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Friday Nitt Picks

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Starting next week I'll try to get into full blown LSU preview mode, but for now go read David Jones's article. He gives a pretty good recap of the Tigers and suggests their fans really aren't into this game.

But try as they might to raise their “Geaux, Tigers!” banners and smile, LSU fans do so this postseason with gritted teeth. A 9-3 ledger isn’t cutting it for two main reasons.
   
First, they are spoiled rotten. By two BCS national titles in the prior six seasons — the first under Nick Saban in 2003, the second just two years ago under current coach Les Miles. By nine straight bowls, six of the New Year’s Day variety, since Saban resurrected the program in 2000. It’s easy now for purple people to forget what a mess this operation was through the late 1980s and all of the ’90s excepting a brief mid-decade resurgence under Gerry DiNardo.
   
Second, and most acute, they are driven batty by the way their Tigers and their coach gave away the third loss to Mississippi. The abysmal management of that game by Miles in the final minute squandered a chance to win it.

Hooray Post Season Awards

Joe Paterno has been named a finalist for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award.

Penn State coach Joe Paterno has been selected as one of 10 Football Bowl Subdivision finalists for the 2009 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award. The award, now in its fourth year, celebrates college football coaches who demonstrate sportsmanship, integrity and responsibility on and off the field.

I'm happy for the coach and all, but I'm not sure he's really deserving of such an award THIS year. Penn State actually regressed from 2008 when they won the conference with only one loss. I think it's pretty obvious he was put on the list as a lifetime achievement-type thing. In my opinion there are much more deserving coaches this year like Paul Johnson, Kirk Ferentz, or Al Golden.

Basketball

Keep in mind that Saturday night is perhaps Penn State's biggest out of conference game of the year when the Virginia Tech Hokies come to the Jordan Center. The game will be televised at 7 PM on ESPN2. We'll have an open thread for you here.