Well fellow Tiger fans, I know it's not quite midseason yet, but I wanted to share with you my feelings thus far. Many of us, including myself, had some pretty lofty expectations coming into this season--with the reason for that simply being our National title season last year. While even though I've always hoped for an SEC championship every year since I started watching Tiger football--even during the dreaded Hallman years when my love and passion for LSU football surpassed rational thinking, heading into this season, rational thought revisited me. Sort of. I didn't expect a repeat title--recent past has indicated that in today's world of college football, you RARELY experience the "back-to-back" title seasons that might have been common 20-50 years ago. So even though I didn't expect another National title game for our team this year, given the fact that we entered the season with question marks--namely at the QB positon, which, as we all know hasn't been solved as of yet. We also had question marks at WR. Not doubting the talent that we had returning, but the poise and experience is what made some of us, again, myself included, a bit concerned. Another thing that concerned me was losing a lot of players from last year that were so important in helping us win the National title. Replacing players like Clayton, Henderson, Mauck, Lavalias and Hunt, and having to go with players that had either not played in a Tiger uniform, or didn't look particularly comfortable in prior games and having to compete with a "bullseye" on your back. Going into Jordan-Hare, Samford Stadium and The Swamp with young, inexperienced players is not easy. Having said that, yes, after the diehard fan in me hoped for a BCS game, I was willing to accept 2nd-tier bowl games such as the Capital One bowl, and even the Cotton Bowl would be more than acceptible. Capital One, seemingly is out of our reach. The Cotton Bowl might slip through our fingers depending on if we fall to the Gators this weekend, but there's one thing that I'm looking for in this weeks game--hustle. If our Tigers can show hustle, execution on both sides of the ball, and play a clean, solid, game, then win or lose, my confidence level will take a step up where it otherwise fell pretty hard after the UGA loss. A big positive that I can take into this weeks game is that after five weeks, and a 3-2 record, I'm looking at it as this: Our 2 losses, though UGLY, have come one the road. Against the current ranked 3rd and 6th teams in the country. And with an offense that will return intact next season minus the loss of All-American Ben Wilkerson (and all of our "skilled position players" return--the majority for 2 more years), the current lull that we're going through ends soon (not to mention that this schedule from hell softens after this week. Offensively, after feeling disgust and anger, I'm beginning to since a little bit of pride. I'm proud knowing that even though our boys are taking some serious lumps and steep learning curves now, we're going to have them for a long time. Defensively, I'm still perplexed at how we're seemingly getting burned deep in the passing game. I'm not saying that this is the sole reason for our defensive struggles, but until our offense manages to find a rhythm, and avoid turnovers, and sustain drives, then our defense won't get the rest that they despirately need.