LSU, like football teams everywhere, has a 24-hour celebration rule.
Sorry, Tigers, but that won’t cut it this time.
LSU is 8-0, having swept aside every opponent, every distraction, every potential pitfall.
Now, it’s time. Time for two weeks of Mardi Gras-styled, Super Bowl-sized, ivy-covered-hall hysteria.
Sound for collision. No. 1 LSU vs. No. 2 Alabama on Nov. 5 is dead ahead. The eccentric force - Les Miles’ Tigers - is about to meet the irritable object - Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide.
If the rankings hold - and it’s hard to imagine they won’t - it will be the first 1-2 regular-season matchup in Southeastern Conference history.
“That would be something to tell the grandkids,” said T-Bob Hebert, the Mr. Fix It of LSU’s offensive line. “That’s why it’s so special. A game like this doesn’t come along very often - or ever.”
So go crazy, folks. If you can’t now, when will you?
How big will it be? Even an Xbox version of college football would be hard-pressed to match it.
“This is going to be one of the biggest games I’ve ever played in my life,” defensive end Sam Montgomery said. “Football, basketball, video games, anything.
“They’re just like us - two powerhouses.”
If it weren’t for the difference in color schemes, it would be hard to tell these two teams apart. Both rely on brutal defenses, pulverizing ground games, sound special teams and just enough passing to keep the other guy honest.
Two weeks of prep work may not be enough to create a sliver of advantage between LSU and Bama. True, the Crimson Tide will have the home field, but on Bama’s home fields the Tigers are 10-4 since 1982.
It’s that even. It’s that big. It’s going to be that hard for either team to dislodge the other.
“Everyone knows the next game everyone is going to have to be up here,” Montgomery said, holding his right hand above his head. Then he held his left hand near his chest. “Those down here aren’t going to make it.
“This is a game for the big boys.”
LSU proved its manhood against Auburn with a 45-10 victory in which it once again proved distractions and absent players mean nothing to this team.
No Spencer Ware to gain the tough yards? Freshman Kenny Hillard was the battering ram.
No Tyrann Mathieu to make the game-changing play? Ron Brooks, who started for him at cornerback, did his best Tyrann impersonation with a pick six.
No Tharold Simon to shore up the secondary? Little-used reserves like senior safety Derrick Bryant made their presence felt with plays like his key sack, his first.
Hype it till you can’t hype any more. Nothing is too over the top now.
“I get goose bumps just talking about it,” said Hebert, who said he was pulling for Alabama to beat Tennessee to set up the ultimate matchup. “I can’t wait. I wish we could play tonight.”