At this point of the offseason, with no spring football left and still a few months before real football begins, cheap shots are the only type of shots a school can levy.
LSU head coach Les Miles took full advantage of this opportunity Tuesday, taking a jab at the University of Texas—a school the Tigers haven't played in more than a decade—for not having any players selected in the 2014 NFL draft.
Per Ralph Malbrough of WWLTV.com:
According to Bryan Fischer of NFL.com, the Longhorns were shut out of the draft for the first time since 1937.
Even though it was an obvious down year for the program in terms of talent production, many expected pass-rushing specialist Jackson Jeffcoat to go in the later rounds. When he didn't, ostensibly because of his injury history and lack of a true NFL position, Texas' fate was sealed.
Adding insult to injury, SMU quarterback and former Longhorn Garrett Gilbert was drafted in the sixth round by the St. Louis Rams. In a worthwhile interview with Judy Battista of NFL.com before the draft, Gilbert explained that Texas fans essentially booed him out of Austin after he struggled in 2011.
In Gilbert's own words:
Hearing boos again, not really being able to shake that, at that point I kind of knew it might be time to start over and wipe the slate clean. It's tough to sum up quickly. For whatever reason, things didn't work out. I think that led to some forcing the ball, trying to force things to happen. Maybe I read the papers a little too much, as well.
LSU also had a quarterback, Zach Mettenberger, drafted in the sixth round (by the Tennessee Titans). He was one of nine former Tigers selected—more than any other school in the country—including five who went in the top 95 picks. LSU has had 18 players drafted the past two seasons, tying it with Florida State for the most of any program.
Miles has never coached against Texas since arriving in Death Valley, but he does recruit against it often. The Longhorns are ushering in a new era under head coach Charlie Strong, and this embarrassment does not impugn the new direction of the program, but Miles is wise to issue a reminder for any recruits that are on the fence.
Both schools have the pageantry, the fans and the winning tradition. Based on recent history, however, only one has the ability to make you some money in the league. Which one will you choose?
Not a bad tactic, Mad Hatter.
Follow Brian Leigh on Twitter: @BLeighDAT