BATON ROUGE, La. — Based on social media feeds, one can only conclude that two world-altering events took place this weekend — a royal wedding in England and a coronation in Louisiana.
The crown was placed on the head of newly minted LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, who decided to leave his home state of Ohio to spend the next two years with the Tigers.
It’s important to note that Burrow has yet to be crowned by an actual authority figure. Sources familiar with Burrow’s recruitment said that coach Ed Orgeron made it clear that he wasn’t being handed the starting job. He will have to earn it.
But in the eyes of many LSU fans, that competition is academic. Burrow is already their new king of campus, inspiring grown men to use heart emojis without irony.
Thanks Jeaux 😍
— Andy Koester (@andy_koester) May 18, 2018
The LSU fan base hasn’t been this fired up about something since … the Tigers signed Myles Brennan to play quarterback.
the college football world is in trouble. Watch out Alabama, we coming for that ass this year.
— Trae Bone (@BoneOil76) February 2, 2017
Or perhaps it was Nov. 5, 2016, when the LSU offense struggled in a 10-0 loss to Alabama and gave Tigers fans a full-blown case of Brennan Fever.
— Keith Cox (@LATiger13) November 6, 2016
Myles Brennan needs to save us
— Grant Richardson (@grraaanntt) November 6, 2016
What a crap season. I've lost all enthusiasm for this team. Myles Brennan please save us. I want to enjoy college football again.
— Brent Albarado (@balbar) November 6, 2016
Or maybe it was when LSU got a commitment from 5-star quarterback Gunner Kiel …
— SEC Football News (@SECfootball) December 28, 2011
Gunner Kiel, nation's top QB, picks LSU over Vandy and Notre Dame. Rich get even richer.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) December 27, 2011
Great news Tiger Fans! Top-rated QB Gunner Kiel has committed to LSU. GEAUX TIGERS! #LSU
— Dandy Don LSU Sports (@dandydonlsu) December 27, 2011
You get the point.
Since 2011, there have been plenty of quarterback coronations at LSU, but so far the crown has yet to stick. In Brennan’s case, perhaps it still will, though there’s now a chance it will happen elsewhere.
Looking back, it would be wise to temper the rising expectations being laid at Burrow’s feet. One can only wonder if he even knows what he has gotten himself into in that regard.
If he doesn’t, it won’t take long after his arrival in Baton Rouge to find out.
That’s not to throw a bucket of ice water on the parade of LSU fans. There is legitimate reason to be fired up. By all accounts, there aren’t many schools in the country where Burrow would not be starting next season. Ohio State just happened to be one of the few on that list.
If Burrow is the real deal, it changes the entire narrative about LSU’s quarterback play. Even if he doesn’t bring the Tigers to a championship level himself, he might play well enough to encourage some future recruit at the position to become the guy who does.
But if he doesn’t work out, a whole house of cards could tumble for Orgeron. Critics will say LSU can’t even do anything with quarterback talent that’s been coached up by Urban Meyer, and it will be hard to prove them wrong.
Happy as they may be now, it’s important for fans to remember both outcomes are possible. In that way, Burrow’s commitment isn’t unlike a marriage, royal or otherwise. On the wedding day, all anyone expects is bliss — and there’s a good chance that’s what they’ll get. But history shows those expectations don’t always turn into reality.