The LSU football team had a much-deserved day off yesterday as the team signed autographs downtown for slews of Tiger fans at the team’s annual fan day.

With nothing to report practice-wise, I will give position report cards so far.

Quarterback: Not great, but not as bad as it could be with a unit that has a combined 2 pass attempts in their career. Hatch is the leader and as reported here first, will start. But Lee and Jefferson (Lee more) will nip at his heels all year.

Unit Grade: B-

Tailback: Scott, Murphy, Williams, Ridley, Holliday. The list goes on and on and on. LSU is stacked at tailback and Charles Scott has emerged as the team’s emotional leader and now the leader on the field, too as he has looked hands-down the best since the team has switched to full pads.

Unit Grade:A-

Wide receivers/tight ends: In my eyes, the wide outs have been the biggest disappointment of camp so far because they have been so hot and cold. One day, Terrance Toliver looks like Terrell Owens, the next day he looks like the kid who disappointed in his freshman season this past year. One day LaFell is a beast, the next day he is slipping on routes. The only constant has been DeMetrius Byrd who will be a load to handle this year. Richard Dickson has been a load at tight end, but no real number 2 has emerged and that has become a bit of a concern as the season nears.

Unit Grade: C+ (with Byrd getting an A for his efforts)
Offensive line: Hands-down the strength of the offense. If these guys remain healthy and continue to block with the tenacity they’ve shown so far, this will be a beast of a line.

Unit Grade: A

Defensive line: Hands-down the strength of the defense. The offensive line got the better of these guys initially. But with the defensive line getting more and more chemistry, they have drawn about even.

Unit Grade: A-

Linebackers: Inexperienced and untested, but all-world talented. The LSU linebackers have been very sound to this point. But one or two injuries could change everything. This is the one area of the team where LSU needs to keep sore ankles iced and hamstrings loosened.

Unit Grade: B

Cornerbacks: Have made technique problems and are not SEC ready in my opinion. But lucky for LSU, they have three warmup games to get ready. The cornerbacks do not get beat deep often and they are rarely out of position. They just do not look toward the ball as often as they should and get a lot of cheap pass interference penalties.

Unit Grade: C+

Safeties: Curtis Taylor is one of the more underrated players in LSU history. Yes, I said LSU history. A safety is only remembered when he gets burned or when he makes a big play. But just because Taylor has yet to make a big interception or score a big touchdown, let’s not let him get lost, because he has yet to be burned also. And Harry Coleman? How’s coming into the biggest stage of all of college football having not played significantly all season and not missing a beat? LSU is fine at safety, especially when you throw an All-World Chad Jones into the mix.

Unit Grade: B+

Special Teams: The LSU punters have been shaky, but the punt coverage has been dominant, so that is a wash. Colt David has been lights-out, but has also been injured, so that is a wash, too. I do not think LSU will have a great special teams unit again this season. But I fully expect to see them improve on last season’s horrendous coverage and return stats.

Unit Grade: C+

Practice reports return tomm.

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Florida:
Aug 30: Hawaii — W 56-10
Sept 6: Miami — W 27-23
Sept 20: @Tennessee — W 34-17
Sept 27: Mississippi — W 44-19
Oct 4: @ Arkansas — W 31-10
Oct 11: LSU — L 24-19
Oct 25: Kentucky — W 41-20
Nov 1: @Georgia — W 35-20
Nov 8: @Vanderbilt –W 34-13
Nov 15: South Carolina — L 27-23
Nov 22: Citadel — W 65-0 (9-2, 6-2)

Georgia:
Aug 30: Georgia Southern — W 48-0
Sept 6: Central Michigan — W 55-6
Sept 13: @South Carolina — W 31-20
Sept 20: @Zona State — L 41-34
Sept 27: Alabama — W 35-23
Oct 11: Tennessee — W 28-17
Oct 18: Vanderbilt — W 44-14
Oct 25: @LSU — L 20-16
Nov 1: Florida — L 35-20
Nov 8: @Kentucky — W 42-3
Nov 15: @Auburn — W 27-17 (8-3, 6-2)

Kentucky:
Aug 31: @Louisville — L 37-27
Sept 6: Norfolk State — W 31-12
Sept 13: Middle Tennessee — W 37-10
Sept 27: W. Kentucky — W 34-6
Oct 4: @ Alabama — L 24-6
Oct 11: South Carolina — L 34-13
Oct 18: Arkansas — L 24-14
Oct 25: @Florida — L 41-20
Nov 1: @Mississippi State — L 24-16
Nov 8: Georgia — L 42-3
Nov 15: Vanderbilt — W 21-10 (4-7, 1-6)

South Carolina:
Aug 28: NC State — W 31-13
Sept 4: @Vanderbilt — W 34-13
Sept 13: Georgia — L 31-20
Sept 20: Wofford — W 55-9
Sept 27: UAB — W 41-13
Oct 4: @Ole Miss — W 24-3
Oct 11: @Kentucky — W 34-13
Oct 18: LSU — L 27-14
Nov 1: Tennessee — W 17-14
Nov 8: Arkansas –W 30-17
Nov 15: @Florida — W 27-23 (9-2, 6-2)

Tennessee:
Sept 1: @UCLA — L 31-28
Sept 13: UAB — W 44-17
Sept 20: Florida — L 34-17
Sept 27: @Auburn — L 20-10
Oct 4: Northern Illinois — W 48-3
Oct 11: @Georgia — L 28-17
Oct 18: Mississippi State –W 17-6
Oct 25: Alabama — W 34-28
Nov 1: @ South Carolina — L 17-14
Nov 8: Wyoming — W 47-14
Nov 22: @Vanderbilt — W 44-10 (6-5, 3-4)

Vanderbilt:
Aug 28: @Miami (OH) — L 23-13
Sept 4: South Carolina — L 34-13
Sept 13: Rice — W 24-13
Sept 20: @Ole Miss — L 16-7
Oct 4: Auburn — L 37-10
Oct 11: @Mississippi State — L 34-9
Oct 18: @Georgia — L 44-14
Oct 25: Duke — W 21-17
Nov 8: Florida — L 34-13
Nov 15: @Kentucky — L 21-10
Nov 22: Tennessee — L 44-10 (2-9, 0-8 )

Alabama:

Aug 30: @Clemson — L 33-17
Sept 6: Tulane — W 35-0
Sept 13: W. Kentucky — W 52-7
Sept 20: @Arkansas — W 31-17
Sept 27: @Georgia — L 35-23
Oct 4: Kentucky — W 24-6
Oct 18: Mississippi — W 31-21
Oct 25: @Tennessee — L 34-28
Nov 1: Arkansas State — W 48-6
Nov 8: @ LSU — L 34-27
Nov 15: Mississippi State — W 38-14 (7-4, 4-3)

Arkansas:
Aug 30: W. Illinois — W 38-6
Sept 6: @UL-Monroe — L 30-24
Sept 13: @Texas — L 37-14
Sept 20: Alabama — L 31-17
Oct 4: Florida — L 31-10
Oct 11: @Auburn — L 27-12
Oct 18: @Kentucky –W 24-14
Oct 25: Mississippi — W 28-20
Nov 1: Tulsa — W 28-9
Nov 8: @South Carolina — L 30-17
Nov 22: @Mississippi State — L 24-17 (4-7, 2-5)

Auburn:
Aug 30: UL-Monroe — W 44-10
Sept 6: Southern Miss — W 41-9
Sept 13: @Miss State — L 24-20
Sept 20: LSU — W 13-3
Sept 27: Tennessee — W 20-10
Oct 4: @Vanderbilt — W 37-10
Oct 11: Arkansas — W 27-12
Oct 23: @West Virginia — L 44-30
Nov 1: @Mississippi — W 21-17
Nov 8: Tennessee-Martin — W 51-0
Nov 15: Georgia — L 27-17 (8-3, 5-2)

LSU:
Aug 30: Appalachian State — W 44-17
Sept 6: Troy — W 49-13
Sept 13: North Texas — W 55-3
Sept 20: @Auburn — L 13-3
Sept 27: Mississippi State — W 21-17
Oct 11: @Florida — W 24-19
Oct 18: @South Carolina –W 27-14
Oct 25: Georgia –W 20-16
Nov 1: Tulane — W 41-0
Nov 8: Alabama — W 34-27
Nov 22: Mississippi — W 21-3 (10-1, 6-1)

Ole Miss:

Aug 30: Memphis –W 21-16
Sept 6: @Wake Forest — L 24-14
Sept 13: Samford — W 48-6
Sept 20: Vanderbilt — W 16-7
Sept 27: @Florida — L 44-19
Oct 4: South Carolina — L 24-3
Oct 18: @Alabama — L 31-21
Oct 25: @Arkansas — L 28-20
Nov 1: Auburn — L 21-17
Nov 15: UL-Monroe — W 21-13
Nov 22: @LSU — L 21-3 (4-7, 1-6)

Mississippi State:

Aug 30: @La Tech — W 34-14
Sept 6: SE Louisiana — W 52-3
Sept 13: Auburn — W 24-20
Sept 20: @Georgia Tech — L 28-14
Sept 27: @ LSU — L 21-17
Oct 11: Vanderbilt — W 34-9
Oct 18: @Tennessee — L 17-6
Oct 25: Middle Tennessee — W 44-10
Nov 1: Kentucky — W 24-16
Nov 15: @Alabama — L 38-14
Nov 22: Arkansas — W 24-17 (7-4, 4-3)

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Top 10:

I am sorry I have been so on-and-off with this Top 10 list, but I’ve been busy. But anywho, today is the No. 4 NFL player on our list. Today’s player is the final defensive player and may also be a controversial pick because some say he is over the hill. And hell, he may well be. But when this guy is right, there is no one in the game better. Our final defensive player in our list is:

No. 4 NFL Player: Ray Lewis – Lewis is a polarizing figure among NFL fans. First is the murder investigation. Second is his flamboyant dancing and celebrations. But when his mind is right and his head is in the game, the former “U” standout is a tackling machine, having recorded more than 100 tackles in 10 of his 12 NFL seasons.

Lewis may be past his best days at 33 years of age and he may not be the actual 4th best player in the NFL anymore. But I put him at this spot on my list, because he is in my opinion the person who means the most to his team in terms of leadership moreso than any other player in the NFL now, and possibly in league history.

The Ravens go as Lewis goes and because of that, he is No.4 on my list.

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The Olympics have been quite a spectacle so far and Sunday provided two memorable moments.

First, the Redeem Team blew the covers off China in a 30-point rout in front of one of the most rowdy crowds I’ve seen in any level of basketball.

The USA started slow, and led by just single digits throughout most of the first half before dominating in the second half.

But that brings me to my main point: Why is Jason Kidd on the Olympic Team? And if he absolutely, positively has to be there, then why is he starting? No one can argue he is a better player than either Chris Paul or Deron Williams.

If you are one of those guys who likes to talk about “experience” and “pressure”, then how about this one: Both Williams and Paul made it farther in the NBA Playoffs this year than Kidd with Paul spanking Kidd’s Mavs in 5 games.

I just see this team consistently starting slow and the one constant in that is Kidd who can not shoot or defend at the level Team USA needs to win the Gold.

At the other side of the spectrum, Michael Phelps won his second gold medal in dramatic fashion as the American’s made a last-leg surge to defeat France in the 400 free relay.

The Americans got off to a strong start before giving up their lead to France in the third leg. But American anchor Jason Lezak blazed past French anchor Alain Bernard to nudge the Frenchmen and win the race.

This race is sweet for the Americans in that is was considered to be Phelps’ most difficult gold in his chase for eight gold medals. It is also sweet in that the French have opened their mouths in the local media throughout the summer, saying they would “Crush” the Americans. So much for that, right?

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I’m way over my normal word count, so I will not do headlines today.

YouTube Video of the Day:

Again another RIP Video. 😦

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