Mississippi fans are still angry about this one. With 0:04 to play, LSU quarterback Bert Jones faded back, pump faked and threw an interception – in only three seconds. Or so said the Tiger clock operator. The one second remaining on the clock gave Jones the chance to hit Brad Davis in the corner of the end zone to give the Tigers a 17-16 win over the Rebels and extend the LSU winning streak to 12 games.
Trailing underdog Kentucky on the road, 30-27, with just 0:11 left and the ball on their own nine, the Tigers made history. After a 17-yard toss from Marcus Randall to Michael Clayton, Randall heaved the ball downfield, where it was tipped and wound up in the hands of Devery Henderson, who finished the 74-yard TD hookup. Kentucky players had already doused coach Guy Morriss with Gatorade, and some fans were tearing down the goalposts to celebrate the upset, but LSU’s “Bluegrass Miracle” spoiled the fun.
LSU spotted Ohio State a 10-0 lead and then roared back to score 31 consecutive points en route to a 38-24 win over the Buckeyes and a second BCS championship. QB Matt Flynn, who missed the SEC title game win over Tennessee with an injury, threw four touchdown passes to help the Tigers become the first two-loss champ of the BCS era.
The Tigers’ stifling defense controlled Oklahoma’s Heisman-winning QB, Jason White, holding him to 13-of-37 passing, and LSU used TD runs from Skyler Green and Justin Vincent and an interception return by Marcus Spears to overcome the Sooners, 21-14, and win their first BCS title.
The top-ranked and defending national champion Tigers were down, 3-0, in the fourth quarter of their Halloween night game with Mississippi, when all-America and eventual Heisman winner Billy Cannon took a punt at his own 11-yard line. Heading up the right sideline, Cannon shrugged off seven would-be Rebel tacklers and went 89-yards to give LSU the lead. Later in the game, he secured LSU’s 7-3 win by teaming with Warren Rabb to stop an Ole Miss runner at the Tiger one on fourth down.
Capone is one of only eight LSU players in history to be named a two-time All-American, as he earned such recognition in 1972 and 1973. He led the Tigers to three straight bowl appearances. Inducted into the LSU Hall of Fame in 1988, Capone is considered one of, if not the, best linebacker in LSU history. After one year in the World Football League, Capone played a few years in the NFL with Dallas and New Orleans. (Editor’s Note: This one was a brutal decision as Charles Alexander, Al Richardson and Ben Wilkerson all got serious consideration for this slot).
After his redshirt seasons, Faneca was voted SEC Freshman of the Year by the Knoxville News Sentinel in 1995. He was a second-team All-American the following year and became an Outland Trophy finalist by the 1997 season – the first in school history. He started 36 games in his LSU career and allowed only one sack, finishing with 210 pancake blocks. He was selected by the Steelers with the 26th overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. He went to nine Pro Bowls and won Super Bowl XL.
As a true freshman, Landry started 10 games on what turned out to be the first LSU National Championship team since 1958. The elite safety is credited with 48 straight starts for the Tigers, finishing with 315 tackles and 12 interceptions – good for seventh and third highest in school history. A three-time All-SEC performer, Landry earned All-American honors as a senior before being drafted with the sixth overall pick in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins.
This talented cornerback is probably the best coverman in school history. A two-time All-American – the school’s first in nearly two decades – Webster anchored the outside of the 2003 National Championship team. Webster tied an LSU single-game record with three interceptions against Florida in 2002 and finished second all-time in school history with 16 interceptions. He also owns the school record for passes broken up with 49. He totaled 115 tackles and was selected in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He was a key member of the Super Bowl XLII team that stopped the most prolific offense in NFL history, the New England Patriots.
Originally a tight end, Spears switched to defensive end after his freshman season and became one of the most dominant D-lineman to ever play at LSU. Spears started 38 of his 50 total games at end and finished with 152 tackles, 19 sacks and 34.5 tackles for a loss. He won two SEC Championships and helped lead the Tigers to the 2003 BCS National Championship. A game in which his most memorable play took place. Early in the third quarter, Spears intercepted an Oklahoma pass and rumbled 20 yards for a touchdown that turned out to be the game-winning points of the 21-14 title victory. Spears was selected in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys.
Reed re-wrote the LSU and SEC record books in 2001 when he caught a school record 94 passes for an SEC record 1,740 yards on his way to becoming a consensus All-American selection. As the Biletnikoff Award winner – given to the nation’s best receiver – Reed led the country in yards and yards per game (145.0). He finished his career as the SEC’s all-time leading receiver with 3,001 yards on 167 receptions. In his final game as a Bayou Bengal, Reed set Sugar Bowl records with 14 catches for 239 yards and two scores. Reed owns 17 school or SEC records and was drafted in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills.
The best player to take snaps for LSU has to be Jones. The Tigers went 26-6-1, went to three bowl games and won an SEC Championship in Jones’ three years at LSU. His senior season, Jones became the first LSU quarterback to be named a consensus All-American. The strong-armed passer finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1972 and his 3,225 yards and 28 touchdowns were a school record at the time. Jones went on to be the second overall pick in the 1973 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Colts.
Faulk will go down in history as not only one of the most productive LSU Tigers in history but one of the most prolific SEC runners in history. The three-time All-SEC choice was named SEC Freshman of the Year in 1995 before leading the league in rushing as a junior and senior. He is LSU’s all-time leading rusher (4,557) and is the SEC’s career leader in all-purpose yards with 6,833. His 53 total TDs scored also set and SEC record that stood until Tim Tebow broke it. Faulk was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 1999 NFL Draft and has been a key contributor on four Super Bowl teams – three of which won the Lombardi Trophy.
There have not been too many players in any school’s history to put together a year like Mr. Dorsey did in 2007. Dorsey led his team to an SEC Championship, a BCS National Championship, he claimed SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors to go with his Lombardi Award, Outland Trophy, Nagurski Trophy and Lott Trophy. As a two-time All-American, there really wasn’t anything Dorsey had left to accomplish when he was drafted with the fifth pick in the 2008 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. He started 26 of his last 27 games and finished his career with 170 total tackles, 27 tackles for a loss and 15 sacks.
This guy did it all. He played running back, return man and defensive back. He is also the only three-time All-American in LSU history and only the second LSU Tiger to be named to three All-SEC teams. Each year he played, the versatile competitor won at least nine games with the Tigers’ overall record finishing at 27-7 during his three year run in Baton Rouge. Casanova was so versatile, in fact, that only six years after being drafted in the second round by the Bengals in the 1972 NFL Draft, went into medicine AND politics. He has his medical degree in Ophthalmology and was elected to the state Senate in Louisiana’s 26th district.
The Gators rallied in the final minutes to stun No. 2 Florida State 32-29 and prevent the unbeaten Seminoles from playing for the national title. Doug Johnson hit Jacquez Green for a 63-yard gain that set up Fred Taylor's fourth touchdown with less than two minutes left in front of one of the wildest crowds in the history of The Swamp.
Following a 31-30 home loss to Ole Miss, Tim Tebow gave a speech at his press conference where he promised, among other things, that fans 'will never see a team play harder than we will the rest of the season.' Properly inspired, the Gators did not lose for the remainder of the year and defeated Oklahoma in January to win their third national title.
Steve Spurrier kicked a 40-yard field goal with 2:12 remaining to give Florida a 30-27 win over Auburn and raise the Gators' record to 7-0. Spurrier completed 27 of 40 passes for 259 yards that day -- which was one week before the Heisman votes were due. The performance clinched the school's first Heisman Trophy.
The Gators smoked undefeated and top-ranked Ohio State 41-14 in the BCS national championship game, giving Urban Meyer a national title in just his second year in Gainesville. Florida led 34-14 at halftime and held the Buckeyes, led by Heisman winner Troy Smith, to just 82 yards of total offense.
Heisman winner Danny Wuerffel threw for three TDs to Ike Hilliard and ran for another as the Gators whipped rival Florida State 52-20 in the Sugar Bowl. The win avenged a 24-21 loss to FSU in late November and gave the Gators the first national title in school history.
Will Texas A&M finish ahead of LSU in the SEC West standings this year?
With Alabama expected to be the No. 1 team in most preseason polls in 2013, combined with potential top-10 teams in LSU and Texas A&M, the SEC West should be one of the deepest divisions in college football. That also doesn’t include an improving Ole Miss squad, and Arkansas and Auburn – two teams that should also get better under the direction of new head coaches.
Spring practice has ended, here are all the key injuries, personnel decisions and storylines
Depending on your point of view, spring practice is either a respite from the football-free months of winter and a taste of things to come in August. On the other hand, it’s only appealing to the hardcore football fan.
Sure, there’s the same questions every year -- is my team’s defense really good or is the offense really bad, or vice versa. But there’s also plenty of news and notes.