The 2007 college football is fondly remembered as the wildest season in the sport’s history. That season had it all:
- #5 Michigan lost to App State on opening weekend
- #1 USC lost as a 41-point favorite to Stanford in Week 6
- South Florida climbed all the way up to #2 in the polls only to lose to Rutgers in Week 8 and then lose the following week to UConn
- Boston College got to hold the #2 ranking in Week 10 but they blew it against as Matt Ryan threw three interceptions in a 27-17 home loss to an unranked Florida State team
- #1 Ohio State got got by Illinois in Week 11
- Dennis Dixon’s knee injury in Week 12 ruined #2 Oregon’s national title dreams
- Nobody around these parts will ever forget #1 LSU losing to Arkansas in Week 13 but let’s not forget #2 Kansas—yes Kansas!—#6 Arizona State, #9 Oregon, and #13 Texas all lost that last Saturday in November.
- And yet the craziness wasn’t reserved for just the months of September through November!
- Conference championship weekend saw #1 Missouri and #2 West Virginia go down and that opened the door for a two-loss LSU team to backdoor its way into the national championship game and beat Ohio State in New Orleans
Here’s the final tally that Andy Wittry counted up:
- 62: Number of instances where a higher ranked team lost to a lower ranked/unranked team
- 29: Number of times a Top-10 team lost
- 4: Number of times the #1 team lost
- 7: Number of times the #2 team lost (all within the final nine weeks of the season)
- 3: Number of times the #1 and #2 teams lost on the same weekend
Something was going on in the universe that fall and it extended into the winter. And while I can’t explain things like Michigan losing at home to the Neers, or USC gagging at home against Stanford’s backup quarterback or Matt Ryan melting down in a big game (oh wait actually I can explain that one) I think I can pinpoint what happened to make the night of December 1, 2007 play out the way it did so perfectly for LSU.
You see, it’s all because of some Oreos that the 2007 Golden Band from Tiger Land trombone section ate.
Legend has it the trombones had themselves some Oreos with their pre-SEC Championship meal. Now as Zach Rau told y’all, Tiger Band would give us a “simple but nourishing meal” before games so Oreos, albeit delicious, doesn’t quite jive with that thinking. And yet despite snacking on those Oreos (or because of it?) LSU won the SEC Championship despite going into the game without Matt Flynn.
Okay I hear what you’re thinking: so what, eating Oreos wasn’t the only reason why LSU beat Tennessee. And sure, you’re probably right. But reader...how else do you explain that LSU, on the very last possible day they could’ve received help, got exactly the breaks they needed to sneak into the BCS Championship game?
That same night in Morgantown, West Virginia’s high powered offense was held to 183 yards of offense, missed two field goals in a 13-9 defeat, and fumbled the ball five times. Starting QB Pat White also dislocated his thumb in the second quarter and was on the sidelines for the entire second half. Meanwhile in San Antonio, Missouri got Fetty Wap’d by Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game, losing 17-38 and got outscored 24-3 in the second half.
Anyone—err any cookie?—can get lucky once, what about repeating the feat? Well the trombones, those brilliant lads and lasses, decided hey these Oreos were a good luck charm in Atlanta, why not try it again in New Orleans? Despite Ohio State jumping out to a 10-0 first quarter lead, LSU came roaring back and outscored the Buckeyes 38-14 to claim the natty.
From that night on, the LSU trombones would all eat Oreos before every single game. Our thinking was this: the Tigers may not win if we don’t all eat our weekly Oreo...but they’ll definitely lose if we don’t.
Every year the section would appoint someone as the Keeper of the Oreos and it was their job to get a pack of Oreos and make sure each and every person in the section would eat one on game day. I myself was Keeper of the Oreos in 2014 and I’m not exaggerating at all when I say it’s the single biggest honor of my life.
It’s a tougher job than you’d think. Being a broke ass college kid spending money I didn’t have on Oreos really added up. Tracking down three dozen people between the end of game day rehearsal and stepping off to Tiger Stadium and making them eat an Oreo ain’t exactly easy either. Think you’re off the hook for an away trip you’re not going to? Guess what you’re not so you better make sure there’s someone on the roster you can trust with the Oreos.
Now what kind of Oreos should you get for your tailgate? I’d recommend double stuff because A) that’s the best kind and B) I do believe that the double stuff Oreos have just enough filling (phrasing!) to influence games.
One thing I learned as Keeper is you can get mega stuff Oreos but you can only play that card once a season. We found out the hard way in 2014. I got the section mega stuff Oreos for the Ole Miss game because it felt like we needed the extra bit of mojo. Gameday was in town and the Rebels were #3 in the country then. I’m sure you all remember what happened: LSU scores a massive upset at home, the fans rush the field, and that iconic photo of Trey Quinn crowd surfing gets snapped.
But just as Icarus flew too close to the sun, I tried recreate the mega stuff magic two weeks later as Alabama came to town and while the Tigers came close to beating the Tide it wouldn’t be. But hey, a clearly overmatched LSU team took Bama to overtime so I contend there was some magic.
I passed on the Keeper role in 2015 and the Oreo tradition still carries on to this day which is cool as hell to me. That’s 15 years of this now, this tradition is a high school sophomore. I’m finding that the farther removed I get from my time in Tiger Band, the more it means to me that the traditions we had are still alive and well.
So hey, this fall when you’re at DVA Tailgate or having a huge watch party at your own place maybe try including some double stuff Oreos to the spread. You might just become an Oreo believer too.