There’s been a lot of stuff going around this week amongst Auburn folks. Everyone’s talking about everything in the world — the Heisman Trophy, the ESPN Gameday location, Florida of all things — except the only thing that really matters: LSU.
Sure, there’s been talks about the rivalry — the hard hitting, the voodoo magic, and the smell of corndogs — but few are talking about the only important part: the part between the sidelines. There have been the looks back — the Earthquake Game, the Fire Game, the Interception Game — but no one’s talking about the only game that really matters: the one on Saturday.
This could be one of the most important games for our football program in recent memory. A victory would put Auburn in the position to really start thinking about the SEC Championship Game… to really start thinking about this season as one for the ages.
Truth is, this is probably the biggest game of the year, as far as those aspirations are concerned. Honesty, if Auburn wins Saturday, the West — with LSU hosting Alabama in a couple of weeks — will probably already be clinched before the trip to Tuscaloosa. And, frankly, this game is much more losable than any potential matchup against whatever two-loss team the East is going to spit out.
Say what you will about LSU, but, as Lee Ziemba said earlier this week, their fair share of close victories, just like Auburn’s, only means that they have a close group willing to battle for 60 minutes and, in the Tennessee game’s case, beyond.
And come Sunday, the toughest parts of their schedule will be behind them. They’ll be a home tilt against Alabama away from winning out and getting to a BCS bowl, if not the BCS bowl.
I don’t have to tell you what all else is at stake here. It’s the chance to end a three year losing streak in the series. It’s the chance to avenge last year’s squad’s most embarrassing loss. It’s the chance for Chizik and his staff to prove that their program is ready for the next level, and that they are the next-level coaches that are going to take them there.
But above all that, it’s The LSU Game.
It is, despite being only our second-most, still one of the most bitter rivalries in college football. It’s hard-hitting, it’s trash talking, it’s four quarters, and it’s absolutely brutal. It takes weeks to heal from. It’s two teams that just plain don’t like each other.
It’s the Auburn way of doing things versus the LSU way of doing things. It’s the Tiger Bowl.
And this year, it’s #4 vs. #6 on national television.
Both of these teams are on the brink of an incredibly memorable season. And now, suddenly, we’re on the brink of gameday… on the brink of the game that we’ve had circled on our calendars all year.
I’ll say it again – this Saturday is the Auburn-LSU game. And right now it’s all we should be thinking about.