The Smile! Train: How an Arkansas fan can enjoy the LSU game

Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

Just keep reminding yourself that it's John L. Smith's last game as head coach

Northwest Arkansas in the fall is one of my favorite places in the world.

I love rolling over the bridges and the hills at 80 miles an hour, inching closer to Fayetteville, taking in the explosion of reds and oranges and yellows and greens below and above.

This time though, the ride comes with a little sinking feeling - the Hogs aren't going to a bowl, and this Arkansas and LSU game has little significance.

This rivalry has become something great over the last decade - eight of the last 11 matchups have been decided by a touchdown or less - and the highlights of the past few years have been great.

I'll never forget the Miracle on Markham or watching Darren McFadden play the best football of his life in Baton Rouge or even watching Casey Dick lead an awful Arkansas team past LSU in 2008.

Unfortunately, this year, the Golden Boot means about as much as the Little Brown Jug. Winning it would only mean something to one of the two teams (hint: it's Arkansas.)

But take heart, folks. This is the last day of the season from L. And isn't that great to think about?

But if you need any more ways to enjoy today's game, here are a few more tips to help you make it through today's matchup with those corn-dog loving Cajuns.

1. Two words: Les Miles. The man has already become an icon because of his sheer lunacy at the dais, and he added his latest - and possibly greatest - hit to national airwaves last week. If you haven't seen it, watch it here, then just GIVE HIM A KISS ON THE MOUTH.

2. Partake in the Rajun' Cajun. James Carville is one of LSU's most famous alumni, and he's on of my favorite characters to ever find a voice in politics. Whether or not you agree with what he stands for (a lot of Arkansans are thankful that he was the guy running Bill Clinton's campaign), I crack up whenever I see him because of something he once said on the Tony Barnhart show.

Barnhart asked him something like, "James, how exactly did you become an LSU fan growing up?" Carville laughed, then issued a classic response: "I don't know Tony, that's like asking me how I became a heterosexual."

However, because I can't find video of that interview (I will pay money for it if anyone is able to find it), I'll leave you instead with Carville's best Hollywood cameo. (He's also in Wedding Crashers, but he doesn't have a speaking part.)

3. Read up on LSU's quirky history. LSU has a history of stories and legends and myths that make it one of the most distinctive programs in college football, and they're worth perusing just to get a taste of some of the insanity and tradition that comes with the Bayou Bengals.

For example, did you know that LSU's only Heisman winner, Billy Cannon, spent 11 years in the NFL, then spent more than two years in prison for printing fake money and now has become a dentist for the inmates at said prison?

ESPN's Wright Thompson wrote a long article about Cannon's checkered past just a few years ago, and it's a fascinating tale of how the life of an All-American punt returner with a flat-top haircut turned so sideways that he found himself behind bars a few decades later. (Read all of Thompson's story here.)

4. Enjoy the weekend - the final weekend from L - with your family and friends. And get those coaching rumors churning. No better way to start some inter-family drama than to have people taking sides over whether or not Sonny Dykes' offense could ever work in the SEC.

Enjoy the game, everyone. Woo pig.

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