Welcome back, Tiger fans! Hope everyone has enjoyed their time over the Christmas holidays and is ready to get a head start on those New Year’s resolutions today by...sitting somewhere comfortable with a tasty beverage in hand to watch what is hopefully (but probably not!) excellent football that’s not involving Auburn today (NO STRESS YET!).
With that in mind, let’s dive right in, shall we?
Peach Bowl - LSU vs. Oklahoma - 3:00 PM God’s time zone
Today is a tough edition of the Index to write for yours truly. See, a lot of folks have some very deep, real feelings of hate for the fanbase of Louisiana State University. I myself have been told that “Auburn ain’t sh*t” by a kid who had to be less than 10 years old before the 2005 John Vaughn game in Baton Rouge. I offered to go to jail with a Louisiana gentleman during the game by way to beating his ass for running up to my father and screaming in his face after a Skylar Green punt return for a TD (WHY DOES THAT HAPPEN SO MUCH NOW I’M DEFEATING MY OWN POINT HERE BECAUSE I’M THINKING BACK TO 2017 WHY GOD WHY). I was sober. The gentleman declined.
What I’m saying is that I get it. They can be awful. “But Josh, every fanbase in the SEC has fans like that!”, people might say. Which is total crap. There’s no other fanbase in any stadium I’ve ever been to that the fans have spit on me aside from those in red and black. There is only ONE fanbase in America that would have a fan have his entire personal identity so wrapped up in a football program that after a loss he would wait a few days then drive to Auburn’s campus and poison historic and cherished trees. Show me anything close to that at Auburn. Maybe we do have some of that, but from a sheer volume perspective, it’s hard to find any orange and blue needles in crimson, white, red, and black haystack.
Which leads me back to LSU. Why don’t I include them in above haystack? Especially after some of the crap I’ve had to put up with down there? Because I’ve gotten to know a fair amount of these people. When I think about LSU’s fanbase, I think about the Valley Shook crew and their tailgate, led by Zach Rau, and how truly welcoming they are. I think of how much I love getting a group of my friends in Baton Rouge to go to Juban’s or Adrian’s and have a Hallelujah Crab the night before a game.
I also kinda love the nature of this LSU team. They are so engulfed in state pride, which is a legitimate, non-confederate thing for that region of the southern United States. They have an underdog Cajun head coach who I would want to run through a brick wall for if I played for him. They have a quarterback in Joe Burrow that Ohio State didn’t want, who went down to LSU and earned where he is today. And the only time they really had the hell scared out of them this year was against us, and have actually shown a decent amount of respect to us in my corner of the twitter-verse over it.
And let’s talk about one other thing that pushes me towards LSU in this game...Jalen Hurts. Sure I like the kid fine. His story is a great one. But you know who is pulling for Jalen Hurts today? Tide fans. Because they need to identify with some form of greatness out of their own insecurities instead of just sitting back and enjoying the day. Oh yeah sure, we’ve all been happy for Jalen to have success away from Alabama this year. But now that they’re irrelevant, they’ve got to find a way to feel relevant. Jalen Hurts is the avenue to that for their psyche.
But you know what? The Index doesn’t give a damn about my feelings or yours. There’s not one damn thing to gain for our Auburn Tigers by LSU winning today. LSU having another national championship trophy in Baton Rouge actually hurts Auburn in recruiting. It doesn’t “enhance” the SEC at this point. It doesn’t make us look any better. Our record in 2019 is our record. But give a recruiter like Ed Orgeron a national title to show rings to 5 Star recruits in Mobile, AL? No thank you.
And don’t give me the, “But Josh, a strong LSU and Auburn means a weaker Alabama!” No. Auburn doesn’t need help from anyone in the SEC West in weakening Alabama. The SEC East is another story (YEAH TENNESSEE I’M TALKING ABOUT YOU and also LOL Georgia you have BLOWN the literal best shot you’ve had in 40 years because you seemingly CAN’T beat Alabama thanks to not getting out of your own way).
So with that in mind, and with a heavy heart for the good people of Louisiana, I say...
Fiesta Bowl - Clemson vs. Ohio State - 7:00 PM God’s time zone
We are all so sick of Dabo and his bellyaching about undervaluing Clemson. Their schedule sucks. I mean when you’re toughest test is against a Kellen Mond led Texas A&M at home, you don’t have a lot of room to talk in terms of resume.
Where you do have room to talk is having a death machine program that flips a switch every November without looking back and is primed and ready to get the credit they deserve in the College Football Playoff. I mean, we see it every single year. This is a loaded team that no one is talking about that may end up winning the whole dang thing.
On the other side we are all enjoying Justin Fields play quarterback for someone other than the University of Georgia. If we’re being honest, Fields should be at Auburn. Kirby Smart is a real asshole when it comes to negative recruiting, telling Fields that we would move him to another position if he signed here. Fields was extremely interested in Auburn after decommiting from Penn State prior to signing with Georgia. So yeah, it’s an absolute pleasure watching Justin Fields do the thing away from Georgia while they legitimately ponder if they will be able to score enough points to beat Baylor.
But here’s the thing about Ohio State...there’s always this...
Those three people deserve disappointment. Why? Because why the hell not? There’s also the whole thing of the fanbase at large defending Urban Meyer for keeping an abusive husband on his staff while arrogantly thinking he could be part of the solution instead of the law. That’s beyond shameful.
But you know what? The Index is only biased towards the benefit of our Auburn University Tigers. I recognize the need for Ohio State to feel pain and agony, but there’s potential for that to happen on a larger stage in a week. This boils down once again to recruiting for the Index. We’re going head to head against Clemson for kids in Georgia and even Alabama at times. 3 titles in 5 years puts them on a level all by themself and serves to harm Auburn’s efforts on Signing Day.
So with that in mind let’s get this over with because I think I’m gonna be sick...
Oof that was gross. Let’s not ever do that again. I don’t ever want to be on the same side of an argument as folks that see fit to pour chili over spaghetti noodles. Anyways, there it is folks, a terrible national championship game with no southern flavor in New Orleans. This is the best outcome for Auburn based on who we recruit against. It’s awful. It’s ruined. Which makes it perfect.