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It's Official: Sugar Bowl

It's not what LSU had hoped for, but at the end of the day, it's still the Sugar Bowl. It's still a national stage against the nation's most storied football program. It's a big pay day and a huge recruiting tool. But, it's not the Rose Bowl.

LSU wanted to get into a BCS game and make a unique and perhaps never to be duplicated trip to the Rose Bowl. The Tigers were to play either Michigan for the first time or USC in a game dripping with leftover grudges from 2003's split national championship. The Sugar wanted two out of town teams that would bring thousands of fans to give New Orleans' post-Katrina economy a much-needed infusion of tourism dollars.

For the past 10 days, ever since LSU's gutsy win at Arkansas, I had been looking at life through rose-colored glasses. It's kind depressing now to realize a once-in-a-lifetime chance passed by because of .010 of BCS standing.

Now, I'll descend on the Crescent City for it's signature game for the fifth time this millenium (both LSU games, both Virginia Tech games. The Va. Tech games is a coincidence). There's definitely worse places to be for New Year's Eve and a four-day party.

Of course, if you had asked me before the season if I would have taken a Sugar Bowl appearance this year, I would have said yes. But I also would have thought an SEC Championship had come with it. I'll surely enjoy the bowl, but make no mistake about it, I hold an even bigger grudge than ever before against the last name "Booty" and USC. The only silver lining is the Trojans can't play for the national championship and are probably overmatched against Michigan.

On the positive side, LSU is off to its third BCS bowl game, a claim only 10 other schools can make. The program has clearly placed itself among the nation's elite within the past six years and needs only to keep the wheels rolling.