It's time for an epic game in the LSU-Florida rivalry
OK, LSU and Florida.
Are you serious about this rivalry thing?
You’ve been flirting with each other for a while now as though you’re going to move up each other on your lists of most bitter rivals.
Yeah, we know it’s pretty crowded at the top of those lists.
LSU, you’ve got that Alabama problem the first Saturday in November every year.
Then there’s that other team from Alabama. Seems like LSU and Auburn can’t play a game without something bizarre happening – a fire, an earthquake (sort of), interceptions – and lots of ’em — cigars, missed field goals – and lots of ’em – weird rules and whatever you guys come up with 2 weeks hence. Yeah, Auburn’s a kinda big deal.
Ole Miss? Enough said.
Texas A&M is getting interesting. Lots of recruiting turf at stake and you’ve staked out Thanksgiving weekend, last game of the regular season.
Now Jimbo’s there – and his nephew getting into it with Steve Kragthorpe certainly spiced things up unexpectedly.
Plus the 7 overtimes and a bona fide Aggies win for crying out loud. Yeah, there’s something going on there all right.
If Arkansas ever gets its act together, maybe that Boot thing will actually become A Thing.
So there’s a good-sized list of rivals and potential rivals already on the Tigers’ dance card.
Same with the Gators.
You’ve got that whole cocktail party thing to deal with against Georgia every year in Jacksonville.
And you’ve got your own thing going on with Auburn. You don’t play every year like in the good ole days – but Auburn is your oldest SEC rival after Georgia – and you just took them down in a battle of unbeaten Top 10 opponents that makes this week’s battle of unbeaten Top 10 opponents in Tiger Stadium even bigger.
Sure, it’s hard to get too riled up about Tennessee these days, but Spurrier’s “you can’t spell Citrus without the U-T” has left a few burning embers in that rivalry.
Speaking of rivalries that have waned a bit, you’ve still got the Seminoles at the end of the season – and now the Canes are starting show up again periodically.
But a lot of these rivalries ain’t what they used to be.
This LSU-Florida thing has real potential. It’s been a nice rivalry for a while, but now’s the time for it to become a really big deal.
Those scheduling geniuses in Birmingham have made you permanent crossover opponents and you guys have played every year since 1971.
That’s a long time, but it does take more than annual meetings to create something special. No one gets too worked up about Vandy and Kentucky, do they?
But this thing has been picking up over the past dozen or so years, right?
Remember 2007? LSU students got a hold of Tim Tebow’s cell phone number and bombarded him with taunting text messages – and perhaps worse.
Game night, Tiger Stadium. Tebow threw a touchdown pass to give Florida a 10-0 lead. Tebow sprinted to the end zone in front of the LSU student section, pretended to send a text with his hand, then held an imaginary cell phone up to his ear.
And there was more. Les Miles (remember him?) kept going for 4th down. Five times. Five conversions. Tigers scored 2 touchdowns in the 4th quarter and prevailed 28-24.
This thing should have taken off right then and there.
But then came a lull.
Hurricane Matthew was headed toward Gainesville during LSU week in October. Game couldn’t be played then and there.
LSU said Florida was dodging the Tigers. After nearly a week of public feuding a deal was made. The game would be played in Baton Rouge in November. Florida would get back-to-back home games in 2017 and 2018 to get back on course.
Lots of whining and finger pointing before the game finally got played. Interim coach Ed Orgeron had LSU a win from the Sugar Bowl. Gators came up with a goal-line stand late and prevailed 16-10.
Tigers won by a point in 2017, Gators handed them their 1st loss last season.
Do we sense a little momentum building?
In the past 3 years, LSU has scored a total of 46 points against Florida.
Nowadays, Joe Burrow puts that up in a half.
Speaking of which, this has gotten really weird.
LSU is playing offense like Spurrier is its coach and Florida is playing defense like Miles is its coach.
But a little role reversal can be healthy for a rivalry like this.
LSU-Alabama can wait. So can Florida-Georgia.
It’s the No. 5 Tigers and the No. 7 Gators.
Death Valley on a Saturday night.
College GameDay will be there.
Now it’s up to you, LSU and Florida.
Give us an epic game.