The LSU Tigers completed a dream season by winning the SEC Championship, the National Championship and the Heisman trophy in the same season.
The road to this point has been a magical one for LSU, its star quarterback, Joe Burrow, and especially its head coach, Ed Orgeron. Everything seemed to fall into place for their championship season.
Before Monday night’s championship game against Clemson, Orgeron was asked what was the turning point in LSU’s football program to get the Tigers to this point.
“I do believe the loss to Troy was a turning point in our program,” Orgeron said. “It helped us realize what we had to get done, what we had to do as a coaching staff, as players.”
While it doesn’t seem like Orgeron is necessarily insulting the Trojans, it does seem like a backhanded compliment to the Troy football program.
Another point of contention is LSU’s hype video leading up to the national championship game, which implies that the program at some point hit “rock bottom.”
LSU hasn’t had a losing season since last century and has had eight or more wins for all 20 seasons in this millennium.
So, do LSU and Orgeron feel that the loss to Troy was the program’s rock bottom?
The loss to Troy very well could have been the final straw that made Orgeron and his coaching staff realize that if changes are not made, their jobs could be terminated.
But why was Troy the catalyst? To say the loss to Troy spurred the changes insinuates that the Trojans were a struggling program when the opposite is true.
A year prior in 2016, Troy had posted a 10-3 record with one of the three losses coming to Clemson in the other Death Valley in South Carolina.
If not for a missed fumble call, Troy could have won the game and possibly altered the course of college football history since Clemson would go on to win the national championship over Alabama a few months later.
Troy was a program on the rise, and it showed with the Trojans’ 11-2 record and onference Championship in the 2017 season.
It’s possible that the 2017 Troy team was really that good, and losing to the Trojans that year isn’t necessarily rock bottom.
If they truly were at rock bottom, then LSU must have undergone a miraculous recovery in the span of two weeks because the Tigers rolled off wins against a ranked Florida team and a top-10 Auburn team that was a serious playoff contender that season.
Since the 2017 loss to Troy, LSU has posted a 30-5 record. So, if LSU wants to say that loss started a domino effect leading up to a championship, then Troy will take that credit.
To say the loss was rock bottom is unfair not only to the 2017 Troy team but the last 20 years of LSU football as a whole.