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From the Golden Archives
The nice feature of posting articles on a Web Site is that I can update them at any time. I've done that with the article on Game 7 of the 1924 World Series - one of the most exciting ultimate games of all times.
Some new tidbits added plus a number of new pictures.
Read it here ...
Good Job, Tigers!
My trip to Baton Rouge Saturday was successful: LSU 64 Missouri 63.
  • That was one of the best basketball games I've ever witnessed in person. Two teams going at each other for 40 minutes. LSU led briefly by five points for the largest lead of the game.
  • It was clear midway through the first half that this would be a grinder that would come down to the last possession.
  • Both coaches, Will Wade and Cuonzo Martin, have turned around the culture of their teams in their first seasons in Baton Rouge and Columbia respectively.
  • You don't see many 64-63 games any more. The score was that high only because Missouri made 12 of 21 three-pointers and LSU made nine.
  • For once, LSU's opponent can point to the FT line as the cause of their loss. Mizzou made only 7 of 17 freebies.
  • I've never seen a game with such good interior defense. It caused numerous missed shots within 5' of the goal, including the last shot by Missouri after stealing the inbounds pass.
  • The officiating was excellent. Watching live, I thought LSU may have gotten away with a foul on the last second attempt. But watching the replay on the SEC Network, I couldn't find a foul.
  • When a team plays tough, solid defense, coaching has occurred. And both LSU and Missouri are well-coached. The improvement of LSU on the defensive end from the start of the season is remarkable.
  • Try as they may, Mizzou could not contain Tremont Waters, who scored 21 points, including the game winner with 19 seconds left. He had only four assists but also just three turnovers.
  • If the Tigers can get to .500 in the SEC and win a game in the conference tournament, they have a chance to make the Big Dance. But to get to 9-9, they must win three of their last four against Vanderbilt, @Georgia, @South Carolina, and Mississippi State. All four are winnable, with the easiest being Vandy. They must win that one Tuesday night and then try to get a road win at Georgia or USC before beating State at Maravich.
  • I'm more excited about the future of LSU basketball than I am about the future of LSU football.
Then There's Baseball
My two friends and I originally intended to make the doubleheader Saturday - basketball at 1 PM and baseball at 4 PM.
  • But I've been sick on and off since the beginning of December, including two days out of school several weeks ago with the flu. So I offered a compromise - let's just go to the basketball game. Boy, did we pick the right game to attend.
  • Losing five position players and the entire weekend rotation plus the closer put LSU in rebuilding mode. So my expectations going into 2018 were not high.
  • Still, losing two of three to Notre Dame was disappointing - not because losing two of three to an ACC team at home is shameful but because of the manner LSU lost.
  • The outfield is solid, but each infield position is manned by a newcomer, although SS Josh Smith started at 3B last season.
  • Caleb Gilbert and Zach Hess made names for themselves in the 2017 postseason - Gilbert as a starter after Eric Walker's elbow injury put him out until 2019 and Zach out of the bullpen. But both had lousy outings as starters Friday and Saturday. Then Todd Peterson did OK Sunday. He went four innings but gave up a three-run HR. Pitching coach Alan Dunn, one of the best in the business, will have his hands full this year.
  • Tiger backstops Bryce Jordan and Nick Coomes had a difficult time behind the plate as the Tiger hurlers uncorked four wild pitches and the catchers were charged with three pass balls. I know WPs are charged to the P but a better receiver would have stopped at least some of those. The good news is that the expected starter behind the plate, Hunter Feduccia, a transfer from LSU-Eunice, is out with a broken finger but is expected to return in the not-too-distant future.
  • One good note on the pitching side was the performances of several relievers.
    -- Veterans Matthew Beck and Austin Bain threw a combined 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief Friday night, holding the Irish at bay to allow the Tigers to come back from a 6-0 deficit thanks to a grand slam by Beau Jordan and a three-run HR by Josh Smith.
    --Saturday heralded Trent Vietmeier from Pittsburgh fired 3 2/3 scoreless innings and another newcomer, Ma'Khail Hilliard, contributed two more.
  • Manieri is known for the improvement his teams show as the season progresses. It looks like he has his biggest task in a number of years rounding this crew into shape to make an NCAA Regional from the tough-as-always SEC.
My Live Basketball Game This Weekend
Heading to Baton Rouge Saturday for LSU-Missouri at 1 PM, my first Tiger game of the season.
  • The Tigers have exceeded expectations this season under new coach Will Wade. They probably won't make the NCAA Tournament but should be good for the NIT - and this time will take the invite unlike two years ago when Ben Simmons and Company thumbed their noses at the NIT.
  • I'm anxious to see Tremont Waters in person, an exciting player along the lines of Chris Jackson. Commentators have suggested that Tremont's recent slump is the result of the "wall" that freshmen hit in their first year of college ball. I suspect it's also connected to the defense the opponent throws against him.
  • Mizzou is much improved under new coach Cuonzo Martin. Tigers will have their hands full even at home.
  • I saw part of a speech that Tiger great Rudy Macklin (from the 1981 Final Four team) gave in Baton Rouge recently. When LSU hired Wade, Rudy called his contacts to get a line on the new guy. He said everyone he contacted called him the best young coach in the nation. So far, so good for Will. He has certainly established that he's a very good recruiter with what he brought in this year and the others committed for 2018-19. Of course, he doesn't have a tough act to follow.
NFL Playoffs 2018 - FINAL GAME
We list eight sets of statistical factors for the playoff games and keep track of which factor is the best predictor of the winners. No one factor is head and shoulders above the others, but so far it's been total offense and home team.

2018 Playoff Predictors
Category Wins
Total Offense 7
Rushing Offense 6
Passing Offense 5
Total Defense 7
Rushing Defense 7
Passing Defense 7
Turnover Margin 7
Home Team 7
Higher Golden Ranking 6

"Wins" = # times the team leading in that category won the game.

Super Bowl
1. Patriots 1 10 2 29 20 30 +6 92
1. Eagles 7 3 13 4 1 17 +11 45

The Patriots rank higher in only two of the seven categories.
Yet they are the favorite because of their coach and QB. Of the two
predictors above that have been the most accurate, Home Team doesn't apply
to the Super Bowl. However, New England tops the league in Total Offense.
Golden NFL Rankings: Eagles (19.07) over Patriots (18.53)
RESULT: Eagles 41 Patriots 33

The numbers in the table below are the team's rank in each category.
So a lower number is better except for Turnover Margin.
The black numbers indicate the best ranking
among the conference playoff teams in that category.

Regular Season Ranks for All 12 Playoff Teams
Turnover Margin
Total of
 NFC  1. Eagles 7 3 13 4 1 17 +11 45
2. Vikings 11 7 11 1 2 2 +5 34
3. Rams 10 8 10 19 28 13 +7 88
4. Saints 2 5 5 17 16 15 +7 60
5. Panthers 19 4 28 7 3 18 -1 79
6. Falcons 8 13 8 9 9 12 -2 59
 AFC  1. Patriots 1 10 2 29 20 30 +6 92
2. Steelers 3 20 3 5 10 5 +2 46
3. Jaguars 6 1 17 2 21 1 +10 47
4. Chiefs 5 9 7 28 25 29 +15 103
5. Titans 23 15 23 13 4 25 -4 103
6. Bills 29 6 31 26 29 20 +9 141
Tigers in the NFL - 2017 Update

I've updated the spreadsheet I've been keeping for years to calculate which Tiger teams contained the most future NFL players. Here's the report for 2017.

46 Tigers played at least one game in an NFL uniform this past season - A NEW RECORD HIGH, topping 2014's 44 and 2015 and 2016's 43.

  • Here they are grouped by position with their years in the league in parentheses.
    Defense (27)
    D-Line (11): Michael Brockers - Rams (6), Lavar Edwards - Ravens (5), Davon Godchaux - Dolphins (1), Danielle Hunter - Vikings (3), Ricky Jean-Francois - Patriots (9), Anthony Johnson (3) - Jets, Bennie Logan - Eagles (5), Barkevious Mingo - Colts (5), Lewis Neal - Cowboys (1), Kyle Williams - Bills (12), Al Woods - Colts (8)
    LB (6): Kwon Alexander - Bucs (3), Kendell Beckwith - Bucs (1), Tashawn Bower - Vikings (1), Deion Jones - Falcons (2), Kevin Minter - Cardinals (5), Duke Riley - Falcons (1), Kelvin Sheppard - Giants (7)
    DB (9): Jamal Adams (1) - Jets, Morris Claiborne - Jets (6), Ronald Martin - Colts (3), Tyrann Mathieu - Cardinals (5), Jalen Mills - Eagles (2), Patrick Peterson - Cardinals (7), Eric Reid - 49ers (5), Rashard Robinson - Jets (2), Tre'Davious White - Bills (1)
    Offense (16)
    O-Line (7): Vadal Alexander - Raiders (2), Joseph Barksdale - Chargers (5), La'el Collins - Cowboys (3), Jerald Hawkins - Steelers (1), Ethan Pocic - Seahawks (1), Trai Turner - Panthers (4), Andrew Whitworth - Rams (11)
    WR (4): Odell Beckham - Giants (4), Brandon LaFell - Bengals (8), Jarvis Landry - Dolphins (4), Russell Shepard - Bucs (5)
    RB (5): Alfred Blue - Texans (4), Leonard Fournette - Jaguars (1), Jeremy Hill - Bengals (4), Terrance Magee - Falcons (3), Stevan Ridley - Steelers (7)
    Special Teams (3)
    P (2)
    : Donnie Jones - Eagles (14), Brad Wing - Giants (4); LS (1) - Reid Ferguson - Bills (1)

  • Breakdown by team:
    4 - Jets
    3 - Eagles, Colts, Bills, Bucs, Falcons, Cardinals, Giants
    2 - Rams, Dolphins, Vikings, Cowboys, Steelers, Bengals
    1 - Ravens, 49ers, Patriots, Raiders, Chargers, Seahawks, Panthers, Texans, Jaguars
    0 - Chiefs, Titans, Bears, Broncos, Browns,, Lions, Packers, Saints, Redskins

  • Tigers who played in the NFL in 2016 but not 2017
    LB Ron Brooks
    DB Jalen Collins
    DL Glen Dorsey
    DT Tyson Jackson
    DB Tharold Simon
    RB Spencer Ware (missed entire season with injury)
    WR James Wright

  • Tiger teams with the most future NFL players on them (counting only those who lettered for that given year):

    31 - 2012
    29 - 2003 (SEC and BCS Champions), 2013
    27 - 2011 (SEC Champions), 2002, 2001 (SEC Champions)
    26 - 2010
    25 - 2007 (SEC and BCS Champions), 2004

  • Source: pro-football-reference.com

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About This Site
This site is devoted primarily but not exclusively to college and pro football. The unique feature of this site is the publication each fall of the author's rankings of all FBS college football teams and similar rankings for the NFL. I live in New Orleans and am a graduate of LSU and FSU. So I present a Southern and particularly an SEC point of view but one that is reasonably objective. I also publish a monthly Football Magazine with stories from the past and a monthly Baseball Magazine with a similar format. During the winter and spring, there's a monthly Basketball Magazine.

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For Your Reading Pleasure

Basketball Short Story Memories of Wilt
Tiger Den Basketball Pete Maravich's LSU Career -
Sophomore Season
NBA Finals - Game 7: 1951
Basketball Quiz Record Setters
Tiger Den: 1996 Comebacks - Tulane
Saints Saga: Profile - Jim Finks III
Seminoles Sidelines: Profile - Burt Reynolds - 1
Super Bowl VII - Redskins vs Dolphins
Profile: Bill Walsh - IX
Short Story
: Paranoia Abounds
How Well Do You Know the Rules?
Football Quiz
Cardinals Clubhouse: Profile: Rogers Hornsby - IV
The Ultimate Game 2017 World Series - Game 7
One Great Year - Snuffy Stirnweiss 1945
PostSeason Surprises
- Ken Boswell
How Would You Rule? -
Close play at plate
Baseball Quiz
- Switch-hitters with 350+ HRs
Short Story - Wacky Weather and Gnashing Gnats

Les Miles Retrospective
Part I | Part II
| Part III
Part IV | Part V | Part VI

My College Predictions for 2017

2017 College Football Preseason Magazine Summaries

My Pro Predictions for 2017
2017 Pro Football Preseason Magazine Summaries

About This Site

Past Articles

Tigers in NFL - 2017


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