LSU Football: The culture in Baton Rouge is as good as it’s ever been

Mandatory Credit: Brad McClenny-USA TODAY NETWORK
Mandatory Credit: Brad McClenny-USA TODAY NETWORK /

LSU football was on top of the world at the end of the 2019 season.

The Tigers put together one of the greatest seasons in college sports history in 2019, cruising to a national championship (behind an impressive 15-0 record) while breaking several records along the way.

When LSU beat Clemson to claim the program’s third championship of the 2000s, it instantly erased questions about whether or not Ed Orgeron was the right man to lead the Tigers’ football program.

Well….it erased those questions temporarily, at least.

Less than a year after guiding LSU to a national championship, Orgeron began facing scrutiny over the Tigers’ poor start to the 2020 season.

LSU got off to a 1-2 start last year, unexpectedly dropping games to Mississippi State and Missouri.

There were plenty of reasons, of course, for the Tigers’ tough start to the season. LSU lost 14 players to the NFL. And several other players opted out of the 2020 season. That’s a lot to overcome.

But that doesn’t matter to national talking heads. All they saw was the Tigers’ record. And then there were the rumors of “turmoil in the locker room”. 

Despite all the noise, LSU was able to rally and finish the season with back-to-back wins against Florida and Ole Miss (which resulted in the Tigers’ finishing with a respectable 5-5 record).

Considering LSU’s tough season last year, should there be any concern in 2021 that the Tigers’ culture isn’t where it needs to be?

LSU Football’s culture is as good as it’s ever been

Part of the reason LSU was so good in 2019 (aside from the insane level of talent the Tigers had), was the incredible culture that Coach O has built in Baton Rouge.

That culture may have felt absent last season, but trust me — it’s still present.

LSU defensive lineman Damone Clark recently spoke to 247Sports about the LSU standard and what it means in relation to the Tigers’ success.

“Everyone in this building has one common goal in mind, we want to hoist the trophy again,” said Clark. ” We want to be champions again. We have coaches that know what it takes and coaches that came in that know what it takes. All of us pulling on the same rope each and every day, then you don’t have to worry about the building being toxic.”

“Our head man, Coach O, that’s the standard of LSU,” added Clark. “He sets the standard. And he holds the leaders on the team to set the standard to the younger guys…..You can be a walk-on or scholarship player, it doesn’t matter. The LSU standard is the LSU standard.”

LSU had to navigate some speed bumps last season. Orgeron, however, is still the coach that led LSU to a championship in 2019. He knows how to build a team and a culture.

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And it’s clear from Clark’s comments that he’s built an impressive culture in Baton Rouge.