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A&M Loss Leaves LSU’s Season Feeling Incomplete

The score alone doesn’t tell the story

If you’re reading this, I probably don’t have to tell you what’s happened. Suffice it to say that it’s after the LSU-Texas A&M game and, officially, LSU lost the game after seven overtimes and while our coach stood on the sidelines, drenched in Gatorade for winning a game in regulation that LSU apparently did not win.

And the refs, well, they didn’t help.

Unless you’re the Aggies, and then they helped a lot.

The score and the record won’t tell the full story here. I won’t claim something that didn’t officially happen – I’m not an Alabama fan, after all. But I’ll maintain until my dying day that LSU probably did enough to win a number of times in College Station on Saturday.

I am not a football analyst or an unbiased expert. I was born to love LSU football, raised to revere Mike the Tiger and schooled on this school from an early age. I’ve felt the joy of victory and the stinging heartache of losses big and small, insignificant and monumental. I’m on my eighth permanent head LSU football coach.

The moments after These Heartbreaking Games are a Choose Your Own Adventure of fan takes. And this is no exception. There are many outraged paths to be followed — LSU got robbed by the refs; LSU fans shouldn’t complain because we should’ve find a way to win despite the refs; LSU never should’ve had to play in overtime anyway; blaming the refs is the coward’s way of losing; the SEC refs are out to get us; LSU just needs to quit its whining and shut the hell up because bad calls happen to all teams.

Y’all can remember it how you want. Frankly, it mostly depends how you viewed the teams involved from the jump. There is some cold comfort in hearing from our regular foes about how they agreed that LSU definitely got screwed over — at least enough to warm our hearts as we mentally replay the game over beers for the next decade or so.

And those who think we are whining? Well, you didn’t like us anyway.

In the end, that’s how sports memories work. Fandom isn’t rational and results that are this close and this contested are murky at best. The lore of this game will grow and, given the rumors swirling about some truly despicable behavior by Texas A&M personnel, this one will fester for a while. The anger will subside and then simmer again as next season is upon us.

LSU fans know about football flashbacks. We’ve been putting up exciting highlight footage since Billy Cannon’s 1959 Halloween night run. From earthquakes to barn fires, to grass eating and Bluegrass Miracles and, well, less auspicious accomplishments, LSU has been there. We’re fun football. (And the Ole Miss, Kentucky and Auburn fans would argue that after watching flashbacks of how they’ve lost to us, we might deserve this.)

I’ll bristle next year as the Aggies make their way to LSU, as this game gets replayed in the late hours of the night, as clips of the seven OTs, the longest game and highest scoring game in FBS history. As it gets endlessly recapped to pump up the ratings for next year’s game.

Will 2019 be the Revenge Game for LSU or will we have to wait for awhile? Breathless copy will be written to describe the electricity of Kyle Field that night and LSU will be challenged to match that atmosphere in Baton Rouge.

Texas A&M fans will just be so sure that Jimbo Fisher is worth every penny of the $7.5 million it paid for eight (alleged) regular season wins, while LSU fans question the leadership of a man who apparently can’t control the unsportsmanlike conduct of one of his own coaches.

The Aggies will boast of how the 12th Man came through for them. LSU will quip back that the refs surely were the 13th.

How many redemption storylines can one finally interesting rivalry handle? My guess is we’ll find out next November.

This 2018 LSU-Texas A&M game was Game of the Century. It’s already been declared. Trust me, us LSU fans preferred the outcome of the previous Game of the Century, thankyouverymuch.

Frankly, we can’t believed you enjoyed this at all. Because if we never go into overtime again it’ll be too soon. Coach O might ban Gatorade.

I’ll mark this LSU game in my book of memories as a one where our players fought and pushed and didn’t give up, despite what I believe was game-changing (or at least interfering) calls by the officials. I’ll remember a regular season that wasn’t expected to amount to much and LSU proving everyone wrong right up until it ran headfirst into an officiating crew that seemed, at times, to unevenly gift the home team with calls.

Time will dull the outrage, but I’ll remember this “loss” to the Aggies with a footnote, with a “see more,” with a postscript.

9 and 3* this regular season, way better than anyone projected, still maybe in the running for a New Year’s Six bowl.

But, for me, there will always be an asterisk.