The sports fan in me runs wild today after witnessing last night’s College Football Playoff National Championship in which LSU defeated Clemson 42-25. Of course today, the talk is about Joe Burrow, Coach O, Best Season and Team ever, Trevor Lawrence and Dabo Swinney. I am going to try and collectively touch on all those things without sounding like an incoherent drunkard. My mind is running marathon pace right now.
First and foremost, I want to start with Ed Orgeron aka Coach O aka Bebe. If the nation didn’t know who he was before, they sure as hell do now. Coach O has been one of the best recruiters in college football the last two decades. He was the recruiting coordinator for USC under Pete Carroll which means Reggie Bush, Lendale White, Matt Leinart all get put under his name.
Just because you are a recruiter does not mean you are fit to be a head coach. After having success as a recruiter and assistant coach, he was offered the head coaching gig at Ole Miss. Let’s call a spade a spade, it was a complete dumpster fire. He managed to pull in strong recruit classes, but it didn’t lead to wins.
He eventually finds his way back to USC and becomes interim Head Coach. They don’t give him the offer.
He’s a southern down the bayou guy who talks funny. We can see the writing on the wall on why he wasn’t offered a second chance. He makes his way to LSU as an assistant. Longtime Head Coach, Les Miles gets fired and once again Orgeron finds himself in the interim seat. He finished the season 6-2 thus getting the official offer from LSU.
2017 started the same way Ole Miss turned out, disastrous. LSU lost to Mississippi State and Troy, but eventually found their footing and finished strong to a 9-4 record. It was followed up with a 10-3 record in 2018 and it earned Coach O the extension through 2022. He finally got his shot.
Maybe this is the beginning of the Coach O era after having a remarkable season and being able to call his team National Champions.
The reality is, he has always been arguably the best recruiter in the country but never had the “mold” to be a head coach. Let’s remember, there has been a massive shift to that mold in the last 5-10 years. Head Coaches were always hard nosed alphas prior to. Now you see a shift in coaches being more like friends to players. You saw it on full display last night with both Coach O and Dabo Swinney. Their players respond more positively and better. Those types of coaches used to be position coaches. Head coach bitches you out like a lunatic and position coach comes up and give you the positive motivation.
Now it is more of the latter coming from some of the better head coaches both in the NFL and College ball.
Coach O was passed on for the USC job because of his speech and who he is. That plus his failure at Ole Miss was enough for teams to cast him off I guess. Coach O got his shot with LSU and he just fucking drained it in the highest way possible.
I am all for shit talk in sports, but I love that he is never going to be THAT guy. He thanks the state of Louisiana in typical Bebe fashion. He makes everything about everyone else and it is truly sincere when he does it.
Every LSU fan out there needs to chug a damn Red Bull and rip off their shirt off in honor of this down to earth, down the bayou boy who made his dream a reality. He deserves every single minute of this.
The King of Moxie – Joe Burrow
I watched four LSU games this season – Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Clemson. Last night was the only game where Burrow looked tested. Every game that I watched, he had his way with opposing defenses from start to finish. You saw Clemson make him stress and think in the beginning of that game. They were pressuring him with blitzes from every angle imaginable and once he had a few drives to get a feel for the defense, he exploded with another massive game.
The more I watch, the more I salivate over him as a Quarterback. Joe was dropping dimes once he got going. Clemson had fairly tight coverage on many of those passes. But as the saying goes, a perfect throw will always beat perfect coverage. You saw it time and time again last night. His first touchdown to Chase and the dagger to Marshall were both absolute dimes. We know about his arm. We know about his ability to extend plays.
Last night we found out about his ability to take a punch off the chin and respond. We found out more about his mental toughness, not that we questioned it before. Not only did LSU find themselves in a hole on the scoreboard, Burrow took hits including one before half that left him injured.
He came out in the second half and his first throw was awful and of course first instinct is “oh shit, that’s not good.” After that bad throw, he dialed in again and the onslaught continued. He is probably in some pain today, but it doesn’t matter because he knows that size 10.5 ring is coming his way. That is the exclamation point on the best season of any player in college football history.
That doesn’t mean he is the best player in college football history, but this season is undoubtedly the best ever by a player.
List of Records and Awards for Burrow
- 8 Touchdowns in a Bowl Game
- 60 Passing Touchdowns
- 65 Total Touchdowns
- 5,671 Yards in a Season (SEC Record and Third Most Ever)
- 1,035 Yards in the Playoff
- 956 Pass Yards in the Playoff
- 463 Pass Yards in Title Game
- 521 Yards of Offense in Title Game
- Highest QB Rating in a Season (202.0)
- Second Highest Completion Percentage in a Season (76.3)
- 25-3 Career Record as Starter
- Heisman Trophy Winner
- Maxwell Award
- 1st Team All SEC
- National Championship Offensive MVP
- SEC Player of the Year
- Unanimous All American
- Davey O’Brien Award
- Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award
- 90.7% of Heisman Votes (Most All Time) – Note 9.3% are idiots
I would also like to note that he fell just 163 yards short of breaking the Most Passing Yards. However, he threw 186 less passes than second place holder (Graham Harrell) and 192 less passes than the record holder (B.J. Symons).
Was this the Best Single Season by Any Team?
Yes and it is not debatable. They beat seven top 10 teams which is the most ever. The average margin of victory was more than 15 points. They didn’t just win the season. They absolutely dominated it.
I can’t speak on the Texas game early in the season. I didn’t watch that one. After LSU bent Alabama over a barrel in Tusclaloosa, most people came to terms with LSU being the National Champion. That is when the hype started feeling real. As a result, they started pounding people after that win. They responded to their own hype by doubling down and blowing the roof off the season.
Let’s make no mistake about it. The Bama victory was 5 points. But that wasn’t a close game. LSU controlled every single minute of that game offensively and Bama looked panicked playing two scores down for most of it. A late fluke of a score after LSU put them on ice made it look closer than it was.
After that game, they obliterate Georgia and Oklahoma. They battled Clemson before breaking it open early in the 4th.
Joe Burrow v Trevor Lawrence
That is match up I wanted all season long and I got it. It didn’t disappoint despite LSU pulling away late in the game.
To be totally honest, they both look like they have all the tools to be great pro QBs. They both do a great job anticipating coverage, they both have great composure when facing pressure, they both have big arms and they both are great leaders. If I was a GM, (I am half joking when I say this) I would go full Ricky Williams for either of them.
Mortgage the damn future for either of them. Who cares? They are both fantastic.
Of course the talking heads today are pounding Lawrence trying to write his narrative after he lost to the best College Team of all time. The stats may not show it, but Lawrence wasn’t bad last night. LSU was blanketing his receivers most of the night. He opened up the game with two beautiful passes, one downfield on the far side and the other was a beautiful touch pass screen to Etienne. Clemson could not get much going once they started playing from behind. I didn’t see that as the fault of Lawrence. I saw on more than once occasion him buying time in crucial third downs and rolling out finding his receivers who were one and one. He would make passes that they got their hands on with tight coverage. At some point, your receivers have to make a play. Lawrence’s receivers didn’t when the coverage was tight and Burrow’s receivers did.
Either way, they’re both great and both showed it last night. The better team won obviously.
I still say that right now Dabo is the best coach in college football hands down. He made it to a National Championship with 80 underclassmen. This team will be back in the playoffs more than likely. Aside from wins and all he has accomplished, he handles adversity and defeat with so much freaking dignity and I can’t say enough about it.
I hate the hard nosed let me blame everyone else type coaches (aka Saban). I love that Swinney takes time to embrace his players in their lowest moments with words of encouragement. Two crucial times you saw this on full display last night…
When linebacker James Skalski was ejected for leading with the crown of his helmet, the air was sucked out of that defense. Instead of jumping down his throat on a costly play, he goes to his player (clearly emotional and upset) and grabs him by the face and appeared to give words of encouragement and basically tell him it’s ok.
You saw him do it again with Trevor Lawrence after his fumble which was the final nail in the coffin. He praised them in the post game after losing. He gave credit to the victors. The difference between Swinney and some other coaches, it’s all sincere because you see it on the sidelines and not just when he’s speaking with the media.
Sports aren’t always going to be sunshine and rainbows. Fortunately, Clemson (especially with Lawrence) has been blessed with plenty of sunshine and rainbows recently. This was the first loss for Lawrence in his collegiate career as a starter.
Overall, what a game. What a playoff. What an exclamation point to a remarkable for LSU and Joe Burrow. We’re on to Cincinnati.