Hey, you New Year's 6 bowl people: Keep an eye on LSU
OK, New Year’s 6 Bowls, you need to keep an eye on No. 7 LSU when it plays at Texas A&M on Saturday.
We know the Cotton Bowl and the Orange Bowl are at the mercy of the CFP selection committee for those semifinal games and you Rose Bowl people still have that whole Big Ten vs. Pac-12 thing going.
But you people at the Sugar, Fiesta and Peach need to pay attention in case the 10-2 Tigers take care of the Aggies.
Here are six reasons those New Year’s 6 bowls need to keep an eye on LSU:
1. Playoff rankings
There’s a reason the Tigers have been the highest-ranked 2-loss team, staying ahead of a few 1-loss teams and even one no-loss team: They’re battled-tested.
They have played an SEC schedule that included both Alabama and Georgia and a nonconference schedule that included Miami when the Hurricanes were highly regarded. Their only blemishes are a loss to No. 1 Alabama and a one-score loss at Florida.
The CFP committee and the pollsters are impressed with the body of work and the Tigers will take a lofty ranking into their bowl game, possibly the highest ranking of any team not in the CFP.
LSU has lots of them and they like to travel to see their team.
Whether it’s a short trip to New Orleans, an intermediate trip to Atlanta that they would have preferred to make for the SEC Championship Game or a longer, but change-of-venue trip to Phoenix, Tigers fans will buy tickets and they will travel and they will spend money in whatever community picks their team.
3. TV ratings
Even though a lot of LSU fans will make the trip, a lot won’t be able to. But those that don’t travel will surely tune in to watch the game.
Some might even show up without tickets, just to soak up the atmosphere and watch the game on TV from their hotel or even their mobile home.
4. Old-school football
If you’re looking for a matchup that will produce about 100 points and drag a prime-time matchup into the next morning, well you need to invite somebody else.
But if you want a team that’s going to provide an old-fashioned, honest-to-goodness blocking-and-tackling fest, then the Tigers are your team.
Dave Aranda’s defense will hit hard and LSU will keep the game from featuring a basketball score.
The offensive play won’t be glamorous but December is for MAC and Sun Belt and even Big 12 teams simulating a video game.
January is for old-school football. LSU plays old-school football.
5. Ed Orgeron
You can find plenty of teams with cookie-cutter coaches – blow-dried guys who recruit a quarterback and a few receivers, run a spread offense, win 6 games to get to your bowl, then move on to the next stop.
This guy ain’t blow dried. He doesn’t talk as much as he growls. And he’s refreshingly honest – at least for a football coach.
When he talks, people listen – even if they aren’t quite sure what they heard.
Coach O will make the week leading up to your game fun, regardless of how much fun the game itself is.
6 The big stage
LSU likes it.
Yeah the Tigers laid an egg against Notre Dame in the Citrus Bowl last year, but that was their second straight trip to the Citrus Bowl.
But most of the time the Tigers thrive in the spotlight. Ask the 2018 Miami team, the 2017 BYU team, the 2014 Wisconsin team, the 2013 TCU team and the 2011 Oregon team how LSU responded when it was put on the big state in prime time with little or no competition for the spotlight.
Yeah, you New Year’s 6 people, you need to invite the Tigers.
Unless they lose to the Aggies, of course.