In This Corner: Without Mathieu, LSU vs. TU won’t be the same
When the 2012-13 Towson football schedule was released in April, the Sept. 29 matchup against Louisiana State University instantly caught the eye of Towson fans all over.
Personally, I was excited for two reasons.
I wanted to see how Towson’s offense and special teams would deal with Heisman trophy finalist Tyrann Mathieu, and I was interested to see how Towson would vie against such a dominant program.
Mathieu, known as the “Honey Badger,” is a dynamic player who produced 133 tackles, four interceptions, 11 forced fumbles and scored four touchdowns – two punt returns and two fumble returns – in just 26 games as a member of LSU’s squad.
Unfortunately, recent substance abuse issues have overshadowed Mathieu’s on-the-field triumphs and led to LSU Head Coach Les Miles dismissing him from the team. As ESPN reported, Mathieu chose to enter a drug rehabilitation program, and Mathieu’s adoptive father told ESPN that there is no timeline on the Honey Badger’s return to academics or football.
It will be interesting to see how the defending Colonial Athletic Association champion Tigers will compete with the defending Southeastern Conference champion Tigers.
The CAA has been dubbed the SEC of the Football Championship Subdivision due to the conference’s recent dominance. The SEC rules college football with six straight national championships and since 2003, the CAA has produced four FCS national champions and three runner-ups.
For those who think this game is going to be a walk-through for LSU, I would like to remind you of a game that was played on Sept. 1, 2007 – Appalachian State vs. Michigan. App State shocked the nation and upset the No. 5 Wolverines in what some consider the biggest upset in the history of sports.
The 2012 preseason Associated Press Top 25 has LSU listed as the No. 3 team in the country.
Towson is the preseason CAA favorite.
With all of that being said, the Sept. 29 game won’t stir up the same exhilaration for me.
Towson will be playing LSU at the historic Tiger Stadium, that’s for certain.
And there will surely be an electrifying player returning punts for LSU and another freak-athlete who is a lock-down cornerback, but neither will be Mathieu.
LSU said that about 20 programs have asked for permission to talk to Mathieu about transferring. If Mathieu were to transfer to another Football Bowl Subdivision school, he would have to sit out for one year. If he chooses, however, to transfer to a Football Championship Subdivision school, he would be eligible to compete right away. Nobody knows where or when Mathieu will end up playing football again.
Mathieu is currently on a new journey, one to get his life back on track.
This football season will go on with or without the Honey Badger. But as he stated from his Twitter account (TM7_Era), he will be back.
“On a mission to gain back what I’ve lost!!! #ForeverLSU,” he tweeted.