BATON ROUGE, La. — Fireworks went off for several minutes in Baton Rouge late Monday night.
On the Plains of Auburn, fans showed up at Toomer’s Corner and rolled the stately oaks with toilet paper.
You have to figure some sort of similar celebrations unfolded in places like Knoxville, Columbus, Ohio, and other college football hot beds.
Alabama’s 35-31 loss to Clemson in the College Football Playoff championship game was a big deal, and not just in the tiny burg in South Carolina that the Tigers call home.
In a lot of ways, that’s a sign of respect for the juggernaut that the Crimson Tide has become in the past 10 seasons. It also should be a new baseline for teams around the country – a barometer of what and how they need to build their programs to earn a coveted ticket to the CFP party in the future.
If you had to pick an SEC program poised to step to the front of that line like the prettiest girl waiting to get into a New York City nightclub, LSU certainly wouldn’t be a bad option.
As the transition continues for the Tigers under new coach Ed Orgeron, there are going to be difficult hurdles to scale and growing pains to manage. But LSU is closer to breaking through than any other program in the conference as things stand in the here and now.
Although Ole Miss might have an argument and Auburn has closed the gap at times, LSU is the only team that has consistently matched Alabama on the recruiting trail on an annual basis, at least until and unless the Georgia staff starts blending results with potential under Kirby Smart.
Part of that is because the Tigers possess a built-in geographical advantage. The Tigers are working in a recruit-rich environment where they don’t have to share the pieces of the pie.
Besides the built-in recruiting edge, LSU is also poised to get back in the fight with Alabama and go toe-to-toe because the Tigers are the contender with the freshest, most optimistic outlook right now. Orgeron has pushed all the right buttons and pulled all the right levers since he was named the permanent head man – most notably retaining Dave Aranda as the defensive coordinator and bringing in Matt Canada to oversee the offense. Part of that domino effect was highly touted high school quarterbacks Myles Brennan and Lowell Narcisse both declaring they are Baton Rouge-bound.
As was pointed out via LSU football Twitter before the title game, Aranda’s LSU defense gave Alabama its toughest test all season and Canada’s offense at Pittsburgh was a main reason the Panthers handed Clemson its only loss in a championship season.
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) January 9, 2017
In the world of social media and what have you done for me lately, those are nice feathers in LSU’s helmets.
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