I'm not sure what planet I was on last weekend, but if any of you know how I might go about getting back there, I'd appreciate a heads up on that.

It was paradise, I tells ya. There was Barbecue Beefy Mac and synthetic weed for everyone! Les Miles was outsmarting Nick Saban, the Saints were breaking off 30+ yard rushes, Reggie Bush was putting up 142 yards from scrimmage while boning the Dolphins out of Andrew Luck, Tim Tebow was throwing for two touchdowns, hamburgers were eating people. It was a total mindfuck! I love you, Dr. Zaius! You've finally made a monkey out of me.

Welcome to Planet November, bitches! Word on the street is that November is kind of important. So much so that Sean Payton apparently went to the trouble of informing the team of that fact via recycled baseball-themed gimmickry.

And it's a good thing he did, because the Saints obviously got the message and put the other half of their asses to good use against the Bucs. This just in: The Saints are pretty damn good when they remember to use their whole asses. Who knew?

Clearly we're gonna need more motivational souvenir trinkets. Anybody know where the Saints could get a good deal on 53 chainsaws and hockey masks? Perhaps some American flag styled boxer trunks and top hats? Surely the baseball bats are nearing the end of their shelf life. I mean, how many times can you go to that particular well before it comes up dryer than a Nick Saban presser?

Let's start with a few words on the GAME OF THE CENTURY!!!

Of course as soon as Drew Alleman's kick split the uprights, the stuffed suits at ESPN and elsewhere immediately changed the narrative from "THE TWO BEST DEFENSES EVER!!!" to "Meh, what a boring matchup of college football's two crappiest offenses, neither of which could even muster a single lousy touchdown." Of course they did. They had that angle all lined up a month ago, just in case they got exactly what they had been predicting they'd get.

I mean, it's not like last week Trent Richardson was THE BEST COLLEGE TAILBACK SINCE HERSCHEL WALKER or anything. It's not like both offenses were averaging 40+ coming in, and yet everybody was still predicting a low-scoring affair because NOBODY PUTS UP POINTS ON THESE TWO DEFENSES! It's not like they were (apparently pretending to be) salivating over the prospect of an "old school slobberknocker." NICK SABAN! HONEY BADGER! ET CETERA!

Must have been a case of too much of a good thing. Or something. Because they got exactly what they wanted (or at least pretended to want.) Exactly what they predicted. Exactly what they told us they saw coming from a mile away. Exactly what they'd been hyping for at least a month.

But the instant it was all over, they were falling all over themselves trying to be the first (or the loudest) to proclaim it a huge disappointment and a total snoozefest. One wonders how much of that is because, in the end, "the wrong team won." Just sayin'.

The good news? Fuck them.

It was every bit the classic it was billed. Because, in the end, the right team won. The more complete team won. The better head coach won. And, yes, the better defense won.

Those three missed field goals and the fourth that was blocked weren't flukes. Alabama didn't leave those 12 points on the field, LSU's "second best defense in college football"  withheld the opportunity for Bama to score those points. In each case, LSU's defense had a want and an ability to not only withhold the opportunity to secure additional yardage prior to the kick, they went further and secured a significant number of Alabama's previously-held yards for themselves. Loss of 5, loss of 6, loss of 7, loss of 5.

Had "the best defense in college football" done the same thing, causing Drew Alleman to miss 3 and have one blocked, you think the postgame narrative would have been the same? Or would it have been "THE SINGLE GREATEST DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCE IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL HISTORY!!!" Yeah.

Could have been worse though. At least they had enough shame to refrain from bitching and moaning and whining about how Reid's interception at the one yard line was a bad call that gifted LSU the win and ensured that the better team lost. Thank goodness it was Reid and not Pat Pete, or the call might have been quite different.

Rematch? I don't want one, mainly because I still fear Alabama. Not as much as I used to, but I'd still rather LSU not have to play them again. Clearly they're the second best team in the country, and clearly they're the only team in the country that stands a chance of withholding the Ultimate Prize from the Tigers. I'm not ashamed to say that on another night, Alabama is more than capable of beating the Tigers. Yes, even in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome™. And I'd prefer that LSU go ahead and win the whole thing.

But even more than that, much as I enjoy the idea of two teams from the same conference playing for the BCS Championship for the first and probably only time ever — two teams from the only conference that could ever hope to make that situation a realistic possibility, at that — I don't want a rematch for the purely selfish reason that I've already seen LSU/Bama. It's the same reason I didn't want LSU to play Oklahoma again in 2007, I'd already been there in 2003. And it's why I wouldn't want Oklahoma or Ohio State this year. Or Alabama or Oregon, for that matter.

Gimme something new. Gimme Oklahoma State or Stanford. (If it's Stanford, I'm gonna have to go ahead and insist that Skip Bertman be named head coach for the day, and that the game be played somewhere in Omaha.)

Just don't give me Boise. I want no part of Boise. Why? Because nobody's gonna remember Boise in 10 years. And nobody's gonna give a shit even leading up to the game. It would suck all the juice out of it. It would be like playing Cincinnati or Florida International or Hawaii in the BCSCG. LSU would win by 60, nobody would give a shit, and it would be completely forgotten almost instantly. People would look back 10 years from now and say "Really? Who the fuck is Boise State?"

Give me an opponent that 10 years from now people will at least not have to ask "Wait, they play(ed) football?"

And if that's Alabama, well then so be it. I'd prefer that it be someone LSU doesn't play every year, just for variety's sake.

But I certainly don't buy into the notion that Alabama is automatically not the second best team in the country based solely on a 3-point overtime loss to the best team in the country, even at home. I mean, if "We're undefeated in regulation!" worked for Les Miles in 2007, I don't see any reason it shouldn't work for Nick Saban in 2011.

And let's face it, it's LSU, Alabama and nobody else right about now. The BCS's stated prime directive is to ensure that the two best teams in the country play for the BCS Championship. Under normal circumstances, the argument that you can't be the second best team in the country if you don't even play in your own conference's championship game is a solid one. It's usually true. It's a legitimate rule of thumb. It usually applies. But it doesn't necessarily always apply.

It might be a once-in-a-lifetime kind of situation, but is there anyone left who doubts that we're staring at precisely that kind of once-in-a-lifetime situation right about now?

Anyway, there were plenty of parallels between last weekend's LSU and Saints games. Both HUGE wins against divisional opponents. Both tightened their hold on what had been fairly tenuous division leads and secured spots in their respective driver's seats. Both put up ~150 yards rushing. Both played stifling defense. (Or something.)

Hell, Drew Brees even played the roles of both Jarrett Lee (facepalm moment after throwing an INT that probably should have been a pick-six) and Jordan Jefferson (a 20-yard run!) No word on whether or not Drew kicked a dude in the face. If he did, I sure hope the victim was wearing a striped shirt.

The offensive line showed up, which was nice. I'm not sure whether Carl Nicks and Jahri Evans remembered that they're actually good, or forgot that they're supposed to be THE GREATEST GUARDS EVER(!!!) even with half their asses tied behind their backs. Either way is fine with me, as long as the revelation compels them not to leave half their asses at home going forward.

Same goes for the defensive line. Will Smith was in Beast Mode pretty much all day. I swear, sometime in the second half, I must have counted 10 straight plays where Smith abused Tampa's left tackle and made Josh.0 confused and irritable in the pocket. Cam Jordan played a hell of a game as well. Maybe his best game yet. Hell, if I didn't know any better, I'd swear I even saw Shaun Rogers and Aubrayo Franklin all up in Tampa's shit. (!!!)

Musta been the baseball bats.

Never underestimate the power of the baseball bats. Hell, apparently Reggie was even able to harness the Bat Mojo all the way in Kansas City. Powerful stuff.

As another apparent result, the Saints' rushing game was in full effect Sunday as well. Which is always good for a huge throbbing boner.

Once again Message Board Guy ABSOLUTELY NAILED IT. Clearly it's just a matter of Sean Payton making a COMMITMENT(!!!) to the rushing game, right? Do that, and everything will be just fine.

I mean, sure, they ran 27 rushing plays to 39 passing plays. Guess that's enough BALANCE(!!!) to produce 175 rushing yards and, as logically follows, an 11-point victory. This week, at least. I mean, of course if you just commit to running the ball 27 times, Sproles and Pierre are eventually gonna each break off a 30+ yard run. In the same game. Science.

Gotta be the bats. THE BATS!!!

Sue me, but I've got a hunch that it might also have had juuuuust a little something to do with the fact that Tampa's circling the drain right about now. They've lost 3 of their last 4, were coming off a trip to London and a bye, Blount was in his first game back off an injury, they had to travel to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and there were numerous indications of internal discord throughout the game.

Tampa shit the bed Sunday every bit as much as the Saints shit the bed in Tampa three weeks ago. Just sayin'.

And yet, Josh Freeman outpassed Drew Brees. Blount still ran for 72 yards in his first game back from an injury, including a 27-yarder. Tampa still rushed for 4.2 yards per, and had two passing plays of 30+. The Saints defense only sacked Freeman once, and once again (sigh) didn't post a single fucking takeaway.

Good thing we had those bats.

Hey, don't get me wrong though. It was a good win. A division win. A November win. And, in case you weren't already aware, November is Important™. Don't take my word for it, check out the inscription on one of those there baseball bats.

Hell, now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure I've never read anything inscribed on a baseball bat that didn't motivate me to use my entire ass to achieve some goal that I didn't even previously realize was a thing. High five, Coach! And here I thought recycling the whole thing after the one time in the playoffs against Arizona was pretty retarded. My bad.

We'll see how long it lasts though. Here's hoping the Saints remember to Bring The Wood (and/or the other half of their asses) to Atlanta this weekend. Perhaps they'll muster up enough residual give-a-damn to post another 100+ rushing yards and, by golly, maybe even come away with another huge division win. On the road this time.

Fingers crossed.

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