Keep it strong in case anyone testing us
Right or wrong, if it's this, you don't mess with it
One of the ticks of being an LSU fan is accepting the fact that we don’t have one true rival.
Our historic rival Tulane has been reduced to nothing more than the few Green Wave fans left in Louisiana puffing out their chests when they beat us in a near-meaningless midweek baseball game.
Ole Miss is the closest second to Tulane and they have their in-state thing with Mississippi State.
Depending on what era you grew up in, Alabama and Auburn are third down the list, and those two schools have one of the most noted rivalries in the world, not just in college athletics.
Arkansas was a forced rivalry, doomed from the start when it was dumped on our desk by the SEC to manufacture interest. Florida has become more a rival than Arkansas, but that’s more due to the fact that Florida fans can’t change the fact that they are Florida fans and the two sides are historically good or evenly matched across the four sports each fan base cares about. That’s not to say Arkansas-LSU hasn’t produced any good rivalry moments or isn’t enjoyable, but it’s forced all the way down. The green beans are good, but it they’re not the first thing off the plate.
That leaves Texas A&M.
All this trappin, it’s got you offended
Texas A&M-LSU will never become a premier rivalry, not so long as the Aggies are checking their phone on our dates to see what their ex is up to. That’s an exaggeration, but it doesn’t mean it isnt true. Aggies are still obsessed with the Longhorns, and the feeling is mutual although they will never admit it.
But A&M makes sense as a rivalry, much more so than any team not named Tulane or Ole Miss. It’s a five and half hour drive between the two schools, which is very manageable. The two schools have met 55 times before dating back to 1899, with LSU holding a 32-20 record over Texas A&M. After the Aggies dominated the Tigers in five straight from 1991-1995 (also known as the Dark Years) the two schools picked up the rivalry with the 2011 Cotton Bowl, where LSU welcomed A&M’s transition to the SEC by beating them six times in a row, tying the series record LSU set back in 1960-1965.
Then there was the #WRTS ordeal, where Texas A&M claimed to own the state of Louisiana in the middle of a six-game losing skid to the Tigers.
If Ohio State-Illinois counts a rivalry, this should too.
But true rivalries require some tradition, and there really isn’t any in this sporadically-played, often one-sided rivalry.
Built an empire, that was my state of mind
And you know what? That’s okay with me. They keep coming into this game disinterested, and LSU keeps beating them. I like that system a lot and think we should adhere to it. It’s not yet tradition, but it’s close.
Coming into the game, it looks very likely that LSU will get their seventh in a row over A&M. Despite their three losses (Troy included) LSU has grown greatly as a team and despite how frustrating or unimpressive it has been at times, the proof is there and it’s hard to be disappointed about where the Tigers are in Year 1 of the Coach O Era. It’s equally as hard to be ecstatic, but LSU is on the right side of the fence.
Reports of Kevin Sumlin’s demise have been greatly spread. He’s been a lame duck for some time now, and it appears the wind is about to fall out from under him. The Aggies need this win to have their first conference winning record since 2012, the Johnny Football year.
Let’s give him one more L for the road.
Live at the garden
Licking off shots and we aim for the darkness
Scott Rabalais at the Advocate said it better than I can: “But atmosphere and fan support do make a difference. Again, people are free to come or not come to a game, though personally I think you shouldn’t boo college athletes. But it’s hard to justify holding LSU to a high standard of success, where a career 77 percent winning percentage can get you fired, if you’re not willing to hold up your end of the bargain.
LSU fans think of themselves and Tiger Stadium as being the greatest in college football. There’s no excuse for not living up to that reputation Saturday night.”
This is it y’all. After Saturday night, Death Valley will close up shop for the year. It’s gone for another eight long months. Don’t complain about missing LSU football if you give up your tickets for this when you could go. Make it memorable for yourself and you family and friends, all 102,000 of them. Send out these seniors out with a bang. Send Kevin Sumlin out with one last defeat in Death Valley, a pantheon of concrete and steel that has repeatedly destroyed the dream of the invading maroon foe.
After all, it’s tradition.