HOOVER, Ala. — The LSU-Texas A&M rivalry may have began with the Gatorade bath, oh yes, Ed Orgeron's premature Gatorade bath deep in the heart of Texas.
That moment in late November is as good a start as any.
As the sports drink showered over Orgeron, LSU led Texas A&M 31-24 in the final minute of the 2018 regular season finale.
You remember don't you?
LSU safety Grant Delpit had seemingly recorded a game-ending interception, which would have sealed the Tigers' eighth-consecutive victory over the Aggies.
But the officials ruled Aggie quarterback Kellen Mond's knee was down, and so began a seven-overtime, controversy-riddled, 197-play, 4-hour, 53-minute epic that ended in a 74-72 Texas A&M victory, the program's first over LSU in Southeastern Conference play.
And do the LSU players remember it?
"That really stuck with me a long time," quarterback Joe Burrow said at SEC media days. "Stuck with me through the bowl game."
Orgeron has said frequently in the offseason that Texas A&M was a game his program should've had back, and when he took the main stage Monday, he still contended his Tigers "were two plays away from being 12-1."
From Mond's knee being down, an apparent Delpit forced-fumble that was ruled an incomplete pass, to an influential pass interference call on former cornerback Greedy Williams before the game's final play (which SEC head of officials Steve Shaw later said could have been handled differently), there were plenty incidents to help Texas A&M stick in the minds of LSU players more than the Aggies had ever before.
"I had the pick that wasn't, the fumble that wasn't, a lot of things," Delpit said at SEC media days. "They got us last year. It's definitely going to mean more to me, and we've got them at home (this year), so we're definitely going to be hyped up."
Yes, Nov. 30, when Texas A&M plays at Tiger Stadium in the regular season finale, is a date that's circled for plenty of people from both schools, and the ties have only deepened between the border-state programs since last year's thriller.
LSU pulled off a major coup in April, luring athletic director Scott Woodward away from Texas A&M to return to his hometown and alma mater with a six-year, $7.95 million contract.
Woodward, who spent three years at Texas A&M, was the man who hired Jimbo Fisher, a former LSU offensive coordinator, away from Florida State in 2017 to come to College Station, Texas, with a 10-year, $75 million deal.
Fisher remembers his time at LSU well, fondly recalling Tuesday his pick-up basketball games with former head coach Nick Saban and assistant Will Muschamp, saying he'd team up with Saban and that Muschamp always accused them of cheating.
Fisher brought Florida State back to prominence, winning the 2013 BCS national championship and owning a 7-1 overall record against in-state rival Florida.
"Rivalries come when both teams are good," Fisher said. "And I think we're good in our program."
LSU and Texas A&M are both expected to begin the season well within the AP Top 25, and come late November, there ought to be plenty at stake.
"They're obviously a really good program," Burrow said. "Coach Fisher has done a great job with them, developing that program. I think it'll be a battle of two heavyweights next year."
And as for that premature Gatorade bath, Texas A&M's Mond said he didn't even notice it when he was on the field.
Mond said he only noticed there was ice near the sideline when he stepped back on the field, and he saw wide receiver Kendrick Rogers trying to scoop it out of the field of play.
After converting a 4th-and-18 and throwing a 19-yard touchdown pass to send the game to overtime, it was Mond's two-point pass to Rogers that won the game.
"All the drama that went on, all the close calls, one play could have changed the entire game," said Mond, a high school teammate of Delpit's at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. "I definitely feel like it's becoming a rivalry."
Texas A&M defensive tackle Justin Madubuike said it was almost fitting it took seven overtimes to break through the program's seven-game losing streak to LSU.
It'll be remembered as a game that changed college football, since it directly influenced the NCAA to change its overtime rules starting in 2019 to where teams will trade two-point attempts starting in the fifth overtime instead of trading possessions at the 25.
"Before, we were just losing to them, and every time LSU would come, everybody was 'Oh here we go, the LSU Tigers about to stomp and everything,'" Madubuike said. "But not this year. We got the win in such dramatic fashion. So we're thankful for that, but we're on to bigger and better things."