I can sympathize with LSU and the sauna conditions in the Tigers' dressing room at Texas last weekend.

In a desperate attempt to flee our local July heat (and let's not forget humidity), I took my first trip abroad this summer.

The first stop was London, where we were greeted with a record heat wave, something like 96 degrees Fahrenheit.

It wasn't what we signed up for, but we trudged on.

Checking in at our "flat," the perfectly polite British chap manning the lobby apologized for the unseemly weather, in a conversational sort of way.

While showing us up to the flat, he casually mentioned that it was a shame it wasn't air-conditioned.

I stopped in my tracks. He must have noticed the horror in my face.

"But it's OK," he said politely. "You are from Louisiana, no? You are used to this heat."

There was an awkward pause.

"No, no," I said, for some reason trying (and failing) to affect a British accent. "You do not get used to 96 degrees. What we do get used to in Louisiana is … air-conditioning. Air — Con — Ditioning."

He solved the problem with a proper British shrug and suggested opening the windows, which did a fine job of letting that rare outside heat in.

Not to worry. By the next day merry old England had returned to being cool, crisp and partly drizzly and still forever driving on the wrong side of the road.

They also have electricity that, even with an adapter, will turn an everyday hair dryer into a leaf blower that will knock you into the next abbey or plinth.

But that's a story for another day.

Back to Texas, Austin specifically, where it's supposed to be hot in September and rarely disappoints you.

Just one last word on this episode and we will move on to whoever it is that LSU plays this week, which I believe is Northwestern State.

LSU's 45-38 win, the best and most-watched game nationally in the young season, is being overshadowed by hijinks off the field.

At the center of the "controversy," LSU complained that there was no air conditioning in the visiting locker room at the stadium and that it was a tad warm.

To which Texas replied: "But it's OK. You are from Louisiana, no? You are used to this heat."

No, no. Wait. That was somewhere else.

What Texas finally did say, in a carefully worded statement that went all the way up to Athletic Director Chris Del Conte, in effect was (paraphrasing here):

The visiting locker room does have air conditioning.

Does not, LSU shouted back.

Does so.

Does not.

Does so.

Does not.

Does so.

Then why didn't you turn it on?

We did … we think.

Well, it wasn't working.

We're trying to save the planet here.

And, furthermore, the complimentary party platter was stale … and oversalted.

Your guys were faking cramps.

Were not.

Were so.

Were not.

You drugged ‘em.

So then the whole thing took a left turn when an astute Texas reporter filed an open records request ­­— those things usually end up with somebody in jail — to get the temperatures from the stadium's visiting quarters during the game.

Somehow — who knew such a thing existed? — the University of Texas produced a spreadsheet listing visiting dressing room temperatures at 15-minute intervals during the game. And the data makes you wonder why LSU was not fighting frost bite instead of cramps.

Meanwhile, not one LSU player is on record as complaining about the heat or even the humidity.

But this isn't about the players.

This is about the fans, and it was the perfect win for LSU's fans in that they won and can complain about everything without bringing sour grapes into play.

We take you now to the cheap seats, where Bob Uecker is standing by with …

The LSU band was assigned seats in Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium that, though technically inside the stadium, were closer to the sun than the field.

You'd scale Mount Everest easier than lugging a tuba up there, but they were a hardy lot and you could almost spot them, if not hear them, with a good set of binoculars.

So, best I can tell, LSU now has the whole calendar year to scout things out, do laser measurements, and find the most remote spot in Tiger Stadium to return the favor for the Longhorns band's trip to Baton Rouge next season.

Some have suggested right behind the baseball home plate over at Alex Box Stadium.

And LSU may spend more millions to downgrade an already spartan visiting locker room of its own.

It's only fair.

Of course, the whole thing is frivolous, silly, nonsensical, childish, foolish, asinine, maybe petulant and mostly petty in an absurd sort of way.

And, if I may say so, delightfully so.

In other words, it is exactly what has made college football the greatest invention in American history.


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

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  • Updated

At some point this week, if it hasn't happened already, somebody from or partial to LSU will step forward to complain that the SEC's permanent crossover opponents are out of whack (anti-LSU) because the Tigers have to play Florida every year.

It raised a few eyebrows among the more suspicious in the LSU crowd when the Tigers dropped a spot to No. 5 in The Associated Press Top 25 poll, even though they did nothing more egregious than take a deserved week off.

It's a sadder state of affairs than we ever imagined if you can't believe what you read in the college football polls.

ON A FRIEND'S COUCH — It's a long story. It involves many, many hours on the phone talking with various airlines, mostly on hold listening to Muzak, while they canceled more flights and "just filled up" others that might have helped my cause.