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LSU bowl projections: Week 13

The end of the regular season is drawing near, and still no clear consensus out there as to where the LSU Tigers will go bowling this season.

Among 15 national bowl projections, the Tigers are picked to go to seven different bowls, with the most popular choices the Texas and Belk bowls with four predictions each.

This week brings the prediction of a new bowl: Jason Kirk of now has LSU sliding outside the pool of six bowls (Outback, Taxslayer, Texas, Music City, Liberty and Belk) the SEC will pick to the Birmingham Bowl on Jan. 3

Bowl bids will be announced Sunday, Dec. 7, the day after the conference championship games are played.


  • Bill Bender, The Sporting News: Texas Bowl vs. Texas
  • Sam Kahn Jr. (SEC blogger) and Jake Trotter (Big 12 blogger), Liberty Bowl vs. West Virginia
  • Outback Bowl vs. Wisconsin
  • Belk Bowl vs. North Carolina
  • Brad Crawford, Belk Bowl vs. Notre Dame
  • Zac Ellis, Taxslayer Bowl vs. Maryland
  • Jason Kirk, Birmingham Bowl vs. Memphis
  • Steve Lassan, Athlon Sports: Texas Bowl vs. Texas
  • Stewart Mandel, Fox Sports: Music City vs. Louisville
  • Brett McMurphy, Taxslayer Bowl vs. Notre Dame
  • Dave Miller, Texas Bowl vs. Texas
  • Jerry Palm, Texas Bowl vs. West Virginia
  • Brant Parsons, Orlando Sentinel: Belk Bowl vs. Louisville
  • Mark Schlabach, Taxslayer Bowl vs. Minnesota
  • Phil Steele, Belk Bowl vs. Duke


No matter if LSU finishes 8-4 with a win over Texas A&M or 7-5 with a loss to the Aggies, a few things appear likely.

One, LSU won’t return to the Outback Bowl. Despite the SEC’s insistence that the pool of six bowls are equal, the Outback looks like the first among equals and thus will likely get a team with a better record than LSU could offer.

Two, the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina, makes little sense for the Tigers when it could have six-win South Carolina, Florida or Tennessee or Kentucky (if the latter two win this weekend) much closer at hand. It’s hard to see thousands of LSU fans flocking to Charlotte to watch a 7-5 Tigers team play two days before New Year’s, though it’s possible that opponent could be Notre Dame.

Three, a wild card in the mix is whether the Texas Bowl will get its dream paring of Texas and Texas A&M. There are conflicting reports as to whether one school or the other (or the SEC) would veto it, but if a veto doesn’t happen it appears highly unlikely the Tigers land there. For what it’s worth, ESPN’s three bowl projections (Brett McMurphy, Mark Schlabach and bloggers Sam Kahn Jr. and Jake Trotter combined) project an Aggies-Longhorns Texas Bowl.

So let’s assume A&M and Texas will fill Houston’s NRG Stadium with deep-seated animosity on Dec. 29. That probably leaves LSU to the Taxslayer, Liberty or Music City bowls. The Tigers slipping to the Birmingham Bowl, even at 7-5, seems far fetched. That’s a 6-6 team bowl for sure.

We continue to feel an 8-4 LSU team would be headed to Jacksonville, Florida, for the Taxslayer (formerly Gator) bowl. There was interest by the Taxslayer in LSU last year and there are whispers that there’s interest again. If not, especially if the Tigers are 7-5, it makes most geographic sense for LSU to go to the Liberty over the Music City Bowl, though either could happen.

But we have to make a pick. So we’ll say LSU wins Thursday and goes to the Taxslayer Bowl, and heads to the Liberty Bowl with a loss.


  • Texas Bowl: Dec. 29, Houston
  • Liberty Bowl: Dec. 29, Memphis
  • Music City Bowl: Dec. 30, Nashville
  • Belk Bowl: Dec. 30, Charlotte
  • Outback Bowl: Jan. 1, Tampa
  • Taxslayer Bowl: Jan. 2, Jacksonville
  • Birmingham Bowl: Jan. 3, Birmingham

Report: LSU assistant Frank Wilson ‘in mix’ at Troy

LSU recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Frank Wilson is “in the mix” for the head coaching position at Troy, reported Tuesday.

The site lists Wilson and Ole Miss co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Matt Luke as candidates for the gig at Troy, a Sun Belt Conference program that transitioned from Football Championship Subdivision in 2001.

LSU running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson is "in the mix" for the Troy head coaching job, says. (Kyle Encar)

LSU running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson is “in the mix” for the Troy head coaching job, says. (Kyle Encar)

Larry Blakeney announced his retirement in October. His 24-year stint as the program’s head coach will end Saturday with a home game against Louisiana-Lafayette. Blakeney led the Trojans, 3-8 this season, to 178 wins since 1991. They won five straight Sun Belt titles in 2006-2010.

Troy is expected to name a head coach as early as next week, according to The Montgomery Advertiser.  A realistic deadline is more like mid-December, according to past reports.

Wilson is in his fifth season with the Tigers. He’s helped bring in some of the nation’s best recruiting classes, including the Tigers’ No. 2-ranked signing group last year. A New Orleans native, Wilson has never been a college head coach or a college offensive or defensive coordinator. He’s had stops as an assistant at Ole Miss, Southern Miss and Tennessee before arriving at LSU.

Wilson is the highest-paid position assistant at LSU, making $650,00 a year. He has a contract that expires on March 31, 2015, but it extends for another year if the school doesn’t terminate the deal. Blakeney makes $505,000 per year.

Wilson and Troy athletic director John Hartwell worked at Ole Miss together. Hartwell was the No. 2 administrator in athletics at Ole Miss for nine years before joining Troy in 2012. Wilson served as running backs coach and special teams coordinator at Ole Miss in 2005-07.

LSU in the NFL: Week 12

Odell Beckham Jr.’s spectacular catch Sunday for the New York Giants against the Dallas Cowboys remains the talk of the NFL and the highlight of the year so far for former LSU players in the NFL.


Here’s the complete list of LSU players in the NFL through the first 12 weeks of the regular season:

Name, Years at LSU, Team, Position, Week 12 Status/stats; Season

Joe Barksdale, 2007-10, St. Louis Rams, OT, Season: Started all games

Lamin Barrow, 2009-13, Denver Broncos, LB, W12: Started, no stats; Season: 5 tackles

Odell Beckham Jr., 2011­-13, New York Giants, WR, W12: 10 receptions, 146 yards, two touchdowns, 1 carry for -2 yards rushing; Season: 41-609 5 TDs receiving, 3-22 rushing, 8 punt returns for 55 yards

Alfred Blue, 2010­-13, Houston Texans, RB, W12: 16-46 rushing, 3-20 receiving; Season: 120-436 rushing, 9-76 1 TD rushing, 1 blocked punt (TD), 2 fumble recoveries, 2 tackles

Punt (TD), 2 FR, 2 ST Tackle

Dwayne Bowe, 2003­-06, Kansas City Chiefs, WR, W12: 3-42 receiving; Season: 44-551 receiving

Michael Brockers, 2009-­11, St. Louis Rams, DT, W12: 2 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QBH; Season: 16 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 TFL, 1 PBU, 3 QBH, 1 FR

Ron Brooks, 2007­-11, Buffalo Bills, CB, W12: Inactive; Season: 10 tackles

Morris Claiborne, 2009-11, Dallas Cowboys, CB, Placed on Injured Reserve; Season: 7 tackles, 1 INT, 1 QBH, 2 PBU

Ryan Clark, 1997­-2001, Washington Redskins, FS, W12: 4 tackles, 1 FR; Season: 60 Tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1 PBU, 1 FR

Glenn Dorsey, 2004-07, San Francisco 49ers, DT, Injured Reserve/Designated to Return list

Lavar Edwards, 2008-12, Dallas Cowboys, DE, W12: practice squad; Season: 1 tackle

Ego Ferguson, 2010-13, Chicago Bears, DT, W12: 1 tackle; Season: 18 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 TFL, 1 QBH, 2 PBU

Matt Flynn, 2003-07, Green Bay Packers, QB, W12: Did not play.; Season: 7-15, 60 yds., 1 INT; 1-(-1) rushing

Jeremy Hill, 2012­-13, Cincinnati Bengals, RB, W12: 18-87 1 TD rushing, 1-9 receiving; Season: 131-643 6 TDs rushing, 17-138 receiving

Tyson Jackson, 2004-­08, Atlanta Falcons, DE, W12: 1 tackle, 2 QBH; Season: 18 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 PBU, 2 QBH

Ricky Jean­ Francois, 2005-­08, Indianapolis Colts, DT, W12: 1 QBH, 1 PBU; Season: 19 tackles, 5 TFL, 4 QBH, 5 PBU, 1 FR

Anthony Johnson, 2011­-13, Miami Dolphins, DT, W12: Inactive; Season: 1 tackle, 1 QBH, 1 FR

Donnie Jones, 2000­-03, Philadelphia Eagles, P, W 12: 3 punts, 45.0 avg.; Season: 53 punts, 43.6 avg.

Brandon LaFell, 2005-­09, New England Patriots, WR, W12: 9-98 receiving; Season: 48-674 5 TDs receiving

Jarvis Landry, 2011­-13, Miami Dolphins, WR, W12: 7-50 2 TDs receiving, 1 KR for 20 yards, 1 PR for 17 yards; Season 49-450 5 TDs receiving, 2-(-4) rushing, 3 tackles, 23 KR for 641 yards, 19 PR for 160 yards

LaRon Landry, 2003­-06, Indianapolis Colts, S, W12: 5 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 TFL, 2 QBH; Season: 29 tackles, 2 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 3 QBH

Bennie Logan, 2009­-12, Philadelphia Eagles, DT, W12: 1 tackle, 1 PBU, 1 FF; Season: 37 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 QBH, 1 FF

Craig Loston, 2009­-13, Jacksonville Jaguars, S, W12: no stats; Season: 2 tackles

Tyrann Mathieu, 2010-­11, Arizona Cardinals, DB, W12: 2 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 QBH; Season: 27 tackles, 2 TFL, 3 QBH, 4 PBU, 1 INT, 1 FR

Danny McCray, 2006-09, Chicago Bears, S, W12: no stats; Season: 20 tackles, 1 FR

Zach Mettenberger, 2011-­13, Tennessee Titans, QB, W12: 20­39, 345 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT passing, 2-(-2) rushing; Season: 80­136, 1,103 yards, 7 TDs, 5 INT passing, 3-(-3) rushing

Barkevious Mingo, 2010­-12, Cleveland Browns, LB, W12: 1 PBU; Season: 29 tackles, 2 QBH, 1 sack, 2 TFL, 1 FR, 2 PBU

Kevin Minter, 2009­-12, Arizona Cardinals, LB, W12: 5 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFL, 1 QBH; Season: 28 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack, 1 QBH

Sam Montgomery, 2009-­12, Cincinnati Bengals, LB, Season: practice squad

Patrick Peterson, 2008­-10, Arizona Cardinals, CB/RS, W12: 3 tackles., 1 PBU; Season: 29 tackles, 5 PBU, 2 INT, 1 TD

Rueben Randle, 2009­-11, New York Giants, WR, W12: 3-36 receiving; Season: 53-557 2 TDs receiving

Eric Reid, 2010­-12, San Francisco 49ers, S, W12: 4 tackles, 1 PBU; Season: 32 tackles, 1 QBH, 3 PBU, 2 INT

Stevan Ridley, 2007-10, New England Patriots, RB, Placed on Injured Reserve; Season: 94-340 2 TD rushing, 4-20 receiving

Perry Riley Jr., 2006-­09, Washington Redskins, LB, W12: 6 tackles; Season: 52 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 2 TFL, 1 PBU

Russell Shepard, 2009-­12, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, WR, W12: 1 tackle; Season: 2-30 receiving, 9 tackles

Kelvin Sheppard, 2006­-10, Miami Dolphins, LB, W12: no stats; Season: 12 tackles

Tharold Simon, 2010­-12, Seattle Seahawks, CB, W12: no stats; Season: 7 tackles, 1 PBU

Trai Turner, 2011­-13, Carolina Panthers, OG, W12: Bye; Season: started 8 games

Andrew Whitworth, 2002-­05, Cincinnati Bengals, OG; Season: started all games

Kyle Williams, 2002­-05, Buffalo Bills, DT, W12: 5 tackles, 1 TFL; Season: 29 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 3 TFL, 1 INT, 2 PBU, 4 QBH

Brad Wing, 2010­-12, Pittsburgh Steelers, P, W12: bye; Season: 45 punts, 43.8 avg.

Al Woods, 2006­-09, Tennessee Titans, DT, W12: 3 tackles; Season: 20 tackles

James Wright, 2010-­13, Cincinnati Bengals, WR, W12: no stats; Season: 2-32 receiving, 2-21 rushing, 3 tackles, 1 FF

On NFL roster in 2014­15, but not currently on a roster

Kendrick Adams, 2010-11, n/a, LB, Preseason week 3: Waived by Titans

Kadron Boone, 2010-13, n/a, WR, Waived from Rams practice squad, W8

J.C. Copeland, 2010-13, n/a, FB, P4: Released by Cowboys

Chris Faulk, 2010-12, n/a, OL, Waived by Browns on July 29

Michael Ford, 2009-12, n/a, RB, P4: Waived by Bears

Trindon Holliday, 2006-09, n/a, WR/RS, Waived by Buccaneers on Oct. 31; Season: 2 PR, 17 yards, 2 KR, 45 yards

Drake Nevis, 2007-10, n/a, DT, Waived by Panthers on Aug. 30

Craig Steltz, 2004-07, n/a, S, P3: Released by Bears

Curtis Taylor, 2004-08, n/a, S, P4: Waived by Cardinals on Aug. 30

Spencer Ware, 2010-12, n/a, RB, P4: Waived by Seahawks on Aug. 30

Keiland Williams, 2006-09, n/a, RB, free agent

Les Miles: Decision QB future “down the road”

(Travis Spradling)

(Travis Spradling)

LSU hasn’t made a decision on its quarterback beyond this season, and the Tigers are trying to get freshman QB Brandon Harris on the field, coach Les Miles said Tuesday during his radio show.

Miles, asked on his radio show why Harris receives 50 percent of the first-string snaps in practice along with starter Anthony Jennings, turned to the program’s future at the position.

“We’ve chosen not to make the decision on our future quarterback until down the road,” Miles said. “That’s why he’s getting 50 percent of the reps.”

Brandon Harris hasn't seen significant playing time since Oct. 4 at Auburn. (Travis Spradling)

Brandon Harris hasn’t seen significant playing time since Oct. 4 at Auburn. (Travis Spradling)

Miles said he would not be surprised if Harris took some snaps over the final games of the season, something he’s said repeatedly over the last month. The coach had stopped divulging information on Harris over the last week and a half, though, saying most recently on Monday that he’ll “assess this week fully before I commented on” Harris.

Miles said Tuesday on his radio show that LSU is trying to get Harris on the field for some explosive plays, but not “encumbering” him with the full offense.

“We like Brandon Harris, and he’s coming. We’re not going to put parameters on that,” the coach said. “What we’re trying to get accomplished is put him in a position where he can go on the field and give us some explosive plays and not necessarily encumber him with the full offense, the whole thing. If we can do that, we might be able to get him on the field.”

  • Ethan Pocic will replace Elliott Porter at center against Texas A&M. Said Miles: “We really think we’ll not lose much production. (Pocic is) not quite the Elliott Porter style but do some things better at times.”
  • A caller asked Miles if the quarterback issues are coaching or player related: “I don’t think there’s a problem with the coaching certainly. Cam Cameron is a tremendous coach. We’re mentoring the QB position.” The coach suggested, as he has in the past, that LSU’s offensive woes aren’t solely on the QB.
  • Miles said he “likes” the matchup between LSU’s defensive backs and Texas A&M’s receivers and said the Tigers will have a chance for a pass rush against QB Kyle Allen: “We’ll have an opportunity to rush the passer – maybe for the first time this year.”
  • Miles on Texas A&M fans: “Real interesting group. They have cheer practice before the games.”
  • Miles’ favorite form of turkey: Smoked, he said.

Ex-LSU QB Hayden Rettig: The system wasn’t a fit

Former LSU and current Rutgers quarterback Hayden Rettig left the football program because offensive coordinator Cam Cameron’s system didn’t fit with the pro-style type QB, he told in a story earlier this year.

Hayden Rettig was one of three reserve quarterbacks to transfer from LSU in the off-season. (Patrick Dennis)

Hayden Rettig was one of three reserve quarterbacks to transfer from LSU in the off-season. (Patrick Dennis)

“The system wasn’t a fit,” Rettig said. “The guy (OL coach Greg Studrawa) who recruited me there got fired from his position, and it just wasn’t feeling like home. It just changed in such a dramatic way where it just wasn’t where I needed to be at the time. I needed to find myself and figure out what I wanted to do.”

The story says that, “Cameron’s offense calls for a mobile quarterback, which doesn’t mesh with the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Rettig’s skill set.”

Rettig was one of three reserve quarterbacks to leave the program over the off-season. Stephen Rivers transferred to Vanderbilt, and Rob Bolden left for Eastern Michigan.

Rettig is in line to compete for the starting quarterback job for the Scarlet Knights next season. He’s sitting out this year via transfer rules.

One “Odell Of A Catch,” LSU coach Les Miles says Beckham constantly made one-handed grabs while at LSU

In Monday’s “Monday Morning Quarterback” blog on, Peter King takes an in depth look into the spectacular one-handed touchdown grab made by LSU rookie receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for the New York Giants in their 31-28 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

King got in touch with LSU coach Les Miles, who said: ““I’m not one for social media, but I’m told a lot of our players were on there tonight after the catch saying, ‘That’s nothing compared to what he did in practice.’ You have to understand: We have seen this before. I just want you to know that.”

Miles told King that Beckham and LSU rookie receiver Jarvis Landry, currently playing for the Miami Dolphins, pushed each other during Tigers practices last year.

” “I think—and I might be wrong—it was Jarvis who started making the one-handed catches at practice. And when he did it, Odell had to do it. At first, you know, the coach in me said, ‘Use two hands!’ But there are some catches you can’t use two hands to make. There are some balls you’ll just never get two hands on.”

Here is the story

Live updates during the Monday lunch press conference of LSU coach Les Miles

Live Blog Live updates during the Monday lunch press conference of LSU coach Les Miles

Best Catch Ever? Odell Beckham reels in one-handed TD grab

During the New York Giants game Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys, former LSU receiver Odell Beckham Jr. made a one-handed touchdown catch that had social media asking this: Was it the best catch ever?

Here’s a Vine of the catch from Steve Noah, tweeted out by ex-LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu:

How I Voted: Week 13

Blake Sims and Alabama are No. 2 in the nation - the only change in our top nine. (AP)

Blake Sims and Alabama are No. 2 in the nation – the only change in our top nine. (AP)

How I Voted will be a weekly blog in which Ross Dellenger reveals his AP Top 25 voting with a blurb on each explaining that team’s ranking.

1. Florida State

2. Alabama (UP 1)

3. Oregon (DOWN 1)

4. Mississippi State

5. TCU

6. Baylor

7. Ohio State

8. Georgia

9. Kansas State

10. Michigan State (UP 1)

11. UCLA (UP 1)

12. Wisconsin (UP 1)

13. Arizona (UP 1)

14. Auburn (UP 1)

15. Missouri (UP 1)

16. Arizona State (UP 1)

17. Georgia Tech (UP 4)

18. Minnesota (NR)

19. Ole Miss (DOWN 9)

20. Louisville (NR)

21. Oklahoma (NR)

22. Clemson (NR)

23. Colorado State (UP 2)

24. Marshall

25. Utah (DOWN 7)

  • Others considered: Arkansas, Nebraska
  • Biggest jump: Minnesota went from unranked to No. 18 after its comeback win at Nebraska.
  • Biggest fall: Ole Miss plummeted nine spots to No. 19 after being blown out 30-0 at Arkansas.
  • Questionable move: We jumped Alabama over Oregon to the No. 2 spot for nothing that happened this week. The Tide just has so many more quality wins on its schedule.
  • Newbies: 18 Minnesota, 20 Louisville, 21 Oklahoma, 22 Clemson
  • Dropped out: 19 Nebraska, 20 Duke 22, Notre Dame, 24 Southern Cal

LSU bowl projections: Week 13

Trying to figure out where LSU’s going bowling this season?

So are the “experts.”

The Tigers’ 17-0 loss to Arkansas further muddled LSU’s postseason prospects

Among 16 national bowl projections the Tigers are picked to go to seven different bowls. The top pick with only four guesses is the Liberty Bowl. At least there is consensus there, with LSU facing West Virginia.

Bowl bids will be announced Dec. 7. For more on the new bowl selection process, read here.


  • Bill Bender, The Sporting News: Texas Bowl vs. Texas
  • Greg Ostendorf (SEC blogger) and Jake Trotter (Big 12 blogger), Liberty Bowl vs. West Virginia
  • Outback Bowl vs. Wisconsin
  • Outback Bowl vs. Michigan State
  • Brad Crawford, Belk Bowl vs. Notre Dame
  • Zac Ellis, Taxslayer Bowl vs. Penn State
  • Jason Kirk, Liberty Bowl vs. West Virginia
  • Steve Lassan, Athlon Sports: Liberty Bowl vs. West Virginia
  • Brett McMurphy, Taxslayer Bowl vs. Duke
  • Dave Miller, Texas Bowl vs. Texas
  • Jerry Palm, Texas Bowl vs. West Virginia
  • Brant Parsons, Orlando Sentinel: Belk Bowl vs. Clemson
  • Mark Schlabach, Music City Bowl vs. Boston College
  • Erick Smith, Liberty Bowl vs. West Virginia
  • Phil Steele, Belk Bowl vs. Notre Dame
  • Jim Tomlin, Tampa Bay Times: Citrus Bowl vs. Nebraska


LSU’s postseason address depends on a couple of factors. The major one is whether the Tigers beat Texas A&M on Thanksgiving Day to finish 8-4 or lose to slide to 7-5. At 8-4, LSU will look more appealing to bowls willing to lobby the SEC – which will slot teams into the six bowls the Tigers are likely headed for: the Outback, Taxslayer, Texas, Liberty, Music City and Belk. At 7-5, LSU doesn’t have much of a pulse or leverage to get a more appealing bowl trip for itself. One prediction from Jim Tomlin of the Tampa Bay Times has LSU going to the Citrus Bowl, but that likely came before the Arkansas loss. At 8-4 the Tigers could still maybe go back to the Outback Bowl but likely would wind up in the Taxslayer (formerly Gator) Bowl or the Texas Bowl, which would be the preferred I-10 corridor destinations for LSU. A major issue with the Texas Bowl is the prospect of a Texas A&M-Texas game between these two contentious rivals. There are reports the SEC would block such a game, but clearly it would be THE best matchup the Texas Bowl could get and would definitely send the Tigers packing elsewhere. If LSU loses to A&M and the Longhorns-Aggies matchup does happen, LSU could go anywhere – but probably still not the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina for geographic reasons. If LSU’s 7-5 and the Texas Bowl is blocked, the Tigers may wind up in the Liberty or even the Music City bowls.


  • Liberty Bowl: Dec. 29, Memphis
  • Texas Bowl: Dec. 29, Houston
  • Belk Bowl, Dec. 30, Charlotte
  • Music City Bowl, Dec. 30, Nashville
  • Citrus Bowl, Jan. 1, Orlando
  • Outback Bowl, Jan. 1, Tampa
  • Taxslayer Bowl: Jan. 2, Jacksonville