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Joe Burrow adds LSU to the championship bracket as the Tigers celebrate after their 63-28 win over Oklahoma in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Saturday, December 28, 2019, in Atlanta. 

ATLANTA — So this is where the LSU Tigers find themselves, with their Geaux bateau setting a course for the national championship game:

They have run to so much daylight between themselves and the allegedly stiffening competition, they have set impossible standards for themselves to find a worthy challenge.

The matchup of Tigers -- and Death Valley legitimacy -- is set: The No. 1 LSU Tigers will face the No. 3 Clemson Tigers in the College Footbal…

“We’re still chasing the perfect game,” quarterback Joe Burrow said Saturday after LSU went boomer on the Oklahoma Sooners 63-28 on the strength of what may have passed for a darned near perfect first half.

Maybe it was more than that. But not by much.

“For about three quarters we played a complete game,” coach Ed Orgeron said.

If that’s so, it’s only because the Tigers were already ahead 56-21 going into the fourth, so far out of Oklahoma’s reach it would have needed a nuclear-powered Sooner Schooner to catch up (the ponies Boomer and Sooner were not up to such a marathon task). By the time it was over, Burrow was up on the concourse ordering one of those reasonably priced beers Mercedes-Benz Stadium is known for while Myles Brennan quarterbacked the coup de grace touchdown drive.

If it wasn’t perfect, it was close enough to make LSU a favorite over whichever team survived the Fiesta Bowl, Clemson or Ohio State, when they play for the College Football Playoff national championship Jan. 13 in New Orleans. No one can compete with LSU’s résumé, which now counts six of its school record 14 victories against teams that were ranked in the top 10 at the time. Three of those — Florida (42-28), Georgia (37-10) and now Oklahoma — were by double digits.

“We go into every game thinking nobody can stop us,” Burrow said. “That’s the way we think.”

It may have been that thinking that led to LSU linebacker Patrick Queen’s bulletin board-worthy boast at Thursday’s Peach Bowl media day.

When asked about the Sooners, Queen said flatly, “We’re going to dominate them.”

It may have been bad form, but he didn’t lie.

After Oklahoma forced a 7-7 tie midway through the first quarter, the Tigers made the Star Wars-like jump to light speed.

The rocket man, once again, was Joe Burrow.

Burrow’s record Heisman Trophy-winning landslide two weeks ago over OU quarterback Jalen Hurts and the rest was but a precursor to Saturday’s onslaught. Running through his progressions like a Hurst racing gear shift, in one breathtaking gulp of football Burrow threw an FBS record tying (for a half) and FBS bowl record-setting seven touchdown passes as LSU took a 49-14 lead at the break.

He scored on a 2-yard keeper in the third quarter. Clearly his production from one half to the next indicates Burrow is slipping.

“To be honest,” Burrow said, “it wasn’t my sharpest game.”


Burrow may be setting a record for record breaking, but he had no time for reflecting on any of that.

“Jan. 13 is the record we’re worried about,” he said.

There are so many numbers to attach to Burrow’s greatness they are almost becoming numbing by their sheer weight. But draw this card out of the deck: He now has 71 career touchdown passes in 27 games at LSU, breaking the record of 69 it took Tommy Hodson 44 games to set from 1986-89 (stats from his three bowl appearances did not count).

“I told my family at Christmas that he might get five or so against Oklahoma,” Hodson said from his home in Baton Rouge. “I thought it would be for the game, not halftime.”

Hodson has an appreciation for Burrow’s brilliance that only a fellow quarterback could possess.

“He’s throwing it on the spot to the right person,” Hodson said. “The scheme is great, but still you have to have a guy stand in the pocket and do it. When you spread the ball like that you have to have great vision, great decision-making skills.

“It’s pretty to watch.”