See if you can follow along here. It's complicated. I'm having trouble making sense of it myself.

Best I can tell LSU and Texas have played each other exactly twice in the last 64 years, and it took Cotton Bowl invitations to do that.

It's been 65 years since they last played at a one or the other's home stadium.

They have played 17 times all told, but most of them were before World War II, back in the leather helmet days, quite a few of them with nothing more than bad sideburns and handlebar mustaches for protection.

So it seems like the Sabine River has been a pretty effective barrier, possibly for the good of mankind but also to the detriment of every college football fan who loves silly pettiness in their pregame build-ups.

See, if I'm reading the mood right, Saturday's game in Austin has the feel of a long-running, bitter blood feud with all the nasty trimmings.

Never mind the players. They'll do their thing. But the fans seem to really hate each other.

Sure, LSU fans can be, let's just say, a tad annoying for some tastes. And Texas fans are way too smug for most innocent bystanders' sensibilities.

My question is: How do they know each other? Or at least have an opinion of each other.

Border states, yes.

But the Tigers were playing Texas A&M fairly regularly long before the Aggies joined the SEC, and yet it took A&M hiring longtime LSU heartthrob Jim Fisher and seven overtimes to get any traction going in that rivalry.

But all LSU and Texas have to do is schedule a football game and — boom, instant vicious rivalry.

And pity poor A&M, which has to pick a side in this thing.

True, LSU and Texas have crossed paths in Omaha a lot at the College World Series. It's the two baseball fan bases that Omaha can most count on to relocate to the Midwest en masse when appropriate.

But even when LSU took two of three from the Horns to win the 2009 national championship, it looked more like a social gathering than anything the National Guard needed to muster up for.

Football must be different.

Both schools pursued Tom Herman before he settled on coaching Texas, but LSU seems happy with eventually taking Ed Orgeron.

The Longhorns also made a serious (and near-successful) run at stealing away LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri a few years ago.

You see the fun this week has been and wonder why it took so long to get an actual game scheduled.

There was talk 15 or so years ago of getting a two-game set in which LSU would host in New Orleans (Superdome) and Texas would host in Houston (NRG Stadium). But it never got past the rumor stage.

It took Notre Dame canceling a home-and-home with the Horns to get them to the bargaining table.

So here we are.

It wasn't even game week when the bitterness started.

LSU fans spent most of the summer wondering why they couldn't get tickets.

Then it slowly leaked out that, per the contract, LSU was allotted only 3,000 tickets, all of them in the upper deck of a 100,00-seat stadium.

It was supposed to be 5,000 — a fraction of what LSU could have sold; contracts for SEC games generally call for visitors to get 7,000 — but apparently some seats are out of commission for a stadium remodeling job. That lopped more out of LSU's stash.

Not to worry. Texas goes to Tiger Stadium next year and will get the same meager accommodations. Fair is fair, and the Longhorns will be finger-pointing and complaining just as much as LSU fans are now.

Last week the whole DBU thing flared up again, with the Longhorns, to use to current vernacular, "trolling" LSU during pregame warm-ups for their season opener by wearing T-shirts that read "There's only one DBU."

Give the Longhorns credit. They'd done their homework and know of LSU's self-anointed claim to the DBU tag.

LSU countered after its opener when linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson, a Houston native, described Texas star quarterback Sam Ehlinger as"not too much of a threat" who "has a decent arm, but it's more about his legs."

It apparently offended some people.

But it turned comical when Texas fans, perhaps unaware there's a season for everything, warned on social media that LSU fans shouldn't bring their "nasty mud bugs" to the tailgate for one of those crawfish boil rituals.

What few LSU fans can get in no doubt are practicing their "Horns Down" sign that Big 12 fans love to throw in UT's face.

So this really has potential.

Too bad it's just a two-game series with, given the contracts already in place, no real prospects for anything after that.

Enjoy it while you can.


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

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