The LSU Tigers: Life After the Honey Badger
After a loss in the National Championship game last season, LSU had high hopes for the 2012 season. The Tigers were coming off a 13-1 record and 8-0 record in regular-season Southeastern Conference play.
The 13-0 regular season record by the Tigers was the first ever in school history. Head coach Les Miles and the Tigers were ready for another repeat season, were ready to earn back the national title, and they had everything going for them.
LSU was going to be a top-notch contender, alongside Alabama for the second straight season.
They had quarterback Zach Mettenberger, running back Michael Ford and wide receiver Odell Beckham all returning from the previous season. LSU also had Heisman finalist, cornerback Tyrann Mathieu — better known as “Honey Badger” — returning.
The Honey Badger was awarded the Chuck Bednarik Award in 2011. The award is given to the best defensive player in college football.
All the hype of the “Honey Badger” went down the drain when he was dismissed from the team over the summer. Rumors spread that he would be able to return to the team for the 2013-14 season.
Those rumors were diminished when Mathieu was arrested for possession of marijuana in October.
Without Mathieu, the Tigers have gone 8-2 on the season and ranked No. 7 in the BCS poll after week 11. Their two losses have come from No. 6 Florida and No. 4 Alabama.
They are still in the running to represent the west in the SEC Championship game, but for the Tigers to represent the West in Atlanta, Alabama would have to lose to Auburn, who does not have a win in the SEC this season.
LSU is being led by Mettenberger, Hill and Beckham. Mettenberger has thrown for 1,990 yards and 10 touchdowns with four interceptions. Hill has rushed for 477 yards on 92 carries for six touchdowns. Beckham has 34 receptions for 548 yards and two touchdowns.
LSU has wins over Texas A&M, South Carolina and Mississippi State, who, at the time of the game, were ranked No. 18, No. 3 and No. 21, respectively.
LSU’s final regular-season game will take place in Fayetteville when the Tigers take on the Razorbacks. The Tigers will be playing in Fayetteville for the first time since 1992.
If the Tigers can close out this game with a win, they will be competing for a BCS bowl game, alongside other SEC schools Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.