Bolden expected to arrive at LSU on Wednesday

Former Penn State quarterback Rob Bolden is expected to be among the players reporting to LSU’s campus Wednesday for the start of preseason practices.

Bolden (6-foot-3, 214 pounds) is a junior from Orchard Lake, Mich. He has three years left in which to complete his final two years of eligibility.

Bolden was given permission by Penn State to contact other schools on July 22, one day before the NCAA hammered the Nittany Lions program with unprecedented sanctions in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal.

Rob Bolden will be walking into a new stadium wearing a different jersey this fall.

Bolden visited the LSU campus over the weekend, according to a source.

As part of the sanctions, the NCAA ruled that any Penn State players wishing to transfer could do so without having to sit out a year as is normal when moving from one Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) school to another.

Former Penn State players also do not count against a team’s scholarship limits.

Two other Penn State players have transferred out so far: running back Silas Redd to Southern California and safety Tim Buckley to North Carolina State. A report Tuesday night said tight end Kevin Haplea is also leaving, but has not specified a school.

 

Liggins at MGCCC, not LSU, as reporting day looms

There remained a question Tuesday as to whether former Penn State quarterback Rob Bolden will transfer to LSU, but there is little reason to doubt that Jeremy Liggins won’t be a Tiger this fall.

According to Bill Snyder, sports information director at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Liggins has been enrolled at the Perkiston, Miss., school since July and has been taking part in preseason workouts there all summer.

Jeremy Liggins has enrolled at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

MGCCC players officially report Aug. 8. LSU players report Wednesday with two-a-day practices set to begin Thursday.

The 6-foot-3 Liggins came to school at about 265 pounds, Snyder said.

 

LSU football chat with Advocate beat writer Scott Rabalais

LSU among top five on NCAA Football 13 most-used list

Whether it’s the Les Miles-Mike the Tiger commercial or simply the great buzz about LSU football this season, the Tigers are well-played so far by EA Sports gamers in the new NCAA Football 13 that hit stores July 10.

LSU ranks among the top five on the game’s most-used list, along with other college-football brand names Oregon, Michigan, USC and Texas, according to stats released by NCAA Football 13 on Monday morning.

Top Heisman players used include Barry Sanders, Robert Griffin III, Herschel Walker, Desmond Howard and Eddie George.

LSU sets Fan Day for Saturday, Aug. 11

LSU’s annual football Fan Day will be held Saturday, Aug. 11 at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center and the Carl Maddox Field House on the LSU campus.

Activities start at 3 p.m. and run until 6. The LSU football team will sign autographs and meet with fans from 4-6 p.m.

LSU coach Les Miles, offensive coaches and players will be in the field house, while the defensive players, staff and special teams players will be located in the PMAC.

Fans will be able to meet Mike the Tiger, LSU cheerleaders, the LSU soccer and volleyball teams that day as well. Soccer and volleyball teams will sign autographs from 3-4 p.m. at the PMAC, while the LSU cheerleaders and Mike the Tiger will meet with fans for autographs and pictures from 3-6 p.m. at the Maddox Field House and the PMAC.

The LSU SportShop will also be open that day with stores at both the field house and PMAC.

The first 5,000 fans will receive an LSU Fan Day gift bag featuring the popular football placard poster and sample products from various LSU corporate partners. 2012 LSU Football posters will be available for fans in each facility.

The Mike’s Kids Club Fan Zone will be located inside the Maddox Field House where young Tiger fans 12 and under can register for the club.

Fans are reminded that no coolers or chairs will be allowed into either facility and that they are limited to one autograph item per person.

2012 LSU Fan Day – Schedule of Events (Saturday, Aug. 11)

3 p.m.                Doors open at Maravich Center and Maddox Field House

3 p.m.                Mike’s Kids Club Fan Zone opens at Maddox Field House

3-4 p.m.            LSU women’s soccer and volleyball teams signs autographs at PMAC

3–6 p.m.           LSU cheerleaders and Mike the Tiger sign autographs

4–6 p.m.          Coach Les Miles and offense signs autographs at Maddox Field House

4-6 p.m.            Defense and special teams signs autographs at Maravich Center

LSU likely won’t pick up win because of Penn State vacated games

Although the NCAA forced Penn State to vacate 112 wins from 1998-2011 as part of sanctions stemming from the Jerry Sandusky scandal, an LSU official says the Tigers almost certainly won’t gain a victory after having lost to the Nittany Lions 19-17 in the 2010 Capital One Bowl.

LSU senior associate athletic director Herb Vincent said unless something changes later, LSU won’t be credited for winning the bowl game against Penn State. He cited a similar instance when Ohio State vacated wins from the 2010 season, including its 2011 Sugar Bowl win over Arkansas. The vacated Ohio State wins did not result in an extra victory for the Razorbacks.

Vacated wins are not the same as a forfeit, Vincent said. LSU benefited from wins in 1975 and 1976 that the NCAA forced Mississippi State to forfeit, but Vincent said the cases are not similar.

“My hope is that the focus remains on the healing process for the victims and their families.  It is also an important lesson about having an effective process of checks and balances in place at all of our institutions, and it reinforces the importance of integrity at all levels of leadership.”

Meanwhile, LSU released a statement Monday afternoon from athletic director Joe Alleva regarding the Penn State sanctions:

“My hope is that the focus remains on the healing process for the victims and their families,” Alleva said. “It is also an important lesson about having an effective process of checks and balances in place at all of our institutions, and it reinforces the importance of integrity at all levels of leadership.”

UPDATE: Miles running through NCAA ‘car wash’ amid Penn St. sanctions

With the NCAA’s historic sanctions against Penn State stemming from the Jerry Sandusky scandal as a backdrop, LSU coach Les Miles began a series of appearances on a variety of ESPN platforms Monday at the network’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn.

During an appearance Monday morning on SportsCenter, Miles told ESPN’s Chris Fowler that he supported the NCAA’s sanctions.

“I think what college football needed was a reaction from the NCAA,” Miles said. “(NCAA President and former LSU Chancellor) Mark Emmert did that. I think we’re all in support. He needed to make a statement and he did.”

Asked what needs to be the reaction of new Penn State coach Bill O’Brien, Miles said he must move quickly to establish the culture of his program.

“There are a lot of people saying what he should do,” Miles said. “He’s wearing the hat today. I wish him the very best.”

Later in the day, Miles said on ESPNU he hopes the NCAA sanctions on Penn State can be a “watershed moment” that allows college football to heal and move forward.

“We want to get to that piece where we can be college football again,” Miles said. “There are so many different groups to give consideration to. Certainly the young people involved, but parents, players, people at the school.

“OK, let’s get it right. Let the chips fall where they may and let’s go. Remember, it’s all about the direction.”

Penn State players have been given permission to transfer and be eligible immediately. Miles was not asked whether LSU would reach out to any of those players.

Miles was asked about his team’s preparations for this coming season in the wake of January’s 21-0 loss to Alabama in the BCS national championship game. Miles said there was a wound and now there is a scar on his team’s psyche, but that he likes what he sees with preseason practice set to begin next week.

“I like my team,” Miles said. “I like their attitude.”

As for junior quarterback Zach Mettenberger, Miles said: “We’re going to take the pressure off. We just want him to play the position. If he doesn’t get ahead of himself, we will be very good at quarterback.”

Miles was also asked about what kind of season he forsees from senior wide receiver Russell Shepard.

“I think Russell will be a better more productive reciever than he’s ever been,” Miles said during an ESPN.com chat. “His commitment to the team, himself is better than ever.”

On a lighter note, Miles was asked during the chat about his “feud” with LSU’s Mike the Tiger mascot stemming from their EA Sports commercial for its “College Football 13″ video game.

“We’re still not speaking,” Miles answered, tongue in cheek. “Because he chooses not to. I certainly hope we can resolve this issue before we get to Saturday nights.”

Penn State was fined $60 million by the NCAA, was slapped with a four-year bowl ban and saw a reduction in scholarship offers to 15 per year for four years with a maximum of 65 scholarships total.

Additionally, the Big Ten banned Penn State from its conference championship game for the next four years and docked the school $13 million in bowl revenues over that span. Both the NCAA and Big Ten fines will be channeled into funds dedicated to the prevention of child abuse.

In addition, Penn State was forced to vacate 112 wins – 111 of those under former coach Joe Paterno – from 1998-2011. That includes a 19-17 victory over LSU in the 2010 Capital One Bowl.

It was not initially believed that LSU would be credited for winning that game. However, the vacated wins changes Paterno’s official record to 298 wins, making former Grambling coach Eddie Robinson (408 wins) once again the winningest coach in college football history.

 

LSU picked to win SEC; Mathieu leads 13 All-SEC selections

HOOVER, Ala. – Trust in the media is a tenuous thing, but this year LSU fans will be hoping the media is right on the mark.

The Tigers were tabbed Thursday as the prohibitive favorite to repeat as Southeastern Conference champions by voting media members covering SEC Media Days.

In addition, LSU had seven first-team all-conference selections and 13 selections overall, both SEC highs.

The Tigers received 129 of 222 first-place votes. Alabama was second with 65, followed by Georgia (14), South Carolina (6), Arkansas (4), Auburn (2), and Florida and Ole Miss with one each.

In the SEC West, LSU got 139 first-place votes and 1,449 points overall. Alabama was second with 72 first-place votes and 1,379 points, followed by Arkansas, Auburn, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Ole Miss.

Georgia is projected to repeat as SEC East champion, earning 132 first-place votes and 1,434 points as compared to 72 first-place votes and 1,358 points for South Carolina. The Gamecocks were followed by Florida, Missouri, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

The only other time since 1992 that LSU was picked to win the SEC was in 2007. That year, the Tigers won the conference title en route to the BCS national championship.

LSU junior Tyrann Mathieu earned first-team All-SEC honors as a defensive back and return specialist, the only player selected at two positions. Mathieu finished fifth last year in Heisman Trophy balloting.

The Tigers’ other first-teamers include senior offensive tackle Alex Hurst, junior defensive ends Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo, junior safety Eric Reid and sophomore punter Brad Wing.

Junior offensive tackle Chris Faulk made the second team, as did senior senior center P.J. Lonergan and kicker Drew Alleman. Running back Spencer Ware, defensive tackle Bennie Logan and cornerback Tharold Simon, all juniors, were named to the third team.

Dutchdown running back Eddie Lacy of Alabama was named to the second team.

LSU opens the regular season Sept. 1 in Tiger Stadium against North Texas.

For a complete list of All-SEC selections, click here.

Miles, players take their turn at SEC Media Days

HOOVER, Fla. – Zach Mettenberger sat down at a table full of microphones and peered out at a battery of TV cameras aimed at him.

“It’s like a microphone graveyard,” Mettenberger said.

Welcome to SEC Media Days, Zach.

Wednesday was LSU’s turn here at the SEC’s annual preseason media gathering, a marathon day that included coaches and players from six teams thanks to the conference’s expansion to 14 with the inclusion of Texas A&M and Missouri (they were both here Tuesday).

Here’s a sample of what LSU coach Les Miles, Mettenberger, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and safety Eric Reid had to say during their media sessions here:

“What happened was we played our 14th game and we didn’t play as well as we did in our 13.  I think we played a very quality opponent.  I think we played one more game than the rest of college football.  We were the conference champions.
“I think we recognized the things that we didn’t get accomplished in that game and I think we look forward to taking the field again.  I answer it this way:  it’s about us.  There’s some things that we can do better.” – Miles, on LSU’s 21-0 loss to Alabama in January’s BCS national championship game in New Orleans.

“That left us with a bitter taste in our mouths. That’s not the way you want to finish. We’re working every day to get back to the national championship game, and hopefully we’ll be good enough to win it.” – Mettenberger on the BCS loss.

“He knows what he has to do, and he knows he can’t just be Zach anymore. He has to be Zach Mettenberger, starting quarterback for LSU. That’s his role, and he’s stepping into it.” – Beckham.

“Only one team can say they won the SEC, and that was us. I’m proud of it.” – Reid on wearing his SEC championship ring from last season. Some LSU players have chosen not to wear the ring because it carries their No. 2 final ranking on the side, a reminder of their loss to Alabama.

“I can tell you that no game is won on a Twitter page.” – Miles when asked about the recent war of tweets between LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu and Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron.

First 3 LSU games set to kickoff at night

The 2012 LSU football season will start out the way most Tiger fans believe it should: under the lights.

Early season SEC network TV times have been announced, with LSU opening at 6 p.m. Sept. 1 against North Texas on ESPNU, 6 p.m. Sept. 8 against Washington on ESPN and 7 p.m. Sept. 15 against Idaho on TigerVision, LSU’s in-house pay-per-view network.

It’s the first time since 1980 that LSU will open the season with three straight night home games. That year, the Tigers opened with Florida State, Kansas State and Colorado en route to a 7-4 season.

Earlier this year, CBS announced plans to televise LSU’s games against Alabama and Arkansas. the Alabama game is set for 7 p.m. Nov. 3 in Tiger Stadium, while the Arkansas game will be at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 23 in Fayetteville.

LSU’s website doesn’t list kickoff times for the Tigers’ remaining home games Sept. 29 against Towson, Oct. 13 against South Carolina, Nov. 10 against Mississippi State or Nov. 17 against Ole Miss. It is likely that the Towson game will remain at night, while the South Carolina game is likely to be attractive to CBS for a 2:30 p.m. start time.

LSU did not play a single home night SEC game last season, with contests against Kentucky, Florida, Auburn and Arkansas all moved to the day because of TV commitments.

2012 LSU FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Sept. 1  North Texas  6 p.m.  ESPNU

Sept. 8  Washington  6 p.m.  ESPN

Sept. 15  Idaho  7 p.m.  TigerVision

Sept. 22  at Auburn  TBA

Sept. 29  Towson  TBA

Oct. 6  at Florida  TBA

Oct. 13  South Carolina  TBA

Oct. 20  at Texas A&M  TBA

Nov. 3  Alabama  7 p.m.  CBS

Nov. 10  Mississippi State  TBA

Nov. 17  Ole Miss  TBA

Nov. 23  at Arkansas  1:30 p.m.  CBS