Friday, 14 January 2011 15:44

Crowton Leaves LSU As Tigers Rank High In ESPN Poll

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Summmary: Now that Gary Crowton is no longer with LSU, will he sign with Maryland?  Can the Tigers live up to their post-season ESPN billing for 2011?


LSU offensive coordinator Gary Crowton said he has not been asked to look for another job by LSU head coach Les Miles as reported, but said he may be leaving the Tigers for the offensive coordinator job at Maryland.

Crowton said Wednesday night that Maryland offered him a three-year  contract at $500,000 a year. He made $475,000 at LSU and has one year remaining on his contract at $500,000.

Miles will stay at LSU after talking to Michigan. "I'm excited about the future here at LSU," said Crowton. "I'm going to sit down with my family tonight and see if this Maryland job is what we want to do."

The LSU coaching staff has not been able to develop a better-than average quarterback in the past three seasons.

Asked if he had to find another job because he would not be retained by LSU for the 2011 season, Crowton said per's Glenn Guilbeau "That's not absolutely true. I'm going to the staff meeting in the morning, but I have this option in front of me now."

When asked about the job status of Crowton, Miles was vague.

"I really don't know exactly what tip tell you," said Miles at a news conference Wednesday morning to announce that he had agreed to a new seven-year contract a day after saying he would not be going to Michigan. "I know we'll have a staff meeting on Thursday morning. I'm not ready to say there won't be some changes in the staff. I don't know that I necessarily am going to be the factor there as opposed to the great opportunities. So we'll have to see how that goes."

Guilbeau said on Wednesday, "I'm telling you now that Gary Crowton will not be the offensive coordinator at LSU next year. He and Miles had a parting of the ways."

Crowton is gone.

SOME hither, others yon: LSU's football Tigers figure to be a national championship contender this season. has the Tigers No. 3 in its preseason poll behind Oklahoma and Oregon. Writes "Cornerback Patrick Peterson and tailback Stevan Ridley may be gone, but LSU still brings back nine starters on offense and seven  on defense.. As the Cotton Bowl win against Texas A&M proved, Spencer Ware can also carry the ball a little. LSU's offense should improve this offseason. Combine that with its defense, and you have a national title contender..' Ridley, a junior, is considering entering the 2011 NFL draft...


Tigers getting respect in early polls

Today I bring you the ESPN way-to-early, preseason poll. The website waited until after the bowl games for a little more perspective. So this shouldn't surprise you: After a big win over Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl, LSU is ranked No. 4 behind Oklahoma, Alabama and Oregon. I'm wagering this poll will be pretty close to the first Associated Press poll in August. The SEC has seven teams ranked in the top 25: Alabama, LSU, Arkansas (8), South Carolina (11), BCS champion Auburn (17), Florida (23) and Mississippi State (24).

The list:

1. Oklahoma
2. Alabama
3. Oregon
4. LSU
5. Boise State
6. Oklahoma State
7. Florida State
8. Arkansas
9. Stanford
10. Ohio State
11. South Carolina
12. Wisconsin
13. Texas A&M
14. Notre Dame
15. Michigan State
16. Missouri
17. Auburn
18. TCU
19. Nebraska
20. Virginia Tech
21. Arizona State
22. Texas
23. Florida
24.Mississippi State
25.West Virginia

Agree? Disagree?

Will another SEC team be in contention for a BCS title in 2011? Can Auburn and Oregon get back to New Orleans for the 2012 National Championship Game?

It's never too  early to take a look at the Way-Too-Early Top 25 for 2011.

Here's why LSU got the No. 4 ranking: Tigers coach Les Miles didn't leave LSU for Michigan. The Tigers might be really, really good in 2011. The Tigers, who have the most consistent program in the SEC over the last 10y ears with 102 victories, bring 10 starters back on offense and eight on defense. The losses on defense are still pretty significant though, with tackles Lazarius Levingston and Drake Nevis and middle linebacker Kelvin Sheppard leaving, and cornerback Patrick Peterson entering the NFL draft as a junior. Quarterback Jordan Jefferson played better down the stretch, but he'll be challenged by junior-college transfer Zach Mettenberger,who has a very strong arm. The Tigers play Oregon in Arlington, Tex, and also play  difficult SEC road games at Mississippi State and Alabama.

Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley has moved up to No. 1 on Mel Kiper's Big Board. He has Peterson ranked No. 4.


New Orleans Hornets

The Orlando Magic won nine consecutive games Jan. 30-Feb. 18, 2002, and there was one person inside the Arena on Wednesday night who played an on-court role in creating that streak, which led to a franchise record. It was Hornets head coach Monty Williams, who played a total of 225 games for the Magic over three seasons..."I really loved playing in Orlando," said Williams. "My dad still lives down there. Doc Rivers gave me an opportunity to play."...Fans who attended Tuesday night's game between Salmen High and Brother Martin in Slidell received quite a surprise. Seven Magic players attended the game. Chris Duhon is a Salmen grad, and he brought teammates Brandon Bass, Earl Clark, Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson,Jason Richardson and Quentin Richardson to the game, which Salmen won 64-58...

"I'm just thankful that they came," said Duhon. "It's not every day you see Dwight Howard walk into a high-school gym" The Magic players received a side benefit: Duhon's aunts and uncles brought some homemade crawfish etouffee and other home-cooked dishes to the game. "I got a chance to see family and Friends that don't have an opportunity to see me play live instead of on TV.said Duhon. "It's always good to get a home-cooked meal and just catch up with everybody." Bass, a former Hornets and LSU player, estimated he gave out 40 tickets to family and friends...Actor Jeremy Piven, one of the stars of the HBO series "Entourage," attended Wednesday's game...Fishing may be addictive because you can get hooked...

Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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