NEW ORLEANS -- This is why you didn't leave for Michigan, Les.
You had to realize, looking around the Superdome on Monday night and drinking it all in. It's better at LSU. Better weather. Better conference. Better players. Better stadium. Better women probably, too. That about cover it?
|Yeah, staying at LSU was smart, Les. (Getty Images)|
Meanwhile, the LSU team you built just won the school's second national championship in five years, 38-24 over those same Ohio State Punchlines. End of split national championship discussion. For the first time in 47 years a team with two regular-season losses won it all. In a season that was a chase to see who could be the best of the mediocre, LSU was the last comic standing. The joke, back on Nov. 23, was that the Tigers had a chance in hell of being here. Now there is no doubt, despite the season ending with eight other BCS conference teams having two losses.
Here's where LSU creates separation: Both of its defeats both came in triple overtime. Then, given a second (or is it third?) chance, LSU beat No. 1.
"I think the national champion was crowned tonight," Miles said.
LSU's third-year coach got his crown on his first try. Poor Jim Tressel is a questionable flag in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl away from being zero for three in BCS title games. Marv Levy can sympathize.
We'll leave the Buck-bashing to the other columnists. It's too easy. That little ditty ought to be set to music by now, which leaves us room for one more shot. Two years in a row now and Ohio State has spent more on flying its band to the BCS title game than Sun Belt schools have in the football budget. The Buckeyes are getting black eyes.
It is now two years in a row being SEC punching bags, losing by a combined 41 points.
"Yeah, and that hurts," said Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis, "just because the media really builds it up like we are slow and all that stuff."
Well, there is the evidence and all that, James. Ohio State's Todd Boeckman was sacked five times and intercepted twice. The game turned when Ricky Jean-Francois blocked a Buckeyes field goal with the game tied 10-10. Ohio State didn't score again until it trailed 31-10.
So who's your daddy, Les? Nick Saban, maybe, who left you a nice little starter kit of talent. Who's the man? You, bubba. You developed the highest-scoring team in LSU history -- the one known more for the nation's No. 3 defense -- into the first two-time BCS title winner.
Last year, Florida hit Ohio State with 21 consecutive points. This time LSU hit for 31 in a row after it had fallen behind 10-0.