Still having Aggie nightmares? Look toward 2019

If your purple-and-gold eye balls still feel like they are about to pop out over LSU’s seven-overtime loss at Texas A&M, that’s understandable.

Still replaying it, over and over, one week later? I get it.

But, in the aftermath, there’s big-picture thinking and there’s little-picture thinking, and the big picture is far more important.

For a reference point, jog back to 2006. LSU was at Auburn, in another one of those early-season SEC West showdowns. The Tigers, trailing 7-3, were driving for the potential winning score when Auburn was called for pass interference inside the 10-yard line. The flag was picked up when officials ruled that the ball was tipped.

In the post-game interview, LSU head coach Les Miles handled a potential combustible situation deftly. He didn’t outright blame the game officials. In fact, he didn’t say much.

And, it was the right thing to do.

The loss for LSU was a big one. The Tigers lost two games that season – the other at Florida. In the Sugar Bowl, LSU demolished Notre Dame. That was a very talented LSU team, capable of winning a national championship.

LSU had four first-round picks in the 2007 draft. They were quarterback Jamarcus Russell, safety LaRon Landry and wide receivers Dwayne Bowe and “Buster” Davis.

One year later, LSU won the BCS National Championship, and every break went its way, including Matt Flynn throwing the winning touchdown pass against Auburn to Demetrius Byrd with one second on the game clock.

A two-loss LSU team got into the championship game thanks to several upsets on the final weekend of the season, including Pitt pulling a monumental one over West Virginia.

So, let’s move ahead to 2019. Miami is off the schedule, Georgia Southern is on. A road game against Texas is on the schedule, Georgia is off. Auburn and Florida both come to Baton Rouge.

Hours after LSU’s debilitating loss to the Aggies, head coach Ed Orgeron was on the road recruiting. That’s his No. 1 job – finishing off a quality recruiting class.

LSU has commitments from six of the top seven players in Louisiana. And, for the first time since Zach Mettenberger returned for the 2013 season, LSU has a quality option at quarterback.

Joe Burrow, who had his best game of the season against A&M, returns for one more year.

If you want to circle Nov. 30 on the calendar, that’s a red-letter day at Tiger Stadium. A certain team in maroon will be visiting Tiger Stadium.

Orgeron’s job is to make sure that game is even more important than the bizarre one that was played last Saturday night in College Station.

That’s the big picture.

Ed Daniels is sports director of ABC26 WGNO. He can be reached at edaniels@clarionherald.org.

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