The way it was relayed to me, it all started with a spitballing session by a few CBS Sports big-wigs sometime early in the summer.
Nothing official, you understand. Not in the official, upholstered conference room or anything like that.
It was probably happy hour somewheres in New York.
Anyway let's listen in from the next booth:
What if …
What if what?
Maybe … isn't it time … what if we tried another Game of the Century?
No reason, just thinking about the last one. You're talking about that LSU-Alabama thing, 2011 I guess it was.
Got great ratings.
Yeah. But everybody hated it afterwards.
The NFL loved it. About half the league stocked up their defenses out of that game. That's was a man's game there.
The last hurrah, maybe. It was 9-6, overtime, no touchdowns. People fell asleep. It's a new world. Your millenials, they want them their offense, video-game stuff, else you'll never get them off their smartphones.
That's just it. This sequel, see, it'll be different. Can't do the same thing after all.
This will be the same thing, same athletes, only with a couple of those rat-a-tat-tat offenses, and they'll be spreading it out and hurrying-it-up and throwing it all over the lot. Twitter won't be able to keep up with them. They may ring up a 100 or so.
LSU … Alabama … shootout? Intriguing. Trying to wrap my arms around it. But nobody would believe it.
Forget all your preconceived notions of LSU-Alabama.
But it's a parallel universe thing.
Bama's there, already took the plunge. Nick Saban's loving him some spread offense. Got him a Heisman candidate at quarterback and everything.
Fine, you're halfway there, but Les Miles will never go for it.
Not a problem. You didn't hear? He's gone.
Gone? What will our sideline cameras focus on if lovable Les isn't out there mad-hatting and tripping over cheerleaders and eating up the field?
Got you covered. They got a new guy, perfect for the role. Some crazy Cajun who crawled out from the back of the bayou, looks like he just stepped off a shrimp boat.
So life imitates a bad movie idea?
Crazy, huh? But so far it's working. Those nuts down there love ‘em some Ed Orgeron.
Coach O. I think he wears hip waders on the sideline.
Waders. It's a duck thing.
So will he get rid of LSU's boring old staid offense and put on a show for us?
I think so.
Honestly, couldn't understand a word he said.
But he seemed all for the idea? The modern offense and all? I can't do 9-6 again.
What'd he say?
He said — let me look at my notes again — quoting here … "Geaux Tigahs."
So who's going to put this offense in?
Some 12-year-old whiz kid who came from the Saints, Joe Brady, or some such. They got him paired with some 90-year-old coordinator, Steve Slingersomething, who's been waiting half his life to do something like this.
I like it. But you just snap your fingers and, presto, instant offense?
That's the plan.
No growing pains.
The way I got it figured, yeah.
It'll look like a precision machine out of the gates, you understand, then the Tigers will leave their defense home and still machine-gun Texas early. Everybody'll know they're serious about it then.
And Alabama is already there, you said?
Yeah, a little more gradual, but Saban doesn't miss much. He saw this coming right after the 9-6 fiasco and started easing into it.
But with LSU it was, like, what, bam, instant offense?
Yeah. Turns out LSU had the athletes to do this stuff all the time, just like all the fans always suspected. You just watch, flip a switch, 50-60 points easy as you please.
OK, I like it … but wait a minute. This is LSU, you can't do this stuff without a quarterback and the Tigers haven't had one since Y.A. Tittle.
Got you covered. We loan them a humdinger from Ohio. Perfect for the offense and the kid, Joe Burrow, is tough as rusty nails. My guess is he'll be Heisman front-runner by game time.
So two of the Deep South's traditional powers will play another Game of the Century with quarterbacks from Ohio and Hawaii?
Mass appeal, right?
And it'll be No. 1 vs. No. 2 again?
Even better. We up the ante. This time it's No. 1 vs. No. 1.
I'm not following the math there.
It's a technicality, but we can sell it. LSU will be No. 1 in the media poll, Alabama No. 1 in the coaches.
I like it.
And this one will be in the daytime.
Not prime time?
No. It's better. Baton Rouge you want dark and foggy. In Tuscaloosa, Bryant-Denny looks more natural in the daylight.
Let's do it.
Hey, what if we invite the President?
Nah, that'd be overdoing it.
Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at email@example.com