(Editor's note: Homerism's annual "Danger Games" series previews the games that could sneak up and bite some of the country's top teams. First up, the LSU Tigers' October trip to Neyland Stadium.)
Look-Ahead Factor: Yep
Letdown Factor: Indeed
Kerouac Factor: Major
Motivation Factor: Hype
Moments after LSU beat Tennessee last fall, I remember trying to explain the miraculous finish to my lady and finding myself flailing to put together anything remotely resembling a coherent string of sentences.
(It reminded of the time when my buddy Duffcakes tried to explain the plot of Wild Things to me before I had seen it: "… And then, everyone has sex with each other, there were some female orgasms, …Um, and Bill Murray is this ambulance chaser… Oh, but first there's a car wash!")
Honestly, even now with the benefit of months, rather than minutes, to break down the ending, I don't know if I could do it. The confluence of events that led to that win for the Tigers is unfathomable.
The fact that LSU struggled with the overmatched Volunteers should have surprised no one, though. The Tigers' ragged performance in a 16-14 win was sandwiched in between a high-profile non-conference game against West Virginia and a trip to the Swamp.
The tilt with Tennessee falls a week later for the Tigers in 2011, but it's a spot that is no less precarious. The Bayou Bengals travel to Knoxville on Oct. 15, a week after the Florida Gators visit Baton Rouge and a week before the Auburn Tigers come calling.
With Derek Dooley starting that magical year two of his UT tenure, the Vols and their 13 returning starters should make demonstrable progress this season. Granted, they beat some crappy teams, but a four-game winning streak to close the 2010 regular season should give Tennessee a little confidence boost, too.
Plus, the Vols open the season with five straight home dates, the last of which is the LSU game. That's not a bad way to start the season.
Maybe the escape job LSU did last fall will have the Tigers on their toes this time around. But with Les Miles prominently involved, would it surprise you if his team got caught napping this time around?