Blog Entry

Quarterback not key issue with LSU going forward

Posted on: August 26, 2011 1:42 pm
Edited on: August 26, 2011 2:54 pm
A promo banner across the top of LSU's website Friday could have passed as a taunt considering the current state of the program.

Who's Next?

At the moment -- and check back frequently for updates -- LSU goes into its mega-match with Oregon in eight days diminished and disgraced. Once again, updating from two seconds ago, LSU ...

--is currently under NCAA investigation because of its dealings with Will Lyles.

--will be missing its fastest player and best big-play threat Russell Shepard against Oregon due to suspension.

--has no idea whether starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson and backup linebacker Josh Johns will ever play again. Both were suspended indefinitely Friday within an hour of warrants being issued for their arrest. The two were expected to be charged with second-degree felony assault stemming from the infamous Shady's bar fight.

--in the middle of all this, awarded coach Les Miles with a contract extension on Friday. Before the outrage boils up, be advised this just happened to be a serendipitous convergence of events. School officials were already scheduled to meet Friday to rubber stamp the deal.

Get your heads up, Tiger Nation. This is what passes for closure. This is what many of you wanted. Your team went 11-2 last year and you blamed Jefferson. At best, he was the most experienced quarterback on the roster. At worst, he had become a huge distraction. Law enforcement decided the issue. 

Who's next? Senior Jarrett Lee. He's not a difference maker. Don't worry, it's not like LSU has been churning out top draft choices at the position, but fans being fans they're always looking toward the next best thing. Some of the more uncaring had tagged Lee "Pick Six." Can't imagine why. This is the same guy who in an eight-game stretch in 2008 threw 10 interceptions. Five of them were returned for touchdowns. That includes a four-pick performance in an overtime loss to Alabama.

Lee is now perceived as somewhat of a savior. First, because he's the only guy on the roster with any notable experience. Second, he's not Jordan Jefferson. It's easier now to remember Lee's heroics last season against Alabama (key third-down pass) and Florida (game-clinching touchdown pass to Terrence Tolliver).

Closure might not be the right word. LSU might actually be better without Jefferson. But that's not the point either. Whether LSU beats Oregon or wins the SEC probably wasn't going to hinge on the quarterback. The Tigers have won national championships with a former minor league catcher (Matt Mauck) and with a savvy guy who shows up nowhere among the school's top 10 career passers (Matt Flynn).

Lee is serviceable, which is all LSU needs right now. There isn't that much of a drop off between him and Jefferson. The difference is Lee is committed having lost 30 pounds and, well, eligible to play. Transfer Zach Mettenberger is the guy on the come but still third-string.

As mentioned, it's not like the program has been producing top NFL quarterbacks lately. But it has been winning -- big.

Miles didn't earn that extension because of his grass-eating ability. He won 62 games in six seasons in the toughest conference in the country. His name continues to pop up for big-time jobs, especially at Michigan. LSU has won under Miles (and Nick Saban before him) with two time-worn SEC strategies -- running the ball and playing defense.

And talk about clock management, Les is a changed man. Barely 30 minutes passed before Miles suspended the two players after word came down about the arrest warrants. 

So in a strange way it is a more stable LSU program heading into the season opener. We know for certain that Jordan Jefferson is an accused felon right now. That doesn't mean he's responsible for what is reported to be the battery of a bar patron. It doesn't mean he's guilty or will serve jail time.

It means that we know his situation going forward. LSU and Les can move on. The coach knows he has been betrayed. Miles went to wall in defending his inconsistent senior. It looks like Jefferson has repaid him with a slap in the face.

It's not like Oregon has its Ducks in a row heading to Arlington. The program has had its own unfortunate dealings with Lyles. Defensive back Cliff Harris is suspended himself having successfully proven it's possible to get a rental car up to 118 mph on I-5 while driving with a suspended license.

Who's next? Maybe a lawyer and an NCAA investigator at the 50 for the coin toss.


Since: Aug 27, 2011
Posted on: August 27, 2011 4:08 pm

Quarterback not key issue with LSU going forward

Just because he is black, athletic, and on scholarship, you paint him as poor and dumb.  Did you ever consider that his family may have the means to furnish him with shoes - many, many shoes? Jordan arrived at LSU as a 17 year old kid and was just barely 18 when he was forced into a situation that most 21 year olds have difficulty handling.  He was still but 20 when this went down.  He's not a Pre-med major, but he has never been in academic trouble, which is no easy task for many a student athelete.  Say what you must about Jefferson, but I for one would never question his committment to LSU football.  He is perhaps the most scrutinized and ridiculed of any recent LSU QB, but you can't question that kid's heart and soul.  He made a mistake.  He'll pay dearly - already has.  But when the dust settles, the record will show that he's still a person of character (regardless of what the ignorant masses perceive) and I will commend Miles when he welcomes him back with open arms -- even if it's as a RS senior.

Since: Dec 7, 2007
Posted on: August 27, 2011 4:01 pm

Good article

Nicely put, good article as usual. I enjoy Dennis's writing style and his sharp, dry sense of humour.

Since: Jun 9, 2008
Posted on: August 27, 2011 3:51 pm

Quarterback not key issue with LSU going forward

So, only the guys that kicked the marine in the face are suspended?  What happens to the other guys that pulled him out of the car, were punching and were out at a bar 4 and 1/2 hours after curfew?  Gimme a break, football is this schools baby and nothing has happened that their hands werent forced to do....

Since: Sep 21, 2006
Posted on: August 27, 2011 3:20 pm

Quarterback not key issue with LSU going forward

This article is a joke. Even without Cliff Harris, Oregon is going to destroy and embarass LSU. On a neutral field. In front of a national television audience. There is no way LSU will be able to match Oregon's offensive machine without their number one QB. It's a shame, too. I was looking forward to Oregon beating LSU straight up, not against them while undermanned (and under indictment). Now, when Oregon marches back to the Natty, everyone will say, "Oh, well the LSU game wasn't as big as it should have been, so Oregon probably doesnt belong there again." Hogwash. Yep, that's what we say out here, folks. Hogwash. Go Ducks!

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: August 27, 2011 2:31 pm

Quarterback not key issue with LSU going forward

I found it funny how Jefferson's attorney said his client should be still playing football. Yeah, prison yard football.

Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: August 27, 2011 2:10 pm

Quarterback not key issue with LSU going forward

Funny stuff!  Funny because you are using the United States "accused is innocent until proven guilty" and you are hammering on THE Ohio State University? Dude, now that is funny! There have been thousands of pages and thousands of people slamming The Ohio State University since December.  Quick fact check, U.S. Attorney notified The Ohio State University upon the COMPLETION of a federal drug investigation that 5 players had traded or sold personal items to the tattoo guy.  A REJECTED defense attorney sent an email to Coach Tressell and he said he would handle it.  COACH TRESSELL'S ONLY mistake was that he FORWARDED the emails to T. Pryor's mentor and he should have been FIRED for that.  I could email any coach in America and say that "Hey _____________ (player) has been seen with ______________ (name the bad guy) and the _____________ (player) got this ____________(item) and  I just wanted you to know. What should happen to the player in question?   Remember, The Ohio State University followed all the rules and reported their findings to the NCAA at each and every step of the way.  The Sugar Bowl officials demanded to the NCAA that the Ohio State players be allowed to play in the Sugar Bowl (for the money), and the NCAA allowed that to happen (for the money).  Coach Miles did do the right thing by suspending the players ONLY after they were charged which was the RIGHT thing to do.  'The" in The Ohio State University is there for one reason and one reason alone, The Ohio State University set itself away from OSU and OSU, to name just a few. 

Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: August 27, 2011 1:17 pm

RE: Dodd you are such a SEC HOMER!

ducell98, you may the most biased - not to mention, ignorant - poster I've ever seen! There is a very large difference between "paying a player during his recruitment" and giving a free hotel room and making improper phone calls. You need to check your facts before you go blathering about your obvious anti-Non-Ohio-State sentiment. It is obvious that your envy for your team to have a positive national spotlight is driving your remarks. The player involved never saw a single play in an LSU uniform because OUR compliance office and coaching staff know the rules AND follow them, which is why the coach involved was also forced out. You don't see Les Miles or LSU apologizing for covering up eight-month old emails and our AD making such an assanine comment as, "I just hope the coach doesn't fire me".

Regaring JJ's shoes, keep in mind, this is a 20-year old college kid who has been at the school for five years, so it IS feasible that he acquired that many pairs of shoes over that time and never got rid of them. Now, I'm not saying that that is what he did and let's face it, the state of college football could predict otherwise, but last I checked that's not the issue here.

Regarding his guilt - lest I be remembering incorrectly - in the U.S., the accused is innocent until proven guilty. At this point the facts have been proven enough to warrant his arrest and indefinite suspension, but until now "the ass in the hat", as you put it, has maintained his integrity - as always (unlike a certain hypocritical sweatvest) - and has stood behind his players until all of the facts were presented. Les Miles is not small-minded enough to make impulsive decisions based on media speculation and the general public's perception of what he should do and I believe we could all learn from that. He suspended the players within 30 minutes of the arrest warrants being issued BEFORE the media even knew about it. It's easy to see why he has chosen to stay at LSU and not return to his MidWest roots; you represent the worst of irresponsible speculation and blinded opinions based on factless information.

...and once and for all, drop the arrogance of "The" OSU, it is that arrogance that has resulted in y'alls own debacle. Did any of you ever stop to think that every single State institution in the nation could say that?

Next time you decide to post, think before you type. 

Since: Nov 25, 2006
Posted on: August 27, 2011 12:16 pm

Dodd you are such a SEC HOMER!

Dodd you may be the most biased columnist I have ever seen!   If I recall when michigan had their allegations and issues they were in horrible shape and called for Rich Rods Head.  I am by no means a Michigan fan but come on.  When Ohio State went through it's recent issues it was like the Devil himself was at the helm of THE Ohio State University!  You were calling for Jim Tressel's head on a platter. 

Now since all these issues are at an SEC school, it is no big deal and they may still have a great season because Les "the ass in the hat" Myles is at the helm.  Not only did his players break curfew, they were at a bar, got in a fight, and severely injured a marine...Brilliant!  Missed in all this is that breaking curfew is a "team tradition."  WOW! Really!  Not to mention the fact that the police confiscated 49 Pairs of shoes.  Where does a poor athlete get 49 sneakers you think?  Not even a mention of this.

Also, didn't Russell Shepard commit a major violation? 

I almost forgot, is LSU not on Probation right now for paying a player during his recruitment?  Come ON man take off the blinders and get real.  If it is not obvious that Myles and LSU have "lack of institutional control" or "failure to monitor"  I am not sure who has.  Why don't you write that article...

Dodd, I have never pounded on you before but come on man! Get Real!

Since: Oct 2, 2008
Posted on: August 27, 2011 12:10 pm

Quarterback not key issue with LSU going forward

LSU has a lot of speed still and are deep on offense.  Jefferson was always a head case and was still the QB that couldn't even get them into the offense in the fourth quarter against MIGHTY TENNESSEE last year.  Their offensive line is solid and Miles has always been good about two things with personnel changes - throw in some more razzle dazzle and run plays designed to go to the most experienced players on the field to take the heat off the fill-in guys.  At least with Lee starting there will likely not be any timeouts called after timeouts or other play stoppages or timeouts called by the QB with 10 seconds or less in the first quarter.  Brain farts aside, you can bet LSU will be ready for the Gators, Auburn and Bama when the time comes no matter who is under center.  Looking forward to an Auburn beat down in Baton Rouge.  Little 105 decibal action please.    &nbs

Since: May 16, 2007
Posted on: August 27, 2011 12:00 pm

Quarterback not key issue with LSU going forward

You been watching the news there buddy? Jefferson is out of the Oregon game (are theya creampuff?) and won't play again since if he is convicted and goes to jail will be hard to suit it up from a jail cell.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or