I usually try to put my biases aside when writing. I try to be a neutral observer and not put too much emotion in my evaluation. But this game makes me feel something different.
It’s LSU vs. Bama. It’s arguably the two most talented teams in the SEC squaring off. CBS made the mistake of not choosing this game as their night game this season, one that I’m sure will be remedied next season. No matter which ranking system you are using, this is a top 3 matchup. The storylines don’t really need to be manufactured. It’s Joe vs. Tua, two Heisman candidates squaring off. It’s Saban vs. the school he resurrected and then spurned for our biggest adversary. It’s Louisiana vs. the only outside school that can consistently recruit Louisiana.
I would liken being an LSU fan the past eight years to being Sisyphus, the absurd hero in Greek mythology who after living his life to the fullest, was charged with pushing a rock up a mountain to the peak for eternity, only to watch it roll all the way down every time. We perennially have a good/great season with potential national championship aspirations (minus those two weird seasons). We continuously carry that rock up the mountain, hoping to reach the pinnacle, only to witness the rock tumbling down the mountain when we play Alabama. Once that loss occurs, our title aspirations disappear, and our team has been known to drop games we weren’t supposed too.
Last season, many LSU fans felt like it was our best shot. We were at home, we had a gutsy quarterback, we’d beaten the brakes off of a great Georgia team. But, we witnessed a 29-0 massacre. Our offense couldn’t get anything going, and our automatic kicker even missed a field goal. This season, even some of the biggest LSU fans are hesitant to exude confidence. It was difficult for many to enjoy the beauty of this offensive explosion, because at the top of the mountain, our annual date with Alabama lingered.
In the Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus said, “We have to imagine Sisyphus as happy.” Each time Sisyphus embarked upon his journey, he had to have pleasure and meaning. In the face of adversity, we have to think Sisyphus looks at the rock and sees the journey instead of the consistent end result; that he sees the pleasure instead of the pain. We have to believe that Sisyphus just went for it, that he had hope that this time would be different.
While that belief has been an annual tradition for LSU fans, this year their faith has been lacking. Tua is going to play, Nick Saban still is a genius, and despite the fact that Alabama hasn’t performed up to the Saban standard, they still have more talent than anyone else. This Bama team hasn’t shown any obvious weakness this season; nothing looks really different.
But screw it. We can either go into this game with a frown and feel like losing is inevitable, or we can go into this game with an attitude that today’s going to be the day that LSU will finally kick Saban’s ass. LSU has Joe Burrow, a sleeping giant who was awakened by a 30 year-old wunderkind. They have Dave Aranda, a silent genius who commands no pomp and circumstance. They have Coach O, a man who was overlooked and discarded by LSU, who clawed and scratched his way into his dream job. They will help us carry this rock up the mountain and we will finally land at the top. LSU has the talent to compete on the lines and they have the skill players to compete. Geaux Tigers.
How to watch
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET