In terms of rivalry, it doesn’t get much stranger than Auburn-LSU. You know the stories. Earthquakes, fires, phantom whistles, and interception-laden 4th quarters are just a small part of this rivalry. And then 2016 happened.
This is easily the easiest STRANGER THINGS post to write each year because literally everything is STRANGE and already known. I’ll try to whittle it down to three.
1. LSU fans smell like corndogs.
I know, I know. This is so old. But I feel like we have lost the true meaning behind this completely true narrative. In fact, we’ve gotten so lazy that we just call LSU fans corndogs now. They aren’t corndogs. They smell like them. Being a corndog isn’t offensive because corndogs are awesome. But if you just smell like one, I can’t have anything to do with you on a football Saturday.
You’ve probably read all of the posts since sports blogging became popular over the last few years, but here’s my take on why LSU fans smell like corndogs.
You can not go to the white sandy beaches of Orange Beach or Gulf Shores these days without your condo being overrun with LSU fans. Most of them are the overly cajun dad, the dark haired mom wearing the bikini she probably wore when was 18, and their two rambunctious pre-teen sons that just won’t float in the lazy river. About 4pm every day you see them head up to the room, and about an hour later, they have taken over the grills.
Then they proceed to grill and deep-fry anything that is within their reach. They love to cook. The sweat and cook and drink and cook and soak in the smell of everything being cooked. And what they cook smells like corndogs. It’s just science.
If you go to the campus of LSU for a tailgate, it’s hard to walk two steps without getting that old county fair smell into your nostrils. Once you get closer to the stadium, they’ll even invite you over. But don’t stay too long or that glorious smell will stick in your pores.
So that’s it, they cook a lot. They cook fried things with batter. Corndogs and their batter have a distinct smell. And while it is not a negative reason for smelling like corndogs, it is the reason. I’m sorry, you can either bathe or live with it.
2. The rivalry is just weird, man.
I’ve posted these two YouTube playlists in the past. They try to bring in all the worst times and all the good times, but they are definitely all weird.
3. LSU hired Ed Orgeron.
(Yes, this is still all true despite the outcome of last year’s game that had absolutely nothing to do with Ed Orgeron and all to do with… that game-winning punt return that was aided by at least two blatant blocks in the back).
Ed Orgeron talks like a Sesame Street character. Ed Orgeron is a cajun. Ed Orgeron is a mascot. Ed Orgeron is the head coach at a very prominent SEC football program. That is STRANGE in and of itself.
As a head coach at Ole Miss, Orgeron never won more than 4 games in a season.
2005: 3–8 overall, 1–7 SEC
2006: 4–8 overall, 2–6 SEC
2007: 3–9 overall, 0–8 SEC
But the problem was that he looked semi-competent in two exact same situations while at USC and at LSU. At USC, he took over for Lane Kiffin midseason, and went 6-2 the rest of the way. At LSU, he took over for Les Miles midseason, and went 6-2 the rest of the way. Seems good, right?
Sure, but he wasn’t really, truly leading the program in both situations. He was taking over with the same coaches, using the same schemes and just making sure the wheels didn’t fall off.
Now he’s back to being a program leader in charge of everything like he was at Ole Miss when he went 10-25. Was that not bad enough for LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva to ignore? Apparently not.
He went for the guy who talks and looks like all of the fans, with the feel good story, and now he has a loss to Troy on his head. I mean, Saban lost to UAB at LSU in 2000, but LSU had a warning in this case. Now they have to live with it.
4. Last year.