Wednesday, May 8, 2013
LSU: The hottest tickets
By Gary Laney
Alabama-LSU has turned into the must-see game in college football, and 2013 should provide much of the same intrigue.
BATON ROUGE, La. -- We know LSU games at Tiger Stadium are some of the hottest tickets in college football. It's why Tiger Stadium is undergoing an expansion that will make it the sixth stadium in college football to seat over 100,000.
It's hard to get an LSU ticket, home or away. Not only does Tiger Nation support the Tigers at home, Tigers fans gobble up their allotments for most road games.
Given that, what will be the toughest and most popular tickets for LSU fans in 2013 and why? Let's take a look.
1. Alabama (Nov. 9 at Tuscaloosa): LSU-Alabama is the new Ohio State-Michigan or Notre Dame-USC.
We know the game will have championship implications most years. In 2011, it was a preview of the national championship game. In 2012, Alabama's late rally in Tiger Stadium was the difference between the Tide going to the SEC championship game and national title game, instead of LSU.
While the Tigers are likely to be out of the preseason top 10 this year, LSU-Bama games have taken on too much meaning for this year's game to see a dramatic drop in interest.
2. Texas A&M (Nov. 23 at Tiger Stadium): This will be the Aggies' first trip to LSU for an SEC game and it will be LSU fans' chance to see a reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny Manziel, in action in their stadium.
This will be the third time this has happened at LSU since 2009. Tim Tebow, two years removed from his Heisman, came to Baton Rouge in 2009 (Florida won 13-3) and Mark Ingram came in 2010 the year after he won his Heisman (LSU won, 24-21).
3. TCU (Aug. 31 at Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas): It's not only a season opener for an LSU with a lot of question marks, it's also an opener against a big-name opponent on a national stage.
Will John Chavis be able to rebuild the defense? Is Cam Cameron's influence on the offense something that's profound?
TCU is a good enough opening opponent that we'll get those questions addressed rather quickly, adding intrigue to the opening wekend.
4. Florida (Oct. 12 at Tiger Stadium): Last year's SEC Sugar Bowl representative is one of the two teams, along with Alabama, that defeated LSU last year.
This game might have special meaning for the offense. In the 14-6 loss at the Swamp in 2012, the offense was at its most anemic, managing just eight first downs (three via penalty) while going 1-for-13 on third down. It was this kind of performance that led to the hiring of Cameron in the offseason.
The rematch will tell us a lot about whether the hiring has made a difference.
5. Georgia (Sept. 28 at Athens, Ga.): TCU will take LSU away from Tiger Stadium to start the season and while it's a neutral site game, Cowboy Stadium might favor the team from nearby Fort Worth.
That said, the first real road game for the Tigers will be Between the Hedges in Athens, where the Bulldogs (and not Florida) will be defending their SEC East title.
The interesting story angle of that day? It will be the return of former Georgia quarterback Zach Mettenberger, now an LSU Tiger star, to Athens.