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LSU’s Season for the Ages

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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We talk a lot, in sports, about what greatness is. This season, LSU defined it.

We talk a lot, in sports, about what greatness is. This season, LSU defined it.

In a year filled with historic individual honors and countless storylines, what makes the Tigers stand out isn't just that they went a perfect 15-0 and won the program's fourth national title ever, rather who they did it against. LSU, Monday night's triumph included, notably defeated seven top ten teams, beating Texas, Florida, Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and Clemson on the path to prominence. The Tigers earned their championship against one of the toughest schedules in the country.

In seven showdowns with top ten teams, the purple and gold averaged 42.6 points per game.

LSU just made a remarkable run at history, sprinting past some of the biggest names in the game along the way. The Tigers, in all, topped eight programs in the top 25 all-time in Division I wins, including three in the top six, also beating all of the participants in the previous four national championship games in the second half of the year alone. For good measure, and before playing Clemson in New Orleans, LSU won on the road in two of the eight biggest stadiums in the country, Alabama and Texas, also beating Georgia in Atlanta for the SEC Championship. 

Fittingly, the Tigers finished one of the most dominant seasons in recent memory with an exclamation point. LSU claimed the league crown with a 37-10 win over Georgia, won the Peach Bowl with a 63-28 rout of Oklahoma and, most recently, won the national title with a 42-25 victory over Clemson; the Bulldogs, Sooners and defending champion Tigers were ranked fourth, fourth and third, respectively. Both Georgia and Clemson, at the time, had the nation's number one defense, while Oklahoma had a top three offense.  

Monday's grand finale, with the momentum of the entire state of Louisiana on clear display, was one to remember. Led by Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Joe Burrow, who threw for 463 yards and five touchdowns in adding to his legacy as one of the greatest of all time, LSU compiled 628 total yards against a defense that had not allowed that much offensive production in consecutive games all season. Furthermore, the bayou bengals held Clemson to just two touchdowns for just the third time in their last 20 games.

Against an iconic opponent who had won 29 games in a row, LSU simply responded with more of the same. 

From an early season test at Texas, to dramatic classics against Auburn and at Alabama in back-to-back games, to a postseason stretch, winning convincingly over Georgia, Oklahoma and Clemson, the likes of which college football has never before seen, Ed Orgeron's Tigers were at their best when it mattered most. Long before any trophy glistened on the big stage, this team shined in the spotlight. In those trying moments, LSU only tightened its grip, a grasp that now comes with rings. Pressure, literally and figuratively, made all of these diamonds.

A season to remember prepared the Tigers for a finish that followed suit. This is a championship resume for the ages.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports