There's No Place Like Dome: Why LSU Will Defeat Clemson to Complete Dream Season

Chris Dufresne

NEW ORLEANS—Louisiana State will defeat Clemson tonight, 45-38, because God knows a good Bayou-wood ending when HE creates one.

We can also only hope HE has a voice as scorched and deep as Ed Orgeron’s with a weak spot for Bananas Foster.

“I couldn’t have written a better script,” Orgeron said about 150 times this weekend in New Orleans.

LSU 's Tigers are going to win because this is a home game with home cooking. They'll win because they landed a quarterback from Ohio, Joe Burrow, who has thrown for 5,208 yards and 55 touchdowns.

That, actually, is un-godly, and those aren't "Conference USA" yards and touchdowns he's piling up.

The LSU Tigers will win, hopefully and fittingly, on a blown official’s call to avenge last year’s travesty in the Superdome, in which the NFC title game was voodoo-wrenched Super Bowl destiny for the Saints.

I’ve seen plenty of dream seasons, in college football, over the last few decades.

This, so far, is the dreamiest.

Florida State went wire-to-wire in 1999 to hand Bobby Bowden his second national title. That game was won, over Virginia Tech, in this same Superdome.

But even that season, though, included a near-miss against Clemson.

Ohio State, in 2002, was the first big-boy team to go 14-0 but the Buckeyes did it with smoke and mirrors. They needed a fourth-down conversion to beat Purdue and many people still insist they didn’t beat Miami in the Fiesta Bowl.

Auburn in 2010, with the magical Cam Newton, survived one spike-strip after another on its way to a last-second field goal win over Oregon.

LSU has not just succeeded, it has dominated, maybe like no team since Nebraska in 1995.

Clemson, the defending champions and winners of 29 straight, can make history tonight with a victory.

LSU, though, can establish a legacy of its own as one of best teams in college football history.

The Tigers from Baton Rouge were hardly threatened. Auburn was the only school to hold LSU under 30 points. That was a hard-fought, 23-20 win but it would just about be the only one.

LSU let Texas back in the game early but sealed that deal with a daring third-and-17 pass that set the tone for an evolutionary season. Orgeron called it the biggest play to date because it served warning this LSU was not going to sit on a lead and see how it worked out.

LSU had some defensive issues, yes, but the stat-line that jumps out is this: 150-45. That’s the combined total of defeat in the Tigers’ last three wins over Texas A&M, Georgia and Oklahoma.

That suggests there may be no stopping a train that left LSU station this week on a bee-line toward New Orleans. This will be a home game for LSU and it is worth noting the Tigers won national titles in 2003 and 2007 in this same building.

Some years the stars align and things just sync in your favor.

This just feels like one of those years.

LSU won't likely take out Clemson they way it took out Oklahoma.

This won't be the Big Easy--but it will be Big.

Geaux Tigers! Go ahead and finish what you started.


Chris Dufresne