For diehard fans, which is just about everyone in Louisiana, the victory of LSU over Oregon in the Cowboy Classic was a splendid season opener.

But for the diehards, even sweeter was the resulting Associated Press poll ranking LSU at No. 2, ahead of longtime rival Alabama, displaced after an easy victory over Kent State.

Just shows that strength-of-schedule counts for something.

And it was an especially sweet win for a team that suffered because of curfew violations and arrest of its starting quarterback.

That this turmoil was overcome speaks well of LSU’s prospects in the pressure-cooker of the season ahead.

Congratulations to coach Les Miles and his Tigers.