Thoughts from one final look back at Saturday’s epic LSU-Alabama game ...
... Forget if you can your stake in the final score of Alabama 21, LSU 17 and step back for a moment to consider what a glorious weekend it was.
This was simply a fantastic matchup and all the game you could hope for, far superior in terms of all around entertainment value and skillful play than LSU’s 9-6 overtime victory at Alabama last year.
From the thousands who descended on campus starting during the week (LSU Police estimated 160,000-170,000 were on hand Saturday) to the crowd for ESPN’s “College Game Day” show to the game itself, it was a grand spectacle. As former Auburn coach Pat Dye said on Monday’s Paul Finebaum radio show, Saturday night in Baton Rouge is the reason why the SEC is the best conference in football and why everyone in the country wants to watch it.
... There have been times in recent years when Tiger Stadium didn’t seem as loud as it has in the past, amid claims that the crowd has gotten too corporate, to comfortable in its suites and club seats.
Saturday, Tiger Stadium was at its ear-splitting best, and some in the press box said they actually felt it rocking. High-definition multiple camera angles are great, but there is nothing better than actually being there at times like that.
... Barring an unprecedented collapse by the six teams ahead of LSU in the BCS standings, the 7-2 Tigers’ national championship aspirations have been shelved for the season. No two-loss team is going to play for the title this time, though that doesn’t mean that LSU doesn’t have something to play for in its final three games plus a bowl. A strong finishing kick to 11-2 would vault the Tigers well up into the final polls and virtually assure a top 10 ranking going into the 2013 campaign.
... Speaking of bowls, LSU still has a dark horse shot at the Sugar Bowl should the Tigers finish 10-2 and the following happen: Bama goes to the BCS championship, Florida drops its final game at Florida State to finish 10-2, Georgia gets creamed by Alabama in the SEC championship game to be no better than 11-2, and South Carolina loses its finale at Clemson to go 9-3. Even if the Gamecocks finish 10-2 with a Clemson win, LSU would have a chance.
Most are predicting a Cotton Bowl trip for LSU, but there are starting to be rumblings of a Texas-Texas A&M matchup. If that happens, LSU might wind up in Florida to face Michigan (Les Miles’ alma mater) in the Capital One Bowl or in the Outback Bowl for the first time in 23 years.
... The only big negative from the weekend were the thousands of LSU students who cursed at former LSU and current Alabama coach Nick Saban as he walked across the field before Saturday’s game. It was a shameful display, a complete lack of class and decorum.
Some may pass this off as frivolous, alcohol-induced childishness, but LSU students should aspire to be better than that.