NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - As the Tigers push through another November, they'll once again be playing their final few games without the hope of securing a place in the College Football Playoff, which just two weeks ago was theirs to lose.
However, the team will tell you the tale that fans are all too familiar with.
"We still have a lot to play for," said wide receiver Malachi Dupre. "We just have two losses. We still have two huge SEC games left. We'll just go out there and play our best and see what happens from there."
That's the safe answer, and he's not wrong. The Tigers can't give up. That's not the attitude anyone wants to see, but that's also not the answer fans want to hear. The following are a few quotes taken from some of my Facebook friends and follows on Twitter. I won't attribute them since their pages are private, but they're some of the most die-hard LSU fans and alumni I know.
"I don't usually rant on Facebook, but in my nine seasons attending every single home game with the exception of only one non-conference game, I have never left the stadium feeling so disgusted as a fan."
"I've never been one on the fire Les Miles bandwagon, and I'm not, but at some point, 10-2 and 9-3 with losses to the same teams every single year will not be good enough."
"It's not the fact that we lost. I can handle loss. It's the way we lost that infuriates me."
"I don't drink, but I'm about to start."
I could continue for days with these, and if you're on social media, you've probably seen the same, if not, worse.
Then there's the other side of the argument. Injured LSU tight end Dillon Gordon noticed the stands emptying before the final whistle, and took to Twitter to voice his displeasure. He says it hurt to see the people that claim they love them leave in the third quarter, and they don't need the bandwagon fans. You can see the full rant on his twitter page, @IamDG_85.
The debate appears to stem from frustration on the side of both the fans and the team. In between the two sides is a head coach that shoulders the blame.
"I take the discredit here," said Les Miles. "Our team's going to have a difficult time with this film, not effort, but the position that they just vacated. But this is absolutely my fault. I promise you that we'll be better."
But how much weight does that promise carry after five straight losses to Crimson Tide? The players and coach Miles claim the Arkansas loss wasn't a result of an Alabama hangover, but clearly, this team's not the same in November, and hasn't been the last couple of seasons. Since 2013, the Tigers are now 3-5 in the final month of the regular season with three of those losses coming to the Crimson Tide, while the other two are at the hands of the Razorbacks.
Granted, we knew this wasn't going to be an easy stretch of the season with four straight SEC West opponents. So did the Tigers, and it doesn't look like they were prepared.