Who knew Fat Tuesday could be celebrated in November?
In the aftermath of LSU’s 46-41 victory over Alabama, the state of Louisiana (or at least those who bleed purple and gold) has been absolutely hammered with enthusiasm — a mixture of childlike Christmas-morning joy and the kind of relief that comes from surviving the latest round of mass corporate layoffs.
That kind of revelry is what happens when you finally end a eight-game losing streak to your most hated rival.
That revelry began immediately following Saturday’s victory.
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron first shed tears on the field and then promptly fired up his Tigers in the locker room by yelling “We’re going to beat their ass every time they see us. You understand me? Roll Tide what? F__ you!”
LSU players meanwhile went over to the section of seats inside Bryan-Denny Stadium designated for Alabama recruits (which are essentially LSU recruits too) and informed them to come to the Da Boot to play football.
Joe Burrow, who likely locked up the Heisman Trophy with his masterful performance of 393 yards on 31-of-39 passing with 3 touchdowns, was greeted with a hero’s welcome at the Baton Rouge airport late Saturday night.
By the time Sunday morning came around, there might not have been an ounce to liquor to find in the state capitol as LSU fans couldn’t stop celebrating.
So who deserves to be crowned the King of this Mardi Gras celebration? Is it Orgeron for finally besting Nick Saban and coaching the team to a No. 1 ranking? Is it Burrow for rewriting the offensive record books on way to collect the program’s second Heisman?
The King of this purple and gold revelry should be the other Joe — Joe Brady.
The 30-year-old first-year passing game coordinator is the difference why LSU has gone from a very good team to a great team — a national title contender. Brady is also a large portion of the reason why Burrow has gone from great leader and very good quarterback to record-setting Heisman winner.
Burrow had a good season in 2018 under offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger when he passed for 2,894 yards with 16 touchdowns to 5 interceptions while completing 57.78 percent of his passes. So those are very good numbers (especially for LSU quarterbacks) but nowhere near what he is doing his season.
With Brady on staff, Burrow has already thrown for 3,198 yards with 33 touchdowns to 4 interceptions while completing 78.93 percent of his passes.
You see the difference the former New Orleans Saints offensive assistant has made with Burrow? He went from a slightly better version of Danny Etling to a guy who will win the most prestigious hardware in college football and is projected to be the No. 1 overall pick next year.
LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda has received the “genius” tag by many in the media.
The genius of Aranda, the highest paid assistant coach in college football, has not been able to figure out Alabama.
A year after his defense gave up 576 yards and 29 points to Alabama, Aranda’s defense gave up 541 yards and 34 points (the other touchdown was a punt return) on Saturday. In the past two meetings, Alabama has averaged 558.5 yards and 31.5 points while managing only two sacks total.
Maybe the real genius on staff is Brady and maybe LSU, and the Tiger Athletic Foundation, should rethink paying Aranda a salary of $2.5 million and push over some of that salary to keeping Brady who’s current deal is worth $400,000 and expires in 2022.
Not surprisingly, multiple media reports have that LSU is trying to do just that. Not the part of taking money away from Aranda (which would be awkward but yet entertaining) but the part of making Brady one of the highest paid assistants in college football.
That is a smart move — the right move by LSU and the TAF.
The boy wonder offensive guru is worth whatever amount it takes to keep him in Baton Rouge. Go ahead and pay the king’s ransom to keep it and I am fairly certain donations can be made to make that happen.
Because if the Tigers can keep Brady on staff for years to come — then maybe those Fat Tuesday in November celebrations will become a tradition.