Bullard and Smael Mondon in his nightmares for weeks to come. There should be a spy on him on nearly every play for the entire game. It would surprise me if Smart didn't have Bullard waiting for him when he got off the plane! 😂

    GO DAWGS!

  • BigDawg61BigDawg61 Posts: 2,351 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    BAMA didn't look that good, last year, either. IMO. They could've easily lost 2 or 3 games last year.

    Their WR/QB connection, is the only thing that kept em in it. BUT, once they got there (postseason)...Saban did his thing and rallied his team to play over their head for 3 games.

    BAMA has been on a downward trajectory for a few years now. Attrition and poor recruiting over the last few years has taken it's toll.

    I know, I know...recruiting? You ask.

    Allow me to explain. Yes, they had a top 3 recruiting class over the that time frame. So, how could they possibly be recruiting poorly.

    Well,....the personnel being recruited by BAMA's OC and DC, may have 4 or 5 stars, but, they don't necessarily fit their scheme. Moreover, I'm not sure Saban has his hands on those levers as much as he used to (if he ever did).

    Smart was Saban's "Ace-in-the-Hole", while he was there. He recruited at the highest levels and trained other BAMA assistants on how to evaluate the intangibles and, in-turn, recruit to his standards. Recruiting started going off course in Tuscaloosa, after Kirby Smart, Pruitt, Scott Cochran & Mel Tucker...left to take other jobs.

    IMO...If BAMA doesn't get into the CFP, Saban will retire. Lane Kiffin is sitting on standby, waiting to swoop in and take over...which is why he didn't jump on the AUB Job. There's no way Saban is going to want to attempt to rebuild BAMA football, for the 3rd time in 14 years. He doesn't like BAMA Fans, that much. Lol

  • thadecthadec Posts: 611 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    @BigDawg61

    Well, I REALLY disagree on the "they weren't that good last year because they could have lost 2 or 3 games" because that describes a ton of national champs. Including UGA last year, who actually did lose the SEC title game, plus in the national title game a couple of huge plays going a different way would have made it a completely different ball game. Seasons like Alabama 2020 and Clemson 2018 - where a team dominates beginning to end - are rare and more often than not the product of a loaded team playing in a weak conference or against a mediocre schedule.

    I agree that Bama has been on a downward trajectory for a few years. Golding just isn't the caliber of Smart or Muschamp, as a coach or recruiter. Alabama simply hasn't had difference makers on the defensive interior - NT, DT, ILB - in years. Since they aren't attracting elite 3-4 players anymore they would be better off going with a 4-3, or the 3-3-5 that a lot of teams have adopted to defend the spread, but Golding won't pull the trigger (or isn't allowed to by Saban). What Smart and Mel Tucker did in 2017 to produce a very good defense with no dominant DLs - though they did have a dominant ILB in Roquan Smith to scheme around - it doesn't appear that Golding and Saban are capable of.

    On offense, Lane Kiffin, Mike Locksley and Steve Sarkisian actually did a great job of identifying and recruiting offensive players. The problem has been Bill O'Brien since. There's also playcalling. Not really going to fault O'Brien for last season because during the season 3 of his top 4 RBs got hurt, and in the postseason his 2 best WRs got hurt. But this year? It has been obvious for ages that Bama's OL is way better at run blocking and pass blocking, their TEs are good at run blocking but can't separate and have hands of stone, and their WRs need help getting open. Yet O'Brien refused to change his offense. UGA fans might not want to hear this, but were Jim Chaney the offensive coordinator for Alabama this year the Tide would be 12-0. His scheme and playcalling would be perfect for what the Tide have on offense.

    Oh well. Bama's decline just makes it easier for UGA. If Carson Beck is the NFL prospect that I think that he is, I expect UGA to be right back in 2023 where they are now, 12-0 (and soon to be 13-0). And even if Alabama is their SECCG foe, any playoff hopes that they may have will end in Atlanta, which would have been the same for LSU even if they hadn't choked against A&M.

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