Tab's Take: LSU Pre-Game Analysis

With most of our staff scattered to the seven winds for the Thanksgiving holiday, we are operating with a skeleton crew here at RazorbackExpats. To help us keep things up and running, we have turned to one of our regular readers and commenters, the always entertaining Tab Prewett. Tab has graciously agreed to provide both pre- and post-game analysis of tomorrow's battle against No. 1 LSU. Here now is his pre-game take:

Answers.com boot photo

While drinking at the ESPN Zone last year in Times Square and watching Darren McFadden annihilate South Carolina, I, somewhat inebriated, struck up a conversation with some other SEC fans watching LSU on another screen. Inevitably, the future resting place of the Boot arose, and I was shouted down by a drunken belligerent Cajun, who was more wasted than me, much louder than me, and, hard to believe, more impassioned than I was about his team, those damned talented Bayou Bengals, who have been breaking Razorback hearts since the 1966 Cotton Bowl, when our long 22-game win streak was broken and our chance to be Numero Uno went down by the score of 14-7.

Cajun Boy shouted and shouted and shouted, "That Boot’s gonna be up yor ass. That Boot’s gonna be up yor ass. That Boot’s gonna be up yor ass." His enthusiasm and insistence ultimately won me over, and I had to agree, that Boot was gonna be up my ass. And it was a month later when LSU ended our dreams of not only a National Championship, but an undefeated SEC season, and began a real depressing period of Hawgdom, where, as we all know, we lost five straight SEC games. Thank God for Ole Miss.

We all anticipate the LSU game every year knowing they set the bar in the SEC West, if not the entire nation. This year we have two reasons to watch with even greater interest. We want to see if McFadden can have a miracle game that can salvage a Heisman Trophy that he alone in this country deserves, and would have had, were it not for the miscues of a coaching staff early in the season. We also want to see if Houston Nutt, who was in charge of those early season coaching mistakes, can somehow artfully dodge the hook that is alleged to snag him as soon as the LSU game ends.

So Nutt and McFadden have much to gain from this game, and also so much to lose. I think Nutt can keep his job with a win. I think he should keep his job with a win. Do I think he will win? No. Do I think McFadden will do enough to get the Heisman, which would mean rushing for 150 yards, probably throwing a touchdown pass, catching a few, perhaps one for a touchdown, returning a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, and also, of course, leading us to an upset of the number one team in the nation? No.

In reality, I predict Nutt will coach well and keep the game close, but somehow mismanage the clock in the fourth quarter and trust his defense to do something it hasn’t done in years - and that is to hold a lead in the fourth quarter. Sadly, McFadden will be left helpless on the sideline watching the defense, which has been terrible at times this year, lose another lead late in the game.

Then, in another pathetic Razorback two-minute drill, Darren will end his SEC career blocking a raging Glen Dorsey as he slams poor Casey Dick to the turf one last time, the ball falling feebly incomplete, several hash marks from the nearest Razorback receiver, while those Cajuns holler about the boot being up an Arkey’s ass again. Darren and Nutt walk off the field, disconsolate and defeated, one certain to graduate to a brilliant NFL career and paychecks approaching a million dollars a month, the other to be fired and demoted to a less prestigious job at some former SWC school. Granted, he'll still make good money, but nothing like the Sabans , Stoops and Spurriers of the world.

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