I woke up this morning and realized that for this entire week, I have common cause with Bama fans. Not only is this Auburn week, when I get to remind all of you precisely how much I hate Auburn, but Alabama is playing this week's "marquee" SEC matchup against Ole Miss. Who is ranked in the top ten.
See what has become of the world?! I find myself agreeing with Bama fans this week. Damn you straight to hell, Ole Miss. I would damn you there as well, Auburn, but that would likely be an improvement in y'all's situation. I've been to Auburn, and I wouldn't curse my worst enemy to spend more than a weekend there. Of course, y'all choose to stay in the Nation's Armpit voluntarily, so no cursing is required.
LSU has not started the season 0-2 in SEC play since 2001. I have no intention of the team starting now, but I would at least like to point out the 2001 team won the SEC title. You know how they made the title game? By beating the living hell out of Auburn.
You know how you get over disappointing losses? By winning your next game. And the game after that, and the game after that. You think Auburn fans really cared by the season's end last year that LSU kicked the stuffing out of their team? No, they were too busy planning a trip to the national title game (which, we should point out, they lost).
LSU needs to take a page from the Auburn playbook and - waitaminute. Sorry, I just threw up in my mouth. Give me a second...
OK. What were we talking about? Oh, beating Auburn and shoving it in their stupid faces. They aren't the only team that can pick themselves off the floor to rally their season. Coming from behind is what we do. That's Les Miles' thing, man. Never tell us the odds.
The LSU-Auburn rivalry is a recent creation. We didn't play all that much before SEC expansion in 1992, and we were placed in the same division. That's when we discovered that while Bama is evil and wrong about most things, maybe they got this "hating Auburn" thing right. As a show of thanks, we gave them "hating Ole Miss". One good turn deserves another.
Of course, making common cause with Alabama fans only makes me hate Auburn more. See what y'all made me do! You made me say something nice about the Gumps. That's how despicable y'all are.
The rivalry was also built on the fact that LSU-Auburn usually set the tone for the divisional race for about a decade. The winner had the inside track at making the trip to Atlanta, and the loser usually had dug themselves too deep a hole to come back.
Well, wear some flannel this weekend, because it's the 1990s all over again. LSU absolutely must win this game this weekend if the Tigers are to have any hope of winning the SEC title this year. This is as big as games get. There is no margin for error, so let's not err.
LSU is one win away from righting the ship and getting this season back on track. All we have to do is do the thing we've done in six of the past seven seasons: beat Auburn.
There are few things in life that give me more joy than beating the snot out of those cheating bastards, so having a must-win, backs-against-the-wall game against Auburn is like Christmas in October. This is why we wait all year for LSU football.
This weekend, LSU can save its season while, at the same time, crush the dreams of one of our biggest rivals. And we get to do it in their house.
This is one of those beautiful times to be a fan of the team. The bandwagon is empty. We've cleared out all of the, er, poseurs from our ranks. All that's left are the die hards. The true believers. The Delusional Optimists.
ESPN is setting up their traveling circus in Oxford. Right now, they've got to do what's right for them. Because it's their time. Their time! Over there!* But down here, it's our time. It's our time down here. That's all over the second we ride up in Malzahn's bucket.
* Short-lived as it will be. You should tune in for a few minutes to watch Bama mud stomp the Rebels' dreams into a fine powder. I'm hoping to DVR the exact moment their spirit breaks.
Some fans have already thrown in the towel on this season. Some feel discouraged. Some have lost their way. Well, I'd rather shine a light than curse the darkness. We've got a smoker and a full keg on this broken down bandwagon. There's still good seats available, and everybody is welcome on this great ride. Because we're going into that godforsaken hellscape, and we're coming out of that cursed stadium with a win.
All you gotta do is believe. Because know who believes right now? Every single player in the LSU locker room.
We're not Ole Miss. We don't talk about defeats before they even happen. We don't prepare excuses in advance for the inevitable disappointment. We are LSU. We expect to go out there and win, every single time. Let the losers and whiners complain about losses that have not even occurred. This is our time.
Comeback starts now.