Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Jordan Jefferson Is Rasputin

Creepiest picture ever? No doubt. Creepiest picture ever.

Much like the old Russian monk/mystic/psychic/healer/poser for terrifying pictures, LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson has been praised by a few at one time in his career, but mostly figuratively (and perhaps literally, knowing LSU fans) stabbed, poisoned, beaten, shot, and drowned by LSU fans and coaches during his three years in Baton Rouge. And every time when it seems like he's not coming out of that icy river of never-going-play-again, Jefferson pulls himself onto the bank, looks around, and says, "Yo, that is some cold-ass water, man. Stop throwin' me in there." (Also, I'm pretty sure Rasputin said the exact same thing.)

After a 2010 regular season in which he threw just FOUR touchdowns to NINE interceptions and generally looked clueless, he rebounded against Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl, looking like a quarterback who was playing his 32nd football game at a D-I level, by throwing three touchdowns (only one interception) and ran for another score and 67 yards. He wasn't great, but he achieved the level of good Jordan Jefferson, which, with a little defense, can win a multitude of games, as Les Miles' career numbers show. No, it doesn't make sense, but nothing with Les Miles and LSU makes sense (see: Tennessee at LSU, Oct. 2, 2010).

Despite his performance in the Cotton Bowl, and 11-2 record last year, Jefferson was not named the starter heading into spring practice. Jarrett Lee, who saw significant playing time in stretches last season (and is entering his 35th year at LSU), and junior college transfer and former Georgia quarterback Zach Mettenberger (of drankin' and grabbin' arrest fame) were given an opportunity to win the job. As of this past weekend, Jefferson has, inexplicably, once again emerged as the starter for now.

According to Les Miles, "Again, what continues to be a routine occurrence is that Jordan Jefferson is having better practices and throwing the ball better. He can describe what he sees, how he sees the play. He understands exactly what’s going on...it’s currently Jefferson and Lee and then Mettenberger."

Perhaps, it's that Jarrett Lee is one of the worst quarterbacks in the conference...

/checks Lee's stats

...or that Mettenberger is still adjusting to non-junior college football, or if faced with stiffer competition, Jefferson would finally stay in that river.  Or maybe it's that he helped cure a Les Miles intestinal ailment by encouraging Miles to eat grass off the ground of Tiger Stadium.  Whatever the reason, Jefferson, despite many challengers and demotions, will not go away.

Does this mean we should expect a breakout year from Jefferson in 2011?

Can you imagine a Les Miles LSU team with a competent quarterback?  No more last-second hey-look-what-I-found wins.  No more 58 minutes of offensive horror, followed by two minutes of precision and 45-yard left-handed, eyes closed touchdown passes.  In other words, the end of Les Miles as we know him.  That's a cold and dark world I don't want to know.  And thanks to the options available to him (Jefferson, Lee, and Mettenberger), it's a world we will not have to know for quite some time.

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