Sunday, May 10, 2009

LSU Baseball Wins Again; New Football Commitment

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Also, hit the "About The Site" link at the top right of the page to see all the different ways you can follow the Saturday Night Slant. Those receiving the text message updates knew about the Justin Hunter commitment (below) Sunday night as soon as it happened.

Lastly, thanks to all who have offered the kind words on the new site and have joined the Facebook group or have spread the word in other ways. The traffic on the site is picking up with each update, and I hope it continues to grow. It's all very much appreciated.

The LSU Baseball team won yet another SEC series this weekend, taking 2 of 3 from the 9th ranked Florida Gators. Outstanding pitching performances by Anthony Ranaudo on Friday and Louis Coleman on Saturday highlighted the weekend. This is the second consecutive series win for LSU against a Top 15 opponent. Needless to say, the Tigers are playing outstanding baseball right now. LSU has won 10 of their last 12 games.

After the weekend, LSU sits in sole possession of first place in the SEC standings. Alabama, who may be the hottest team in the league, is one half game behind LSU. Florida and Ole Miss are both 1 game behind the Tigers.

The big surprise (or was it?) is that Ole Miss is a game behind LSU. Before the weekend, it appeared that Ole Miss had a huge advantage in the SEC race. They were hosting Mississippi State, the team with the worst record in the SEC while LSU was hosting Florida, ranked #9 nationally. But true to form, Ole Miss folded up shop in a critical situation with championship implications and promptly lost 2 of 3 games. SEC championships in major sports are like kryptonite to Ole Miss athletes.

The folks in Oxford have had some debate in recent years regarding their logo and the image that represents their athletics program. But rather than debate which caricature of a racist old plantation owner they would use as their "Rebel" mascot, I propose they simply go with the following:

It's simple. It says "Ole Miss." It's blue and red. And it folds up easily. It represents everything about Ole Miss athletics that you could want.

I actually tried to do some research to find out when the last SEC title the Folding Chairs won in a major sport, but it's difficult to find answers when you get this:

Kidding aside, Ole Miss IS just a game back and could conceivably still win the conference. So could Florida. So could Alabama. The smart money is on either LSU, Bama, or Florida right now though. LSU travels to Mississippi State next weekend. Florida hosts Kentucky. Alabama travels to Auburn. Ole Miss has to travel to Arkansas. While the Hogs aren't playing their best, it's likely they'll win at least 1 game in that series. It all makes for a very interesting final weekend of SEC Baseball.

Ideally, LSU will win the SEC title AND secure a National Top 8 seed. But regardless of what happens in the SEC race, I maintain that 2 wins next weekend should be enough for a Top 8 seed. We should know a bit more when the RPI ratings come out this week.

LSU received their 9th verbal commitment of the Class of 2010 Sunday night when Virginia wide receiver Justin Hunter decided to become an LSU Tiger. Hunter's commitment is a pretty big deal. Hunter had offers from lots of big schools including Alabama, Florida, Virginia Tech, Florida State, North Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio State, Penn State, etc. Also a big-time track and field prospect as a high jumper, LSU's successful track program helped lure him to Baton Rouge. Hunter is 6'4", has 4.5 speed, good hands, and is one of the best high jumpers in the nation. It's obvious to see that this kid has a very high ceiling as an outside wide receiver.

Texas offensive tackle prospect Evan Washington visited LSU this weekend. Washington is one of the very few offensive tackle prospects on LSU's board, and I think he's very important to this signing class. I haven't seen any updates yet on how the visit went, but I'm planning a recruiting update for later this week and I hope to have some details by then.


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