Where does that leave Hatch? On the hot seat, no doubt. Miles has promised that at least Lee and Hatch will play. But Lee missed four practices and a scrimmage with back spasms. Jefferson is even more raw, having come directly from Destrehan (La.) High School.
"The team understands we have three talented guys," Miles said ambiguously, "and all three will probably play."
Perrilloux is ultimately to blame for this predicament. Miles deserves credit for finally cutting his losses, knowing that the 2008 season could be in the balance without an experienced quarterback.
Hatch's circuitous route to Baton Rouge started in Las Vegas, where he starred at Cimarron-Memorial High. BYU offered a scholarship, but Hatch decided to go to Harvard after BYU fired Gary Crowton. After that one season in Cambridge, Hatch went on a Mormon mission to Chile. A knee injury cut it short. Crowton, then the new offensive coordinator at LSU, got Hatch to come to LSU. When Perrilloux was suspended in May 2007, Hatch walked on and eventually got a scholarship.
"We knew as a Mormon kid he was going to go on a two-year mission after his freshman year," Murphy said. "He calls me from South America and says, 'You're not going to believe it but LSU just offered me a scholarship.' I put two and two together because Gary had gone there as a coordinator.
"He said, 'What should I do? I really like what I'm doing at Harvard but this is something I'd really like to take a shot at.'"
The communications studies major will end up on his feet. Let's say everything goes to pot and the football thing doesn't work out for Hatch. This is the SEC, you know. Pretenders need not apply.
"Harvard has a pretty liberal policy about coming back here and getting a degree," Murphy said.
Scouting the nation
Guarantee checks! Get your guarantee check here! Wow, you would think the networks could do better than two games featuring ranked teams in the opening weekend (Alabama-Clemson, Missouri-Illinois).
Elvis his own self: WWL is big on left tackles. Loved the book The Blind Side. Did a story looking at the position in May.
That's why we're interested in seeing how Elvis enters the building Saturday at the Edward Jones Dome. Elvis Fisher is Missouri's redshirt freshman left tackle who is getting his first career start against a fairly stout Illinois defense Saturday. More to the point, the 6-foot-5, 295-pounder will be protecting Chase Daniel's blindside.
The Illini will be looking for the kill shot on the Heisman finalist. But first they have to reach him. If Fisher is jittery in his first start, Daniel isn't as productive, and if that happens that magic Mizzou season could go kaput before it gets started.
Luxury sled alert: Vic Koenning could diffuse this Julio Jones-B.J. Scott thing easily Saturday night. Clemson's defensive coordinator should arrive at the Georgia Dome in a Navigator.
Yes, that was Koenning basically accusing someone of (wink, wink) cheating to get the two Alabama blue-chip recruits. Koenning says he was joking. That must be why he concluded his remarks this week by saying, "That's serious."
The comforting thing is that no one from Alabama is upset in the least.
Clemson on the clock: Seriously, if Clemson doesn't handle 'Bama rather easily, what does it say about the Tigers? The best (allegedly) in the ACC can't handle a midlevel SEC team.
The Velvet Hammer: Jim Tressel came as close to dissing an opponent as WWL has seen. Usually, the Ol' Yawn Coach could find something nice to say about a case of lice. This time he's practically shoving it in the face of his old employer, Youngstown State, and its coach Jon Heacock.
Tres says he hopes that all three of his quarterbacks get to play in the first half. Youngstown State is a pushover, but a pushover with ties to Tressel (its former coach) and defensive coordinator Jim Heacock (brother of Jon).
Nothing gets in the way when that third-string guy is Terrelle Pryor, the nation's No. 1 recruit. Even Tressel can't wait to see him play.
Southern California will beat Virginia: That's not what this is about. WWL wants to see USC's receivers beat anyone. The loss of tight end Fred Davis to the pros and the lack of a go-to wideout for Mark Sanchez make it imperative the Virginia game be used as a glorified scrimmage to develop that depth.
USC O.C. Steve Sarkisian needs to develop some consistent pass catchers, not just a bunch of guys who are all-hotel lobby. Mike Williams and Dwayne Jarrett are distant memories.