I am honored to be the editor of
Tiger Rag Magazine.
As the oldest specialty publication
which covers LSU, I have the privileged opportunity to do something no other
editor has been able to do in the 27 years of the Rag. It is my honor to
congratulate Nick Saban and the Tigers on winning the 2003 Bowl Championship
Series National Championship. Wow, that felt good!
Actually no one has been able to
utter those words, at least not in the last 45 years.
But after years of waiting til next
year, next year finally came for the Fighting Tigers as a magical season ended
with a 13-1 record and a 21-14 victory over Oklahoma in the most memorable Sugar
Bowl in history.
Saban has been officially crowned
the undisputable Caesar of the college football empire and not to mention his
god-like status in Louisiana and most especially Tiger town. His meteoric rise
at LSU has been nothing short of remarkable and in just four years on the job
has the Tigers sitting atop the college football world. LSU has been transformed
from the hunter to the hunted as every team in America, most notably the 11
members of the Southeastern Conference, will be looking to know the Bayou
Bengals from their perch.
Most people are sensible and know
that seasons like 2003 don’t happen every year. The Tigers will not reign the
college football world forever and repeating as national champions is as tough
as an overcooked steak. However one can bet that Saban will have the Tigers in
the hunt every year – and that’s all most folks ask for anyway.
Even when LSU loses its first game
since a 19-7 loss to Florida at the midway point of last season and the mystical
buzz is finally sobered, do not lose hope. It’s hard to stay on top and reality
will eventually have to settle in to everyone’s mind.
However, no matter what happens in
the future, Tiger fans will always have the past. No future disappointment can
wipe away memories of LSU’s win over Georgia – the Ole Miss nailbiter – the
thrashing of the Bulldogs in LSU-Georgia Part 2 – and finally the spine tingling
moment of Saban and his Tigers raising that crystal football in the
I get chills thinking about.
I’ll remember the nervous feeling
in my stomach as we awaited the opening kickoff. The excitement of Justin Vincent breaking it for a big one on the first play. The disappointment of the
fumble just moments later. Oh the joy when Marcus Spears picked off Heisman
winner Jason White for the game-winning score. The goose bumps of pride on the
back of my neck when the Golden Band from Tigerland pumped out the Pregame March
at the start of the fourth quarter – my goodness what a roar in that Superdome.
I’ll never forget - eyes clenched tightly when it looked like the Sooners could
tie the score late in the game. I’ll also never forget the silent prayer, “it’s
LSU’s turn, it’s LSU’s turn,” over and over in my head before OU’s Mark Clayton
dropped the tying TD pass on fourth down.
I apologize for that walk down
memory lane, but I know everyone out there has some sort of unique story about
that memorable night.
So let me say again how honored I
am to publish this football preview, the only one in Tiger rag history dedicated
to the defending national champions.
Hey, speaking of defending national
champions, we recently chatted with Dan Borne’, the voice of Tiger Stadium. Not
only will he introduce the home team as “Your Fighting Tigers of LSU,” but this
year expect a little lagniappe. I asked Dan what he planned to say, and he
responded, “you wouldn’t believe how many times I get asked that.”
At any rate, he wouldn’t release
the coveted information, partly because he said he is still trying to script
something clever. However, from the man who coined the phrase “it never rains in
Tiger Stadium,” I’ll bet whatever he comes up with will be
And finally, we hope you enjoy this
year’s edition of the Tiger Rag Football Preview. Can’t wait to see you all on