This LSU team stands on the precipice of greatness. Before it lies the chance to not only go undefeated, win the SEC, and win the national title, but to put themselves in the conversation for the greatest teams in college football history.
But this team has not accomplished a damn thing yet.
There's a famous story that after the Miracle on Ice, the US hockey team still had to beat Finland in order to win the gold medal. Herb Brooks walked into the locker room before the game and simply told the team, "If you lose this game, you will take it to your graves."
No disrespect, but Arkansas is Finland.
LSU has already won the Game of the Century of the Week against a team even more evil than the Soviets. It was an epic game and one of the biggest wins in LSU's history. But if LSU goes out and loses to Arkansas, the game means precisely squat.
Outside of the Alabama game, LSU has not played in a game that was decided by less than 13 points. To put this in perspective, 2004 USC was a truly great team and they played four games decided by a touchdown or less. 2001 Miami, perhaps the best team of the last decade, also only played one game decided by less than a touchdown.
LSU, at this current rate, is in that conversation. And this team is doing it against an incredibly difficult schedule -- Arkansas will be the third team top five team LSU will play this season. Les Miles has always done a great job of maintaining his perspective of his place in the college football universe. He, and his team, are certainly aware this team's tremendous opportunity.
This is the stretch run. From this point on, there are no Ole Misses left on the schedule. From here on out, it is a steady diet of top ten teams standing in the way of this team and history.
We are unafraid. Instead, we embrace this challenge. If winning the title was easy, everybody would do it. And this is no longer just about winning a title, this is about greatness. This is about knocking on the door of the temple and then kicking that door down. This team belongs in that Pantheon of all-time great teams, now let's go out and prove it.
But they have not accomplished any of it yet. A loss this week, or next week, is nothing but a missed opportunity. This team cannot, it shall not, fail to achieve greatness. To do so is to throw this season away. Les Miles and this team will not let this happen.
I've heard talk about how LSU could make the title game with a loss to Arkansas. Well, that just misses the point entirely. The SEC title matters just as much, if not more than the national title. We don't need another title tainted by the whispers that we didn't really deserve it. This team needs to go out and remove all doubt.
There are only two options: Greatness or Failure.
It is up to this team to decide. We are not going to spend the next two weeks parsing formulas or petitioning for votes. This team needs to proves it belongs in the title game. Lose to Arkansas and we may stay find ourselves in New Orleans, but we will not have earned it. It will have been a gift.
We don't want your charity. No gifts. This is Greatness or bust.
Delusional Optimism is already booking a hotel room in New Orleans.