The hottest ticket in college football this year is unmistakably LSU vs. Texas in Austin Saturday.

And that’s been proven with data this summer. Earlier this month, StubHub released its insights on the most popular ticket in the sport. As of Monday, the lowest ticket for the game on that website was going for $310, while club seats were going as high as $4,500.

In other words, you could call this the biggest game of the year.

And it only got bigger after last Saturday.

Texas might actually be “back” this time, as the Longhorns thumped Louisiana Tech, 45-14, last Saturday night. Say what you will about Louisiana Tech’s stagnant passing game (at times), but the Bulldogs will flood the field with athletes on both sides of the ball this fall. And we saw how those athletes did against a 2018 version of LSU last year. It was a three-point game in the fourth quarter, after all.

But this 2019 rendition of LSU is unrecognizable. LSU operated exclusively in the spread in a 55-3 victory against Georgia Southern, and if anyone would have told you Joe Burrow would have more touchdowns than incompletions, while also throwing for a school record five touchdowns in the first half of that win, you probably would have slapped them.

Fourteen Tigers caught passes in the win, and LSU outgained a Georgia Southern team that won 10 games last season, 472-98, in total yards. And that was merciful considering the 42-3 halftime score.

Burrow and Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger combined to go 51-of-65 for 554 yards and nine touchdowns with no interceptions in their respective wins last Saturday.

Now we get to see if Texas truly is back to being a national power, and this game is much bigger than just LSU vs. Texas. If you’re any team outside of the SEC, you want Texas to win this game. If LSU is able to beat Texas on the road and lose only one game this season (a tight road loss to Alabama), the Tigers will have a strong argument for the College Football Playoff. Even more so after Auburn, which will probably end up as the fifth best team in the SEC, took down an Oregon team that’s going to contend for the PAC-12 title.

So it’s not a stretch to say huge playoff ramifications are on the line when these two teams kick off Saturday, and I’ve got to be honest — I haven’t had this much confidence in an LSU team since the 2011 season.

Burrow is special, the skill level across the board is an embarrassment of riches and this could be Dave Aranda’s best defense yet. If the offensive line holds up, this is a national championship caliber team.

And I hear you — I’ve been accused of drinking the LSU Kool-Aid this summer. Perhaps some others will be asking me to pass it around after that offensive explosion last Saturday night, but one thing is for sure — this new offense isn’t just talk anymore. We’ve now seen it, and from what Ed Orgeron said in the postgame, we’ve only experienced a taste.  

If LSU lights up Texas this Saturday night with four- and five-wide sets, some of you might skip the Kool-Aid altogether. Instead, many of you will be busting through your neighbors’ walls like the Kool-Aid Man, himself.

Award-winning sports writer for columns and features since joining the field in 2013. As the first-ever featured columnist of the month at Bleacher Report, Martin cut his teeth with online media before joining the newspaper business in 2014.

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