Burrow leads LSU to memorable finish

by Gary Shelton on January 14, 2020

in general

Orgeron led his Tigers to the national title./CARMEN MANDATO

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

He is the reason that Dabo Swinney doesn't have a grip on the top of his profession.

He is the reason that Nick Saban doesn't have statues in every village in Alabama.

He is the reason that Kirby Smart needs a new last name.

He is Joe Burrow, and he has spent a season carving his name into the college football history books. This was the Year of Burrow. There will be no discussion.

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The Heisman. The undefeated season. Sixty touchdown passes. More than 5,600 yards passing. And now, the national championship. Oh, and he was the Outstanding Offensive Player of the game.

Burrow carved up a very good Clemson team Monday night, leading the Tigers to a 42-25 victory. It was the 11th time this season that LSU has scored 40 points or more. The Tigers beat seven top 10 teams (going into the game) along their way to the title.

LSU snapped a 29-game winning streak by Clemson.

Because of lousy field position, Burrow took some time to get going Monday night. Still, he threw for 463 yards and five scores to those magnificent receivers of his.

Clemson jumped to a 17-7 lead, and for a while -- a short one -- it seemed the Tigers might win their third title in four years. But as a lot of its opponents have discovered, it's hard to slow down this offense.

So where does it all leave Burrow.

Here, perhaps. When you talk about the greatest players in LSU history, you might as well start with Burrow. Sure, the Tigers have had a a lot of great players over the years -- Billy Cannon and Tyrann Matthieu and Odell Beckham and Patrick Peterson ad Jim Taylor and Alan Faneca and Bert Jones and Y.A. Tittle.

But none of them had threw for 60 touchdown passes in a season. None of them won the trifecta of winning the Heisman, going unbeaten and winning the national title (Jameis Winston was the last player to do so in 2013).

Think of how special Burrow was in this post-season. He led his team to 142 points in wins over Georgia, Oklahoma and Clemson. He threw for 16 touchdowns and more than 1,200 yards.

Peyton Manning, who also played in the SEC, never had a season like this. No one else did, either.

Burrow will be remembered in Baton Rouge as long they sell shrimp. And this team? It'll be remembered for a while, too.

Oh, LSU has won titles before. In 2007. for instance. But that team lost two games. Besides, Matt Flynn was the LSU quarterback then. Think Flynn is thought of in the same regard as Burrow?

In 2003, LSU won the BCS title, but most of the country was watching USC beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl.

In 1958, LSU won half of the title. Iowa won the other half.

Then there was the season of 1908, which was marred by accusations that the Tigers had paid several of its players. And who can blame them? You have to grease palms to beat the Young Men's Gymnastic Club, Jackson Barracks of New Orleans and Haskell.

So, yeah, this will be a team that will be -- and should be -- remembered as LSU's finest. For how long?

Oh, until someone better comes along.

How long do you think that will take?

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