LSU Begins Tough SEC Stretch as More Controversy Looms

Regan GardnerContributor IIOctober 5, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 07:  (L-R) Josh Dworaczyk #68, Jordan Jefferson #9, Will Blackwell #60 and Mitch Joseph #83 of the LSU Tigers celebrate a touchdown against the Texas A&M Aggies during the AT&T Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium on January 7, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Controversy—a state of prolonged public dispute or debate, usually concerning a matter of opinion.

Pandora's box has now officially been opened for the No. 1 LSU Tigers just in time for the brutal SEC run.  Never mind the Tigers three victories over Top 25 teams away from home, the SEC schedule will make that seem like a casual stroll through the park on an autumn day.

The SEC schedule is week after week of deeply entrenched rivalries in temples filled with passionate, often ruthless, fan bases.  Dismiss the rankings, SEC teams understand one another far greater than an Oregon, or a West Virginia ever could.

Teams compete for the same players, and over time the players grow to know one another.  This is what makes Saturdays in the SEC so special. Each week is one team's chance to shine, and play the role of spoiler.

SEC fans love to boast the conference's superiority, and tout its five straight national championships, but make no mistake, each team and its fan base would love to crush the dreams of the perspective sixth.

LSU enters its yearly matchup against the Florida Gators in the role of the perspective sixth, and the now QB depleted Gators are in the role of possible spoiler.

The Gators, however, even with the loss of Senior John Brantley, have far less QB questions to answer.  

The boos reigned throughout halls of Death Valley, as former starting QB Jordan Jefferson entered into the game scoring a one-yard touchdown run on his first play back from suspension against the Kentucky Wildcats.  Starting QB Jarrett Lee celebrated on the sidelines, as Jefferson proved his worth to the top ranked Tigers.

In the days since the Tigers 35-7 rout of the Wildcats, the stories have flown throughout the country addressing the inevitable.  Controversy is a very appealing story line.  

The first leak in the ship has now sprung, as Miles has now lashed out at his own fan base. ESPN's Chris Low reported as such:

"Jordan Jefferson didn't have a choice. I sent him in the game, OK," Miles said. "When he went into the game, he'd already served a four-game suspension. He'd been through quite a lot, and it appears to me that this thing is going to be a misdemeanor, not unlike a lot of the people in the stands who possibly had similar run-ins with the law, OK. Well, I suspect that they didn't get penalized nearly as significantly as this guy. 

"You'd like to think maybe that when he went onto the field that he was kind of easing some of those days where he wondered if he'd ever be back, and so I wanted to get him on the field as fast as I could because, you see, I like Jordan Jefferson, and I think a mistake was made. And it's not one that he'll repeat." 

Now the reports are out that Jefferson is aiming to regain his starting job, which is a perfectly understandable statement, yet certainly the LSU PR department could have stepped in.  The age old line as mentioned by Crash Davis in Bull Durham holds true: "I just wanna do what's best for the team."

Lee has now been forced to answer questions about his relationship with Jefferson, and players will constantly be asked to describe the situation.

As the season wears on, and the tough moments come, will these same questions prove more and more stressful.  Will Miles backlash more at the media and fans for questioning what is the definition of controversy?  

These answers will come as the season wears on, the first being answered Saturday on CBS's Game of the Week.  Expect Gary Danielson to way in heavily on the topic and more questions to arise.  Once Pandora's box is opened, it can never be closed.