A Louisiana writer picks up on the burning questions theme and proposes a few of his own heading into SEC Media Days. He mentions one that I think we’ll hear a ton about during the 2012 season:
Can the LSU contingent convince everyone they’re over it?
LSU’s representatives at Media Days — coach Les Miles, quarterback Zach Mettenberger, safety Eric Reid and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (one of just two sophomores slated to speak) — will no doubt be peppered with questions about how much (or little) they have recovered from LSU’s humbling 21-0 loss to Alabama in January’s BCS national championship game.
Likely the Tiger theme will be the turning of a new chapter with Mettenberger taking over at quarterback, but he shouldn’t be surprised if someone makes a snide comment about crossing the 50-yard line. Media Days is in Alabama, after all.
I’m sure the Tigers are getting tired of answering these questions and can’t wait for the season to begin. You have to wonder, though, if LSU is able to channel their passion the way Alabama did following the 2008 SEC Championship Game, or if 2011 showed the cracks that will continue to get bigger in 2012 and beyond.
Something tells me Mettenberger’s play will have a lot to do with how that question is answered.
Take a look at this quote from a recent article on Mettenberger:
LSU has had trouble finding a proficient and consistent quarterback. In 2007, LSU had the 42nd-ranked passing offense in the nation thanks to senior Matt Flynn. Since then the Tigers haven’t come close to the top 50. LSU had the 100th-ranked passing offense last season, a slight improvement from the No. 102 ranking the Tigers had in 2010.
Those are interesting stats, but I think the point is being missed. It’s not just how you rank in terms of passing offense. It’s your offensive philosophy and how you execute your game plan.
Mettenberger is definitely talented, but he’ll have a tough time be as efficient as his predecessors from last year (strictly speaking in terms of stats). He may be able to put up bigger passing yards, but if he turns the ball over he won’t be any more effective than last year’s combo. The big test for Mettenberger is how he will fare against Alabama. Will the Tigers be able to run the ball? How will he handle the tricks Bama throws his way? Those are the big questions and if they are answered correctly, the Tigers could run the table. If not, the crack gets bigger.