1. Brandon Harris is starting on Saturday. You knew this was going to happen. I knew this was going to happen. My dog, who barks whenever you lift your arms up to make a "touchdown" signal, knew this. It happened a lot on Saturday, something LSU fans have grown accustomed since the high-powered offense of 2013 came in and blew everyone's expectations away.
2. Harris seems to have brought some of that magic back to the offense of 2014, which until now had been a car running on flat tires at best and an exploded car at worst. I can't pin it on anything specific or quantifiable, but the offense seems streamlined under Harris. I was excited to see the freshman get the lion's share of the snaps against New Mexico State after Anthony Jennings' benching, because it seemed obvious to the 80,000 who showed up in Tiger Stadium and the 20,000 who stayed for the duration that Harris offered the best chance to win. They're not wrong.
3. Brandon Harris doesn't weigh 300 lbs., nor does he play defensive tackle. Tiger Rag's James Moran illustrates this point beautifully in his column this week. How thin the defense has been up front could bode very, very, very poorly for LSU, as could its tendency to give up big plays. Harris may have to bail the defense out by putting up points on SEC competition. Is this possible? I have no idea.
4. Harris is also making his first start on the road against Auburn in Jordan-Hare Stadium, a place where weird stuff happens whenever LSU visits, and a place that hasn't been kind to us. You know what I'm talking about. Ronnie Prude's questionable personal foul in 2004. The waved-off pass interference in 2006. Cam Newton dragging Patrick Peterson into the end zone. The Barn burning. Whatever the hell that 2012 game was. You know what I mean.
5. I don't know what to expect from this game. Some people say it's an easy call to pick Auburn at home, others don't. Some Auburn writers I've read seem uneasy about this week, some seem more confident. Will LSU's defense get run all over? Will the offense bail their friends on the other side of the ball out if that happens? Has Nick Marshall and the Auburn offense as a whole regressed? What's Gus Malzahn got against sweaters with sleeves anyway? The more I look at this game, the more I see question marks, quit pondering, and figure that I'm going to hang on to the rails for the ride for dear life while praying we get a win.
6. Six. Brandon Harris wears this number. It is also the number Rohan Davey wore, and he was the last LSU starting quarterback to wear it. This is about all I have to offer in terms of analysis. I'll leave analysis up to the guys who are more qualified. After staying up to watch Arizona defeat Oregon for the second straight year, I'm going out on a limb and saying that 2014 could be weirder or might be less weird than 2013 was. It's either one or the other, and October is where college football season begins going clownshoes bananas. It could start this week with LSU upsetting Auburn. It could not. Both sides of the issue are valid, because all we have at this point is conjecture and no absolutes. Analysis is a crapshoot, and I'm convinced that LSU may or may not win this game. I have bourbon, barbecue, and a loose grip on my sense of sanity. LET'S DANCE, PLAINSMEN.
7. Changing subjects. Auburn week is always an interesting one for me, because I seem to play the foil to Poseur's hatred of them. I grew up indifferent to Auburn because my brother and I went to a few JROTC drill meets there, and the people always seemed friendly enough. When I got to LSU I had the good fortune to meet someone who is from there and became good friends with her. She's introduced me to lots of people from the town and the school, and they're all affable folk, so I love making the trip if I can. While they're not without their lunatic fringe, which fan base isn't? At least Tammy and Charles are entertaining.
8. Unfortunately this year I cannot, for four weeks straight (five if you include Houston) of games and tailgating have taken their toll on me. But if you get the chance, go. Eagle Flight is awesome, and the campus is one of my favorites to visit. In fact, I'd say it's tied with UGA for my favorite trip (don't tell my Auburn friends I said that).
9. But in the spirit of competition, I'm going to muster the only bit of banter I can seem to for this game.
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