And I'm spent. Once again. Second time in three weeks. I can't do this much longer. And I'm only 27! What about all those people who've been clogging their arteries with etouffee for the past sixty years? I at least work out a few times a week to fend of some of that madness.
In post-game chats/texts with friends who'd watched on TV, I'd heard that it was an all-or-nothing call that Les made in going for that TD, and that it was game over if Byrd dropped it. So I began thinking that we'd just gotten lucky on that call, and sooner or later we cross the line into stupidity and the odds gods come a callin'. And that the typical announcers who are so quick to proclaim certain plays "The call of the year" (as I'd been told that Mike Patrick had done, before I was able to watch it on TIV0) don't really understand the concept of probabilities. That when judging a CALL, it should stand alone on the merits of that particular call in that particular circumstance, and not the outcome. That if a call has a 10% chance of huge success and a 90% chance of outright failure, one should be indifferent about the merits of the call whether it succeeds or fails. And the fact that it succeeded was what made Mike Patrick call it "The call of the year." And that he'd lambast it the nine times it failed and we were sent to our 2nd loss, ending our hopes of a national title. (And in the flip situation, a call that would be expected to work 90% of the time should still be labeled a great CALL in the 1-out-of-10 instance it doesn't work.)
Then I fire up the Tivo and see that Byrd has the ball IN HAND with 4 seconds on the clock. 3 seconds ticked off after he caught it. I think Mike Patrick was so caught up in the moment he didn't think to call that out. (Neither did ESPN's Chris Low, for that matter, and he had a lot longer to iron it out for himself.) In any event, even if that ball gets dropped and the remaining seconds tick off, or even if it gets tipped or bobbled before hitting the ground and the clock hits zero, the play gets reviewed to see if any time's left, and at least a second gets added back so we attempt the field goal (which is still a 50/50 proposition). It's a fine line in the event of some sort of tip or bobble, but I don't think it's THAT much of a do-or-die call by Les. I think there were some clock management issues throughout the game (play clock at least, in wasting timeouts to get plays in), and that ball probably should have been snapped with a couple more ticks on the clock. I think that we got away with one a little bit there, but again, I fail to see the win-or-lose proposition as being the only two outcomes of that play.
In any event, most of the first 40 minutes of play involved my getting acclimated to the fact that we're just not a championship team. Our defense was abused, and our execution on offense was abysmal. Timeouts were burned (even into the second half, with two quick ones used early), balls were dropped, balls were overthrown...yikes. Kudos to the architects of the halftime adjustments we made that kept Auburn scoreless until our last drive and to whomever it was who figured out that Early Doucet exists. And can catch. And until 1 second was left in the game, appeared to be our only WR who could stake such a claim.
Incidentally, Richard Dickson can catch too. I'm a little baffled we don't like to get him involved until the fourth quarter. Or so it feels. It would seem like the ideal thing to do to help a guy like Flynn get confidence in moving the chains in the first half. The power of a good-hands tight end who can get open down the middle of the field is beyond compare. But what the hell do I know? I manage investments for a living.
Auburn played about as good a game as one could imagine, in those circumstances. I think it is indeed a testament to the sheer level of talent on this LSU team that we were able to overcome the two turnovers and put together all those scoring drives in the 2nd half. As I noted before the game, I didn't think we had it in us to put that many points up on Auburn. The fact that we put up 23 in the 2nd half alone makes it that much more impressive.
As expected, we're now third in the BCS standings. What I didn't expect, though, was that we'd actually jump Oklahoma in the human polls to make it a more solid lead on them in the BCS.