Postgame Tailgating: Why LSU Should Be No. 1

Bleacher Report Senior Analyst INovember 4, 2007

IconThe LSU Tigers survived a tight one in Tuscaloosa on Saturday, coming back from a 34-27 deficit with 7:33 remaining to notch a 41-34 win over Alabama.

With the win, LSU improved to 8-1 on the season—the lone loss coming against Kentucky in triple overtime.

And as I see it, the Tigers should be ranked No. 1 in the country.


Is it because of their 8-1 record?

Is it because they've played quality opponents?

Is it because of Les Miles' gutsy decisions?

No, no, and no. 

LSU should be No. 1—and isn't—because of a decision that was made in January.

IconHad JaMarcus Russell opted to stay in school, the Tigers would very likely be the undisputed top team in the country right now.    

Too bad Russell took the money and ran.

Had Russell returned to Baton Rouge for his senior season, it's a good bet he would have been a leading candidate for the Heisman trophy.  Even if he only repeated his junior-year performance, LSU's passing statistics would be superior to that of the current combonation of Matt Flynn and Ryan Perrilloux.

Just imagine what Russell could have done with the athletic Perrilloux in a dual-QB system. A good comparison might be the 2006 national champion Florida Gators, who used a Chris Leak-Tim Tebow rotation to perfection.

Flynn only averages 141 yards per game through the air—and the LSU offense has still been successful. With Russell, the sky would've been the limit.

As it stands, the Tigers are sitting pretty in the polls without Russell. One can only wonder how much prettier it would be with the superstar gunslinger in the mix.

It's kind of like with music artists. Chris Brown and T-Pain were pretty good on their own, but when they collaborated to produce "Kiss Kiss," it made a championship team.

Or at least that's what the ladies say.

Russell must be kicking himself about now, especially considering that he still hasn't been given an opportunity to play in Oakland. He could've easily been the Heisman front-runner for the No. 1 team in the land.

Instead, he's got a fat bank account—and not much else. 

There's no telling if Russell would've changed the Tigers' fate against Kentucky, but if he had, the Tigers would be the country's top team right now.

Russell could've had a shot at it all—a Heisman trophy, an SEC Championship trophy, and a National Championship trophy—and still been picked No. 1 overall in the 2008 NFL Draft.

But then again, hindsight is 20/20.

And besides, who wants trophies when you can take cold, hard cash?

I hope Russell is having a blast counting his money on Oakland's sidelines...rather than winning championships in Baton Rouge.