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Not with a bang but with a whimper: LSU baseball’s sudden fall

The LSU Tigers baseball team has spent the last month in free fall, tumbling from number one to five in a shocking run of losses.

The LSU Tigers baseball team has spent the last month in free fall, tumbling from number one to five and perhaps further in a shocking run of losses.

The LSU Tigers started off the season like gangbusters. They roared through all opposition putting up insane numbers as they breezed through their schedule. Prior to the season, they were unanimous national number one in all polls, a position that they showed no sign of giving up.

Until the Alabama betting scandal, that is.

That is not to say that the two events are related, but something happened around that time that caused the Tigers to tumble prodigiously down the rankings.

Like a gunshot victim whose adrenaline lets them run away before collapsing, LSU managed to 10-run-rule Southeastern the week after sweeping the Crimson Tide. But as that adrenaline wore off, the Bayou Bengals dropped a series to Auburn and then another to Mississippi State.

Finally, one month after their slide started, the Tigers took two out of three games from Georgia. When the dust settled, LSU found themselves at number five. Along the way, they have tumbled beneath Wake Forest, Arkansas, Stanford, and Florida. Not to take anything away from those programs, but…

…well, actually, yes. In terms of ability and roster, LSU should be miles better than all of those teams.

As the SEC Tournament gets underway on Wednesday, May 24, the Tigers are the third seed team, facing the winner of South Carolina and Georgia. They will have to face Arkansas and Florida at some point down the road if they have any hope of winning.

Almost miraculously considering their fall from grace, oddsmakers still have the Tigers as the favorite to win the College World Series, showing either faith that their recent form is an unconcerning blip or naiveté in backing a once proud program despite reality staring them in the face.

You chose which.

The Tigers will need to leave their pride to one side and get back to basics if they are to right the ship. To ensure that their season ends with a bang and not a whimper, LSU must tap into that place where their talent lies, forgetting how far they have fallen.

Because after all, it isn’t how far you fall that counts, it is how you land.