Smoke needs to light a fire at LSU
John Brady, who hasn't had much success in recent years at LSU, and Pokey Chatman, who has emerged from longtime coach Sue Gunter's shadow, have coached the men's and women's basketball teams, respectively, to undefeated SEC records this season.
Then there's the track and field squad, gymnastics team, tennis, rugby, soccer -- you name it and LSU has seen success in the past few years.
So who's the odd-man out? Tigers baseball coach Smoke Laval.
Laval, whose team was ranked second in the SEC West in a preseason poll compiled by league coaches released Tuesday, has not lived up to expectations and a once-proud program is no longer a perennial contender for the College World Series. Sure they've had two appearances in the four years Laval has coached there (in addition to an SEC title), but getting to Omaha isn't the big accomplishment -- winning it is.
Miles had a great season. There's a chance LSU's men's and women's basketball teams could each win the SEC and make noise in the NCAA tournaments. The gymnastics team? Gimme a break - they're the best ever. So the pressure's on Laval to get his program on par with the other sports at LSU and back where it should be -- atop college baseball.