It’s a safe bet that many SEC football fans don’t know who LSU is playing tonight. Their Texas Bowl opponent is the 7-5 Kansas State Wildcats. Under normal circumstances, the game wouldn’t matter much to anyone other than the avid fans of both teams. But tonight’s game is far from normal.
Starting Tuesday afternoon, LSU will play the game without a stock quarterback. Max Johnson has transferred to Texas A&M and although Myles Brennan has returned from the transfer portal, he is not available to play. Garrett Nussmeier is available, but playing a fifth game this season would mean burning a red shirt opportunity.
Instead, interim head coach Brad Davis is expected to accompany one of a pair of substitutes or perhaps a converted wide receiver.
LSU’s quarterback disadvantage is matched by reports the Bengal Tigers will play the game with only 39 stock market players. There will be no Derek Stingley Jr .; no Kayshon Boutte; no Damone Clark and no Tyrion Davis-Price. And these are just a few of the key players who won’t be attending LSU on Tuesday night. Another, Eli Ricks is already an Alabama Crimson Tide player.
It would be easy for opposing fans to tweet about Baton Rouge’s dismay. Much of it is the result of the program’s lack of consistent leadership and the residual effect of adhering to the illusion that Ed Orgeron was a competent head coach.
Texas Bowl Congratulations to LSU
But in this case, LSU is to be applauded. The Bengal Tigers could easily have taken Jimbo Fisher’s “no-mas” position and falsely claimed they weren’t able to field a team. Much like Texas A&M and LSU, there are more than enough players for a game. Guys who might never have played in an LSU match, including many extras, will have a unique opportunity to fight in purple and gold.
The college football world hasn’t missed the irony that A&M skipped their bowl game. Obviously, the concept of the 12th man at College Station is nothing more than a historical relic.
The Bengal Tigers will play. However they play, and whatever the score, they will win tonight. A sincere “hat tip” to the LSU program is in order.
Does Brian Kelly deserve credit for the program’s bowl decision? Maybe not, but he’ll get a helping hand.