Ron Higgins, the editor of Tiger Rag Media, is an award-winning multi-media sports journalist with 41 years of experience covering the Southeastern Conference and national sporting events. We are appreciative and excited to have his expertise.
Describe the excitement around this LSU team.
“From the very first game when LSU scored in five straight TD drives against Georgia Southern in an offensive style Tigers’ fans have been begging for forever, the excitement level is through the roof. At a school where for years where a load of NFL talent was saddled in a predictable I-formation, the purple-and-gold faithful can’t get enough of LSU’s offense averaging close to 50 points per game.”
This coaching staff in Baton Rouge seems to be a perfect blend with this tremendously talented team, how has this all come together?
“Ed Orgeron has made few changes since being named head coach at the end of the 2016 season, after he served as interim. He finally has the staff that he wants. The missing piece was passing game coordinator Joe Brady, a 30-year old whiz kid, who will likely be the first Broyles Award winner ever to capture that honor in his first season as a college assistant. Brady, who was an offensive assistant last year for the New Orleans Saints, has injected elements of the Saints’ passing game and some nifty RPO plays. The partnership between Brady, offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger, who at age 61 is almost twice Brady’s age, and starting quarterback Joe Burrow has been spot-on all year.”
Please describe the love affair with Joe Burrow and the Tigers fan base.
“Almost from day one after he came to LSU in the summer of 2018 as a graduate transfer from Ohio State, Burrow was made an honorary Cajun. He was immediately dubbed “Jeaux Burreaux.” His leadership, his toughness, and his work ethic quickly endeared himself to his teammates and fans. No matter where Burrow’s career takes him as he enters the NFL this year, he will always be one of the most beloved players in LSU history. He’ll never have to buy his own meal in Baton Rouge for the rest of his life.”
Where would you rank this Tigers team – up to this point obviously – with some of the best in Baton Rouge history?
“It’s among the top five, along with the 2003, 2007 and 1958 national champions, and the 13-1 2011 team that lost 21-0 to Alabama in the national championship game. Offensively, the 2019 Tigers have destroyed the school record books and will make their mark in the SEC and NCAA record ledgers also. But it needs to finish the job and win the national championship, and there are tough roadblocks ahead.”
What is your take on Georgia?
“The Bulldogs do what it takes to win. They play an old-school SEC style of football that drags down game tempo and wears out defenses. If I were a Georgia fan, I’d like to see Jake Fromm throw more, because I think he’s absolutely brilliant. Defensively, the Bulldogs are just solid top to bottom. Fundamentally sound, rarely out of position. You can tell Georgia has a former defensive coordinator as a head coach. And I love Rodrigo Blankenship. With those big ‘ol black-rimmed glasses, it’s like having Clark Kent turn into Superman as your placekicker.”
Ron, you are a legend in this business and in SEC country, take us through some of the highlights of your career and some of your favorite moments?
“The greatest college player ever – and there is no debate – was Georgia Heisman Trophy-winning running back Herschel Walker. I was just starting my professional career a year after I graduated from LSU when Herschel “My God, he’s just a freshman” trucked Tennessee safety Bill Bates and eventually led Georgia to the 1980 national champion.”
“I loved watching Steve Spurrier coach. He was absolutely unfiltered whatever he said, which was a dream to the media. He also revolutionized SEC offense and was the master of mind games with his verbal jabs at Tennessee and Georgia.”
“There are so many great games and plays that I’ve witnessed in person I can’t mention them all.”
“But the three I watched from afar and wish I had been there live covering the game were Buck Belue’s 93-yard game-winning “Run Lindsay Run” TD pass to Lindsay Scott in the Bulldogs’ 1980 win over Florida, LSU’s Bluegrass Miracle 74-yard game-winning TD in 2002 on a pass that ricocheted off several Kentucky defenders as time expired and Auburn’s 2013 “Kick Six” 109-yard TD return off a missed Alabama field goal to upset the Tide on the final play of the game.”
What, if any, are some changes you would like to see in the SEC/College Football?
“More transparency in officiating. College football and the SEC should allow a pool reporter from the media at every game who is allowed to ask the referee afterwards about certain situations that transpired. Now, you get nothing but maybe a statement from the conference office several days later. Most of the time, you don’t even get that. Also, I’d love to have an in-house camera at the SEC office in the centralized instant replay room to watch how decisions are made on reviewed plays.”