To pass the time during this preseason we’re going to be doing some previews of the big games coming up in week one of the 2010 season. Today will be about the LSU vs. North Carolina matchup. When the season actually starts we’ll do this for all the big games then as well, but this one will be a little bit more in advance.
North Carolina is in my mind an up and coming program. They have been pulling of some big wins and keep getting better. They beat out Miami and Virginia Tech last year, so they are a threat to win the ACC. But on the flipside, LSU is a perennial powerhouse. However, they have been on a bit of a decline, finishing only 5-3 in league play last year.
Since it will be so early on in the season, it is hard to say what will happen without having seen them in action. This is a neutral site game so you can’t give home field advantage to anyone. The Chick-fil-A kickoff as it is known in Georgia has gone to the SEC team the past two years, so that give you some history about it.
Many people feel Les Miles may be in the hot seat this year. An opening loss would make that seat a whole lot hotter. So while experts and pundits are going to discuss the ins and outs of this game, I have decided to give you the real story about what is going on here. It starts with a guy named Gary Crowton.
Crowton started as a head coach at Louisiana Tech, going 21-13 in three seasons. He then got an upgrade and came over to BYU where he came up with a variety of new, innovative offensive schemes. He went 12-2 that year, and probably only lost the last two because his All American running back broke his leg and sat those games out.
His offense was creative, surprising and effective. However, his three seasons following that great first go were 5-7, 4-8 and 5-6. He had gotten figured out, and it seemed teams caught on rather quickly in a hurry. Can’t blame it on recruiting has he was coming in after Lavell Edwards, the legendary coach who always brought in a good haul.
After losing that head coaching job, he became offensive coordinator at Oregon. In his first season they cruised to a 10-2 record, only losing in the regular season to USC and barley in their bowl game to Oklahoma. Next season? 7-6, losing the last 4 straight, including their bowl game to BYU.
He then came to LSU as offensive coordinator in 2007, when LSU went 12-2 and won the BCS championship game. Next season? 8-5. Last season? 9-4. Still don’t see a trend?
The year after Crowton left BYU the Cougars went 6-6 and got back to a bowl game. Only gotten better since. The year after he left Oregon they go 9-4. So what does this lead us to? The Crowton Curse.
The Crowton Curse is that when you hire him you will have an incredible first season, exciting you and motivating you to sign him to a nice long contract. Then, teams will have your offense figured out and you will tank for as long as you continue to keep him around. It’s just the Crowton Curse, there’s no avoiding it.
Look at his time in the pros even. He was at Chicago 2 years. They go 6-10 and then 5-9. He leaves and they go 13-3. So from this most educated and professional analysis, it is clear to me that North Carolina wins this game. They have everything going for them…they don’t have the Crowton Curse. Should still be a fun game to watch, you better believe I’m tuning in.