Word travels fast these days. Right around high noon in Baton Rouge on Friday, the news began to leak out.
The Honey Badger is gone. For good.
LSU junior cornerback Tyrann Mathieu has been dismissed from the program for reportedly failing (another) drug test.
The Mad Hatter: "Permanent. He won't be back."
Man, you know they're scrambling at Alabama St. What's his uncle's phone number?!?!
Mathieu was a first-team All-American last year and a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. He had a team-high 76 tackles, 7 1/2 of which went for losses, in addition to nine passes broken up and a pair of interceptions.
The Honey Badger also returned a pair of punts for touchdowns, including an electrifying score at the Ga. Dome that completely shifted the momentum in the Tigers' win over Georgia to win the SEC. He also scored a TD in a season-opening win over Oregon at Cowboys Stadium.
Mathieu did his thing with flair, inspiring his teammates while thrilling the LSU faithful. You could maybe call him a Poor Man's Deion Sanders, and that's no slight whatsoever.
But he's gone now after a pair of spectacular seasons with the Tigers, who are no longer favored to win it all.
VegasInsider.com handicapper Micah Roberts weighs in on this situation, "Despite the breaking news Friday morning, no sports book made any adjustments to LSU in its first game against North Texas where LSU is a 43-point favorite."
"We already have LSU low enough at 4-to-1 to win the Championship," said MGM Resorts race and sports vice-president Jay Rood. "One defensive player isn't going to change their outlook very much."
Roberts believes the Tigers will be fine without Mathieu, "The feeling throughout most sports books is that LSU is so deep at every position that any player on the team is interchangeable with the next great player awaiting his chance to play. When All-American cornerback Patrick Peterson left LSU's defense following the 2010 season for the NFL draft, all LSU did was win a National Championship the following season without him."
Sportsbook.ag has adjusted LSU's future odds to 7/1. As of 3:10 p.m. Eastern, the offshore website still had the Tigers' season win total off the board. It had previously been 10 1/2 with a heavy juice on the 'under' (-220 range).
Bovada has adjusted LSU's future number to 5/1 with USC the favorite at 3/1. The website has moved the win total to 10 'over' (-145) with 'under' backers getting a plus-115 return.
Brian Edwards can be reached at email@example.com.
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