GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Because it's always the highest profile Florida home game in October every even year, an LSU-Florida matchup in The Swamp inevitably turns into a political showcase. Before the game, school colors bow to primary colors as parties make last-ditch efforts to grab votes from a mostly inebriated electorate.
Saturday, McCain headquarters stood in front of the Tau Kappa Epsilon house. Obama headquarters was ... well, it's a college campus, so Obama headquarters was pretty much everywhere else. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was scheduled to fly in for a Friday fundraiser and a Saturday rally -- to help the McCain/Palin ticket, or is he possibly filling the kitty for a run in 2012? -- but the red-staters weren't the only ones making a push. Politicos of every stripe permeated this normally quiet college town. At Satchel's Pizza, home of the best counterculture deep dish a living wage can buy, the rusted out van that doubles as a booth bore a "Let Nader Debate" sticker.
But all the candidates should be grateful for Article 2, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution. That's the one that decrees a citizen must be at least 35 to serve as commander-in-chief. Because if the guys holding the sign while tailgating along University Avenue had their way, this critical swing state would fall in a landslide to the Tim Tebow/anybody else ticket. Fortunately for Obama and McCain, Tebow can't run until 2024.
Check back at SI.com after the game for my full College Football Insider on this enormous SEC showdown.