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LSU Tigers running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (22) celebrates after the touch down against Texas A&M Aggies during the Southeastern Conference mathup at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Saturday, November 30, 2019. (Dennis Babineaux/Special to the American Press)

BATON ROUGE — At some point, some point fairly early on, LSU's final appearance in Tiger Stadium this season quit being a Revenge Game and was morphing into something like Rubbing It In.

But maybe that wasn't it. Maybe this wasn't about avenging anything, even a seven-overtime loss from a full year ago to Texas A&M that LSU head coach Ed Orgeron is still smarting from.

That debt was pretty well paid by the end of the first quarter and the rest was just icing and deciding on a final score.

Nothing personal, Aggies.

It wasn't about you, LSU seemed to be saying.

It wasn't about all those bad breaks and questionable calls from that fiasco in College Station that seems like ages ago.

This solid-gold performance looked like a reaction to a slight far more recent.

Just last week it was that the Tigers were minding their own business, No. 1 in the rankings, kind of coasting along since slam-dunking the Bama Curse.

And then the Tigers woke up Wednesday morning suddenly dropped to No. 2 in the College Football Playoff rankings.

So forget the Aggies. They just happened to get in the way.

LSU's message from this game seemed to be: Yo, committee!

Yeah, you, the one fiddling with the CFP rankings.

So the Eye Test can trump the sterling résumé, huh?

Just to clarify: here's your Eye Test: LSU 50, Texas A&M 7.

Oh, Ohio State looks like the more "complete team?"

Define that, please.

How's this? LSU outgained Texas A&M 553-169.

What was it committee chairman Rob Mullens said?

"It is the defensive piece."

Yeah, that's it, the exact explanation, that's what he said, that's what got the Tigers docked a spot. That pesky "defensive piece."

OK, fair enough. It was kind of puzzling around these parts, too. Not exactly up to LSU's specs, and everybody had been having so much fun with this moon-shot offense it kind of got lost in the shuffle.

But why didn't you say so earlier?

How about taking the same Aggies quarterback — Kellen Mond, his name is — who accounted for seven touchdowns in last year's LSU version of Murphy's Law and frustrating him to 10 of 30 passes with three interceptions and five of the Tigers' six sacks.

The Tigers even put the cherry on top with a safety to get a nice round number like 50 to make that Eye Test easier.

Sorry about the seven points the Aggies scored. It was 34-0 by then, late in the third quarter, and it was about the lone defensive lapse, a wide-open Aggie getting loose for 45 yards to set it up.

Most have dozed off for a second.

Before that, A&M had 44 yards of total offense while the Tigers were having their own private track meet on offense.

Résumé still counts for something, right?

Assume you still have the pristine one from last week. Mark LSU down for 12-0, and the Tigers are still counting four wins against top-10 teams.

You'll probably want to downgrade the Alabama victory now that the Tide had to depend on a field goal again and lost to Auburn.

Go ahead and add Texas A&M to the résumé, at least as a quality rout, probably now as Defense Witness No. 1. Only a hideous schedule has the Aggies with a 7-5 record.

But don't let the 50-7 final score fool you.

The Aggies are still standing as the Signature Victory for No. 3 Clemson, the other Eye Test wonders, even if it was only a 24-10 shellacking the Aggies got from those Tigers.

Not sure where A&M fits in LSU's season hierarchy, except that it just proved the Tigers can get really scary when they play defense the way they were raised to.

But don't feel bad.

This was kind of the game, most notably adding that elusive defensive piece, that everybody around here had been waiting on too.

"That's what we've been looking for all year," Orgeron admitted. "We've been looking forward to this."

It was a blast for the Tigers, in some way maybe a sign of things to come.

Saturday was another ho-hum night, another 553 yards of offense, more points going off like fireworks, everybody getting in on the action, mostly Joe Burrow ­— or Burreaux, as he changed his name to, at least on the back of his jersey, just for senior night.

The committee has nothing to do with it, of course, but you might as well start engraving his name — check with him as for "Burrow" or "Burreaux" thing ­— on the Heisman Trophy.

But just to double-check, it should be safe to assume that LSU is in the CFP playoffs regardless of what happens in Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game next week.

It's now all about seeding.

The Tigers will get another chance to polish up that Eye Test. But they now have a measuring stick as to how good they can play.

It was pretty awesome.


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

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