The Knife’s Edge

LSU lost to Troy on Saturday, but what was more distressing is that if the game was played 10 times, LSU probably would’ve lost at least 7.

LSU’s players were worse than Troy’s. They were outmuscled at the point of attack, slow in the open field, and confused about their assignments. Turnovers were made, field goals missed, and errant timeouts were called.

It was a bonanza of incompetence.

Even more distressing than this dumpster fire though, is the current state of the program.

LSU is now locked into a contract with a millstone for a coach. Additionally, it’s still paying its old coach, someone whom no other program sees as fit to hire.

LSU’s Athletic Director, a man who twice failed to hire his targeted coach, is quite possibly a dead man walking. The Board of Regents is filled with political appointments who are more interested in party and power than purple and gold.

But, worst of all, the fans are missing from Tiger Stadium.

Perhaps the fans were chased away by too much success or perhaps they stayed away due to better and more comfortable entertainment at home. Perhaps they find the overly corporate game environment tiresome, like the piped-in music and the TV time outs. The traffic, tailgating restrictions, and torrid temperatures don’t help either.

Perhaps the fans have just grown tired of watching at best marginally competent football.

Ultimately, the causes of these various groups’ absenteeism/incompetence don’t matter. The fact is, each of these parties is negligent in their duties, and what we now have is a programmatic crisis in which we need all hands but can trust none.

There is no one who is reliable, much less good at their job.

Because of this, the current death spiral could go on for the remainder of the season. Blessedly, the SEC is amazingly weak this season, so there may be a respite somewhere.

But if losses mount, the spiral will begin in earnest, with recruiting suffering, then success, and then fan support. One could interject that “Next season will be better!”, which could be true. The team is young, and young teams develop.

But what track record does Orgeron have that inspires confidence?

No one likes a loser, not high school football players and not fans.

An empty Tiger Stadium will become the new normal, and all of the momentum, all of the success of the Saban-Miles Era will become a memory. Flags in the sky and stories that the middle aged and old tell.

These memories and stories will represent many wonderful things, but they will also represent a missed opportunity, a chance in which LSU could have become a consistently elite program instead of an up and down, bipolar one.

We are now on the brink, the knife’s edge, waiting to see what the program’s fate will be.

Sadly, I feel like we all already know what will happen, and that’s the real reason so few show up anymore.

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