LSU Texas

LSU Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow (9) reads the defense of Texas Longhorns defensive lineman Jacoby Jones (36) and pitches the ball to running back at Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas on Saturday, September 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Lake Charles American Press, Kirk Meche)

Pity the poor LSU fans now.

Sure, they're a loyal bunch. Rabid, too.

But next to tailgating, the most popular fan pastime around Tigerland has always seemed to be complaining about … something … anything … real or imagined.

So what now? What to do after LSU 45, Texas 38 and the resulting hoopla?

It's one thing to get the offense you always wanted — the one every fan swore would be the difference if only the coaches weren't so dadgum stubborn with dinosaur tactics and early Greco-Roman game plans.

It's a victory for LSU fans everywhere. Hey, you can make a difference. All those calls to talk radio and the message board ranting and raving finally paid off.

It's here. It's real. It's different. It might just be unstoppable.

And gosh is it fun.

You'd been warned it might happen. There were rumors, even promises all offseason. But you'd heard them all before and all it ever amounted to was more toss sweeps and occasionally, maybe on a particularly creative night, three wide outs.

Nothing to whine about here. Shoot, there are even beer taps in Tiger Stadium.

Oh, but not to worry.

When things are going good for LSU — and they have before — there's the old standby to fall back on.

The militia remobilizes and turns it turrets toward the national media, other fans, and pouts about the rest of the nation not paying proper homage.

The mantra: How come we get no respect? C'mon, where's the love for the Tigers?

Sorry.

Don't even go there. Can't sing that song right now.

The Sunday after Texas seemed to be proclaimed the official "Anoint LSU Day" in college football.

One big win with the nation watching.

So the Tigers got out of the car and college football's snooty maître d' was waiting, suddenly recognizing a once-familiar face, snapping his fingers, shoving others out of the way and motioning the Tigers under the velvet rope and up to the front of the line.

No, don't even wait there. Straight inside. Away from that riffraff. Tables were rearranged. New chairs materialized. Setup procured. Front row, Tigers, right this way.

One big win, and suddenly LSU seemed like a legitimate challenger to Alabama, a strong possibility for the College Football Playoff and some on national radio shows wanted to give Joe Burrow the Heisman Trophy at that moment.

Interpreters were brought in to decipher the genius behind Ed Orgeron's Cajun garble. He's not just a sideshow anymore. And passing game coordinator Joe Brady, all 29 years of him, is quickly the next hot thing despite a skimpy résumé.

OK, granted, that was quite a victory, all the better because most of the nation witnessed it.

I'm still trying to make some sense of it … and it doesn't really add up.

Silly me, best I can tell the Tigers went to Austin favored by six points and won the game by seven.

Well done.

But, just like that, it's a whole new world?

Never mind that we're only two games into a 12-game season.

All of sudden the college football world is falling over itself to proclaim LSU the nearest thing to an intruder on the Alabama-Clemson stranglehold on college football.

The latest Great Hope anyway.

Not sure what was in play here.

LSU has won some big games in recent years without this kind of commotion.

But let's try to figure it out.

Maybe style points do count.

If LSU wins that game at Texas 17-10, the Tigers still cover the spread, but maybe there's not quite the same buzz.

Instead, it was an eye-opener. It's almost like the rest of the country, with no allegiance, wanted LSU back in the discussion.

Or maybe Texas looked better than anyone was expecting, too.

Mainly, however, it was startling because it didn't just look like a slightly better version of the same old LSU.

It shattered the LSU stereotype of a team with a surplus of NFL talent stuck in the 1950s and — all together now — without a quarterback.

Apparently it was what everyone was waiting to see.

If LSU is going to not only throw it all over the … wait. It's not just about throwing the ball 37 times. Anybody can do that. LSU has done it occasionally (OK, usually out of desperation). No, it was the precision, the timing on display, mainly the ease and comfort level for a team doing something that supposedly went totally against its upbringing.

Or maybe everybody has always wondered what LSU would look like with a Heisman contender at quarterback. It was a sight to behold.

"It's a vision I always had when we took over," Orgeron said of the offense. "We finally got there. It took a few miscues to get there, but we're finally there. We have the coaches to do it, we have the receivers to do it, we have the quarterback to do it. And we're going to get better. We're going to keep getting better in this system."


Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at shobbs@americanpress.com

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