Aug 28, 2008

LSU "Beefs Up" 2009 Schedule

LSU announced that the 2009 schedule has been finalized with three state schools rounding out the home, non-conference schedule. LSU will play Tulane, ULL and LA Tech at home, in addition to opening the season at Washington in non-conference play. What a slate of powerhouse BCS opponents!

Richard Condon, a local sports radio host, focused much of his show yesterday to the 2008 and 2009 schedules and I agree with a lot he said. I am a season ticket holder and want to see LSU play top opponents in non-conference. The Tigers can't control their SEC schedule, but they decide who else they'll play and where.

I understand that its difficult to play top teams every year, and I'm not saying they need to schedule Oklahoma, Ohio State and USC as their three non-conference games. The Tigers have a 10 year contract with Tulane and also try to play the other in-state schools on a rotating basis. That's two games out of the way right there. For the thrid game, I don't mind playing a lower level team from Conference USA (Middle Tennessee, Southern Miss) or the Sunbelt (Arkansas State, North Texas) once in a while. Every team schedules cupcakes. But please give us one marquee non-conference game.

We don't have to play the top team in the Big East, but why can't we play Pittsburgh or UConn? Why don't we look to teams like NC State, North Carolina or Virginia from the ACC? We used to play Texas A&M every year, and Texas schools have been hesitant to play us, but what about Oklahoma State or Kansas State? These aren't the #1 programs in their conferences, but they are bowl teams from BCS conferences and having them on the schedule looks a lot better than Troy and North Texas.

To LSU's credit, they have tried to schedule big oppenents in the past. Since I've been a student and now season ticket holder, LSU has played Notre Dame, Arizona State, Arizona, Virginia Tech, Fresno State, Oregon State and Miami (OH).

One LSU has run into is that when they schedule a team they are good, but since schedules are made so far in advance, by the time the game's played, the team stinks (See Arizona and Fresno State). I have no problem with this. I'm not saying the oppenent has to be great, but at least people have heard of Fresno State.

The other big problem LSU has had is that team's either don't want to come here (Texas Tech), want home games in return or have us on the schedule and force us to move or drop the game (Colorado, Virginia Tech, Arizona State). LSU is the only two-time BCS Champion. Why do we take direction from these schools who haven't sniffed a BCS Championsip game in years?

With ticket prices going up every few year (through the Tradition Fund) and the overall costs to attend games with gas and food prices thrown in, LSU fans want to see good games in Tiger Stadium. When a game's 28-3 at halftime, fans don't feel like they've gotten their money's worth. ESPN isn't going to televise LSU vs. North Texas, but they might televise LSU vs. Iowa State.

But why should fans really complain? These cupcake schedules have produced two BCS National Championships. Disregard the previous statements. Keep bringing in Arkansas State, Middle Tennessee and Idaho!

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