Les Miles, The Savage Whisperer
The SEC Riviera Roundup – Week Five
September 30, 2015
By Chris Warner
“That shouldn’t be difficult, that much, of a challenge,” the delusional, undisciplined Auburn safety Rudy Ford said the week before the Auburn contest. That prideful boast, words that will surely live in infamy, prompted LSU Heisman favorite Leonard Fournette to respond, in kind, via Twitter: “…I have a team full of savages… words are just words…… #DontplaywithUs.” Gus Malzahn should have known better, and certainly that pride always cometh before the fall. These are the lessons hard learned for every remaining LSU opponent. Getting skull dragged on national television by #7 across the verdant Death Valley turf is an ephemeral reminder of one’s humble place in the SEC pecking order, and of the salient fact that they will likely never be fit to hold Leonard Fournette’s jock.
LSU fans should thank Rudy Ford, because he provided special motivation and a most memorable moment for 2015 LSU Football and its adoring fans. From that lopsided contest the Bayou Bengals emerged an almost unfair fighting force, one poised to impose ultimate will on its adversaries en route to another national championship and a Heisman Trophy for Leonard Fournette, who is unequivocally the greatest football player to ever wear the vaunted purple and gold, and the coveted #7. For Les Miles, in his eleventh campaign as head coach, achieving these lofty goals is as simple as feeding the beast and unleashing the savages of another damn strong football team that reminds many of his 2011 squad that went undefeated in the regular season. Miles, despite his detractors, now has the college football world, like his well-trained savages–seemingly eating from his hand. Fearing the Hat is now as real as the Alabama decline.
In this exclusive weekly column of all things SEC West Football, we’ll take our regular armchair quarterback tour through the nation’s toughest football subconference, tagging winners and losers and redefining the inside track for the coveted spot in Atlanta in early December.
Around the SEC West
Alabama – Nick Saban hasn’t looked this disinterested since he left LSU for the Miami Dolphins on Christmas Eve. Now is not exactly a time for boredom as the Crimson Tide travels to Athens this weekend for a monster game in which Bama is not favored for the first time in 72 weeks. Lose to the Dawgs as predicted and Alabama will be 0-2 in league play; and of course, Harvey Updyke will be on suicide watch. Take Georgia and the points.
Arkansas – Fat Bert as my Arkansas buddies call him, isn’t looking too good lately. His Hogs, who lost to A&M in overtime for the second straight year, travel to Knoxville this Saturday for a battle between two struggling teams. The loser of this game will be on the proverbial hot seat. Bielema’s buns were of course, already toasty, and one has to seriously wonder if his days at the all-you-can stash buffet in Fayetteville are done.
Auburn – The 2-2 Tigers take on San Jose State this weekend. Gus Malzahn is working feverishly to resurrect an offense that was once the envy of offensive coordinators everywhere. Now he looks like the nerdy high school coach everyone loved to make fun of. Next week Auburn travels to Kentucky.
LSU – Sports reporters everywhere are calling for Leonard Fournette to sit out next season to preserve his obvious NFL talents. Fournette replied that he will do nothing of the sort, despite the intentions of the absurd national media, who would love to see an LSU team minus #7. Get used to it guys. Seven will do as he pleases—on and off the football field. Fournette breaks the LSU rushing record Saturday night in Tiger Stadium, further solidifying his lore in the hearts and minds of the Tiger faithful.
Mississippi State – Dan Merlins Mullen won another signature victory last Saturday night on the unruly Plains of Auburn. Merlins’ team could wind up being a sleeper in the SEC Western Division race, as Dak Prescott’s passing is crisper than ever, and the Bulldog defense has been impressive in the red zone. The Bulldogs travel to Texas to take on the undefeated Aggies this weekend.
Ole Miss – Chad “Swag” Kelly’s rap video is making waves in Oxford and other parts of uneducated, rural Mississippi. The thug-like Kelly signed with Ole Miss last fall and days later was in a bar fight where he threatened two bouncers with the promise, “I’m going to go to my car and get my AK-47 and spray this place!” Swag, as he is affectionately known among black bear circles, is “a good kid,” according to his head coach Hugh Freeze.
Texas A&M – The Aggies find out this weekend if they are indeed for real. The 4-0 Aggies take on the 3-1 Bulldogs in a contest that will help redefine the SEC Western Division race. The Aggies have home field advantage in their newly-minted Kyle Field expansion. The Bulldogs have an advantage at quarterback, and in their head coach, Merlins. The Aggies are six point favorites. Take the Bulldogs and the points in this up-tempo contest.
Until next time…
*Chris Warner is double graduate of LSU and holds a doctorate from the University of New Orleans. He has blogged about SEC Football for 17 years running and is the author of over 20 books, including the popular “Tailgater’s Guide to SEC Football Volume IV” and “SEC Sports Quotes Compendium,” along with “The Wagon to Disaster,” “Bushwhacked at the Flora-Bama, Volume II” and “Saved at the Alabama-Florida Line,” a novel set at the iconic watering hole in 2010. He is currently writing, “Captured by the Brit Who Fooled Baton Rouge,” the life and times and hideous crimes of one Richard Scott Rogers, an insidious pedophile who masqueraded as a TV talk Show host for 12 years in Baton Rouge before his deserved demise at the hands of his gay lover and son-in-law in August 2014.