Hey ya’ll, guess what?
LSU beat Alabama!
OK, you probably didn’t need me to tell you that, but it’s still fun to say anyway.
Needless to say, my sports mailbag has exploded in the past 24-48 hours.
So let’s go.
There’s no time like the present.
Q: Should Alabama make the College Football Playoff after Saturday’s loss? (Asked by Reid, Thibodaux)
A: They should be out — 100 percent out. The committee in various years has said that it values championships. Alabama likely can’t win any — neither a Division Title, nor a Conference Title. The committee has said it values quality wins. Alabama has none. They have not beaten anyone with a pulse all season. Do I think the Tide are one of the four best teams in the country? I do. But do I think they have a chance to have one of the four best seasons? Nah, I don’t. It would take chaos for me to change my mind. If they can get in without quality wins AND a loss, then why didn’t UCF make it the past two years? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right?
Q: What’s wrong with the Pelicans? (Asked by Tom, Houma)
A: Well, for one, they traded for duds. Let’s start there. Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart are not winning players. They are not guys you can build around without significant help. LeBron James got injured last year and missed more than a month. Those guys all had a chance to keep the Lakers floating in his absence. Instead, the ship sunk. Flash forward to the present and guess what? The ship is again taking on lots of water. The stats are nice, but they’re not impactful stats. And for two, I am just not sure about Alvin Gentry. The guy has been a coach for a long, long time in this league, but has never really won much of anything. Over time, you sort of are what your record says you are.
Q: How worried are you about the Saints’ loss? (Asked by Bob, Houma)
A: It’s not too concerning to me. It’s the NFL. These types of things happen. What’s of greater concern to me than the loss is the team’s offensive line. The Saints’ offensive line has been pretty bad at times this season. Sometimes, it’s missed assignments. Sometimes, it’s penalties. Sometimes, it’s a little bit of both. You cannot win the Super Bowl if you’re bad at the line of scrimmage. The Saints have to get that ironed out in the coming weeks. They have time, but now a smaller margin for error if they want to earn homefield advantage.
Q: Which local team will make the deepest playoff run? (Asked by Adam, Houma)
A: I’m not sure anyone locally wins in the opening round, as sad as that is to say. We just have too many teams on the road taking on state powerhouses. Our only home team is E.D. White and they have the poorest draw in all of Division II, taking on Evangel. But if I had to pick one, I guess it would have to be either Thibodaux or Terrebonne. Thibodaux has played against and beaten top-flight competition this season, so they’re battled tested and can challenge Walker. On the other end of the coin, Terrebonne has some of the best players in the state. They always say Jimmy’s and Joe’s are greater than X’s and O’s. So that has to give them a chance against anyone.
Q: Will Joe Burrow win the Heisman? And will he be a good pro? (Asked by Mags, Houma)
A: I think he wins the Heisman, yes. Burrow has 33 touchdowns and 4 interceptions this year and he’s completed almost 80 percent of his passes. Those aren’t type-O’s. Those are real stats. This isn’t a video game. This is real life. Burrow’s arm is one thing, but his toughness and leadership is another and he’s the full package for LSU. On Saturday against Alabama, Burrow completed 31-of-39 passes for 393 yards and three scores. But where would LSU have been if not for Burrow’s rushing ability? He picked up several first downs with his legs and had Alabama’s defense totally out of rhythm. As for whether he will be a good pro, I don’t see why not. He is a student of the game, he has an accurate arm, and he has the ability to rally people around him. Those things are all huge at the next level.
Q: Will Nicholls make the playoffs? (Asked by Brennan, Houma)
A: They have zero margin for error. They have to win the rest of their games to have a chance and even that may not be enough. The Colonels have dug themselves into a hole, but there’s still some light at the end of the tunnel. And heck, over the past few years, this team has somewhat thrived off playing in those pressure-packed games.
Q: Big Wrestling fan here. What should I watch on WWE Network? (Asked by B, Thibodaux)
A: Survivor Series 1990 is good. Wrestlemania 5 is one of the best ones yet. Those are two good starting points. When done there, email again for some more suggestions.