This fall marks the 10-year anniversary of the greatest college football team to not win a national championship: the 2011 Tigers.
I’m not sure if there’s anything worse than a terrible finale to an otherwise great story. Game of Thrones final season was panned left and right; How I Met Your Mother’s finale infuriates me; and January 9, 2012 just flat out sucks to think about.
But still, the 2011 LSU Tigers are a legendary team. Look at the future pros littering the roster (especially on the defensive side) and the pelts on their wall. That 2011 team beat the Pac 12 and Rose Bowl champs by 13 on a neutral field; they beat the Big East and Orange Bowl champs by 26 points in their house; and they beat the eventual national champions on the road.
Along the way they also obliterated bitter rivals by 30 (Florida), 35 (Auburn) 49 (Ole Miss) and 24 points (Arkansas). That’s an average margin of victory of 34.5 points.
I believe the 2011 team is worth celebrating, especially as their 10-year anniversary looms. That team also holds a special place in my heart because that was my first year in Tiger Band so I was with them every single Saturday until till the bitter end.
So let’s go back in time and rewatch a truly epic season opening game against the Oregon Ducks, who came up two points shy against Cam Newton and Auburn in the previous year’s national title game.
It was a classic case of unstoppable force (Oregon’s high powered, up tempo offense) versus an immovable object (LSU’s just badass defense) and there was an extra layer of intrigue due to Jordan Jefferson’s suspension because of a fight and the insertion of Jarrett Lee.
LSU vs. Oregon was also the perfect stage for the Ducks’ Heisman hopeful running back LaMichael James to make his case in front of a national audience. Instead it was this diminutive sophomore corner in purple and gold who put himself squarely in the Heisman discussion.
4:41: He’s a dandy in that lsu secondary. Indeed he is!
4:58: Three Oregon flags in the first four plays including the kickoff
7:09: Remembers Lee’s interception fest in 2008. Proceeds to vomit
7:28: Well “issue with Jordan Jefferson” is one way to put it
7:52: This youngster by the name of Odell Beckham Jr. is a player to watch per the broadcast
8:56: A Ware fumble that is fortunately recovered by LSU.
12:20: HERBIE MONDAY NIGHT WE GOT A HOLIDAY BATTLE BETWEEN AL GOLDEN AND RANDY EDSALL
13:31: Another three and out by Oregon. God that defense kicked ass. It’s easy to say “we’ll never see X happen again,” but with the way football is played now and how the rules favor opposing offenses, I really don’t ever think we’ll see a defense as good as the 2011 Tigers.
14:22: Booooooo Toonces Tiger
17:44: Brad Wing’s first punt as a Tiger wasn’t the best but boy did he ever make up for it
19:20: Imagine being a freshman center and your first ever game has you lined up against Michael Brockers
22:10: God the secondary is just glued to the Oregon skill guys. To recap on one team LSU had a Thorpe Award winning corner, a fifth round pick as the other starting corner, a first round pick at free safety, a third round pick at strong safety, and a Heisman finalist at the nickel who went on to become an All-Decade defender in the NFL.
22:43: Kirk talks about the secondary and the camera cuts to Brandon Taylor, Eric Reid, and Mo Claiborne. 2010/2011 was peak DBU
25:32: Kill those Georgia uniforms with fire
26:32: “We’re committed to throwing it down field” which we’ll hear over and over again between now and 2019
28:56: Good friend of the site Will Blackwell called for the false start
32:50: Even with the fumble, all Oregon can manage is seven yards and a field goal
33:30: Wow those are some hideous suits Brent and Kirk are wearing
34:05: A “do we see Zach Mettenberger?” question!
35:30: Herbie calls Michael Ford Alfred Blue twice
37:31: Kirk says “(LSU) wins games but it’s excruciating to watch and it gives you an ulcer.” Buddy you have no idea
38:11: The Honey Badger strikes
39:12: 9-6 foreshadowing?????
39:57: Brandon Taylor nearly gets into a fight with who I believe is Dion Jordan the eventual No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 draft
40:30: lmao 28 yards of offense in a quarter
41:00: Freak Johnson’s first reps as a Tiger. God if only he could’ve lived up to the hype
41:29: Pick by Tharold Simon a forgotten good but not great Tiger DB
42:30: Lee nearly throws a pick six and LSU fans all have a collective flash of PTSD
45:50: Wow Kirk nails RG3 as the Heisman winner. A reminder that Tyrann Mathieu should have won said Heisman but the award is geared toward quarterbacks
46:09: Jarvis Landry’s first snap as a Tiger (at least his first offensive snap) ends with him getting lit up across the middle
54:07: Second time Oregon is called for a leg whip and not long after what I presume is an Oregon fan screams at LaVar Edwards to “GET YOUR ASS UP”
1:02:35: Craig Loston gets flagged for helmet to helmet but stays in the game because it’s pre-targeting
1:040: LeMichael James puts Oregon up 13-9 with a touchdown to cap off a 19-play drive
1:07:37: Back to back big runs by Ware and Ford put LSU inside Oregon territory
1:09:28: DeAngelo Peterson was born 10 years too early he’d be awesome in today’s world of football
1:11:54: A killer PI on third down by Oregon. The Ducks really hurt themselves with all the dumb penalties
1:14:40: Hey that’s me! I’m in front of the the cheerleader’s make noise sign doing the fist pump thing
1:17:25: The famous KeKe Mingo chases down LeMichael James play! Herbstriet proceeds to lose his damn mind
1:26:57: Nobody will be seated during the Brent Musberfer talks about Bead Wong’s ambidextrous feet portion of the broadcast
1:30:55: Ban the toss dive
1:32:30: “They have found a weapon with this punter” says Musberger
TOO BAD HE WASN’T REWARDED WITH THE RAY GUY AWARD
1:35:11: Massive fumble recovery by Eric Reid; Sonic Sam Montgomery punches it out and Reid catches it in the air
1:38:05: BUILT FORD TOUGH
1:39:32: TGBFTL plays Neck after LSU goes up 23-13 because the students hadn’t yet totally ruined it
1:41:02: CHIP FACE
1:42:13: They motioned Odell Beckham Jr. to be a second tight end???????
1:43:35: A quarterback sneak from the seven yard line huh?
1:46:08: And now the beat down we all remember we is on
1:51:08: The attendance was measured at 87,000 and I’d imagine at least 80 percent was LSU fans
1:54:56: The video skips the first minute or so of the fourth quarter, LSU kicked a field goal to go up 33-13
1:55:40: Mathieu nearly scores his second touchdown of the night on a dropped pix six
1:58:06: Officials give Oregon a first down when the receiver clearly slipped out of bounds like three yards short
2:01:08: I’m loving Montgomery literally pounding the turf as though he’s telling Oregon snap the damn ball
2:10:11: Lee’s numbers 10/22, 98 yards, 1 TD. Peak LSU Stone Age passing
2:10:30: And then immediately after hits a bomb to Odell which would’ve gone for a score had Beckham kept his feet
2:10:46: But the play is nullified due a hold so whatever
2:13:56: Mathieu almost gets Thomas again
2:18:21: Kirk when talking about LSU’s schedule “you go to Tennessee that’s a tough game. You go to Ole Miss that’s a tough game”
LSU would win those games by a combined score of 90-10
2:19:23: Ford goes for his second score
2:26:57: Garbage time touchdown Oregon. 40-27. Y’all fly home safe