LSU Sports Big 3: Worst in Recent Memory?
First off, let me explain that I am 43 years old and lived in Baton Rouge all my life. I was raised on LSU and studied media guides as a kid and understand it's history. With that said, I can not remember a time that all 3 sports (Football, Men's Basketball, and Baseball) combined, were in a worse situation that they are in currently. This does not mean I think they are going in the wrong direction, but just looking at the current state of all 3 combined.
We are coming off the heels of 2 very bad football seasons, where we have cleaned house with the entire staff (which was needed badly). Future is promising, still very much unknown as to how quickly we can get back to the level we were at just a few years ago. I do feel like everything is pointed in the right direction with this team, and thankfully, the portal could help us bridge the gap a bit to compete in the SEC next season to have a good year. But the unknowns are still there.
This was a bright spot very recently. We were 16-1 coming off of huge SEC wins over UK and Tennessee. We had a loaded roster coming back with Adam Miller, 2 5-star's and a 4-star recruit coming in. There were Wade haters out there complaining about his lack of "X's and O's" but you can not deny the talent was coming and we were making the tournament consistently. Now with Wade fired for being the poster boy for paying players (They all pay players by the way), LSU Basketball has also cleaned house. There is a new national article everyday siting how LSU has lost the entire roster to the portal and every recruit that was committed. The pearl clutching is absurd but this is the state of LSU Basketball at the moment. Again....a huge THANK YOU to the portal! Without the portal, this could be the equivalent to a psedu-death penalty situation. Matt McMahan has already had 3 Murray St transfers and if K.J. Williams is added, we have a god base to be respectable next year, but still a long ways to go.
Before the season, this was thought of as a bright spot, and still could be. Jay Johnson's teams were known for their offensive production. Our lineup is stacked. Our pitching, however is severely lacking. I can't remember an LSU staff without an Ace in a long time. The offense will need to carry this team for it to succeed this year. There is still a chance, but after the series losses to A&M and Auburn (both at home), it doesn't look great.
I can always remember at least one of the big 3 sports being in a somewhat dominant position in their respective sports. We will just look at LSU Sports since 1980 for this. LSU Football had some good-to-great years in the 80's. Basketball made 2 Final Fours, and Baseball found its stride under Bertman starting in 1985.
The 1986 season for LSU Athletics could be thought of one of the greatest ever of any other school. LSU Football won the SEC and went to the Sugar Bowl, Men's Basketball made their run to the Final Four losing to "Never Nervous" Pervis Ellison and the Louisville Cardinals in Dallas. LSU Baseball went 50-12 in the regular season and made their first College World Series appearance. It was an unbelievable year for the 3 sports combined.
LSU Football hit a decline in 1989 and was in the basement until we hired Gerry DiNardo and brought back the magic with Kevin Faulk in 1995. LSU Basketball hit their decline in 1993 under Dale Brown and then went on probation after they....wait for this....paid Lester Earl a bag of cash. But LSU Baseball was always there in the 90's. It was the one sport we could hang our hat on during those times. We missed the CWS only three times in the 90's and won 4 CWS. Most dominant baseball program in the decade by far.
In 2000 The Lord Gave Us Nick Saban. LSU Football became a dominant force in the sport after that and was always there in that decade, winning 2 National Championships with 2 different coaches. Baseball had its ups and downs with Smoke Laval, but still ma
de the CWS several times. Paul Mainieri took over and they won the title again in 2009. LSU Basketball made the transition to John Brady and he had us relevant again in 2002 and went to the Final Four in 2006.
The 2010's gave us The Honeybadger, Joe Burrow, Alex Bregman, Aaron Nola, Jarrell Martin, Tremont Waters, and Naz Reid. We even had Ben Simmons, even though he never went to class, nor do we claim him.
2022 LSU Athletics
It is this writers opinion that this is the worst that the Big 3 at LSU has been since 1980. I understand that change is needed and I believe that Scott Woodward is doing what is best for the university, but you cant ignore the state of where these sports are currently. Hopefully this changes and changes fast, because LSU Fans love and want a winner. I believe it will and we will be back on top again one way or another.