ARLINGTON, Texas - Change the season.
Change the venue.
Change the team.
Same. Old. Song.
And if you’re an LSU fan, and by proxy a Southeastern Conference fan, it is yet another victory in yet another big non-conference game with BCS implications that sounds just as sweet.
“SEC! SEC! SEC!”
This is the sound that Oregon fans will have ringing in their ears all the way back to the West Coast. It’s the same taunt they heard in Glendale, Ariz., eight months ago when their Ducks lost the BCS National Championship Game to Auburn.
New opponent. New places. New names. Old potent weapons in Oregon’s high-tech Nike-designed Batman-esque garb like LaMichael James and Darron Thomas, weapons LSU’s offense in stodgy old white jerseys didn’t possess.
It was like it didn’t matter. It was like Oregon’s preseason No. 3 ranking didn’t happen. It was like the good old times for No. 4 LSU after a bad, bad offseason.
It may be rainy in Baton Rouge. It may have been gloomy for the last month or two.
But with Nike’s Phil Knight watching, it was a dark night for Oregon as the Tigers pounded out a 40-27 victory that included a completely cosmetic final touchdown for the Ducks with :13 left.
The Tigers looked at times like a power-hitting outfielder in baseball. There were swings and misses, screwing themselves comically into the ground.
But when Oregon left the ball fat and over the plate, the Tigers knocked it out of Tiger, er, Cowboys Stadium (the place was three-fourths LSU fans), smashing out a few of the massive end zone windows in the process.
How good is Oregon? Won’t know for weeks. How good is LSU? There are more tough tests to come.
But this is what good teams do: the Tigers turned four Oregon turnovers into 21 points. One was on a spectacular fumble recovery by Tyrann Mathieu (does he make any other kind of play?) when LSU’s offense was struggling. Then the Tigers took two De’Anthony Thomas fumbles and used them as fuel for a 14-0 third-quarter burst.
There was still a quarter to play, but at that point the Ducks were cooked.
Credit Jarrett Lee for doing a credible job at quarterback and for tight end Deangelo Peterson (four catches) for being such an attractive target. Credit Spencer Ware and Michael Ford (combined 195 yards rushing, 3 TDs) for wearing Oregon out.
Credit that gritty LSU defense for keeping a jittery Thomas out of his comfort zone all night.
Before the game, the questions were how would LSU be able to hang without the suspended do of Jordan Jefferson and Russell Shepard.
Then they hung 40 on Oregon. Could LSU have expected to fare any better if they had played?
Change is inevitable and sometimes good. But it hasn’t come to college football yet.
Not on this first weekend anyway.
Not on LSU’s watch.
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