LSU Football: Tigers Will Get Tough Test vs. TCU in Cowboys Classic to Open 2013

Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterSeptember 25, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 03:  A general view of play between the Oregon Ducks and the LSU Tigers at Cowboys Stadium on September 3, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The LSU Tigers have opened the college football season on the main stage several times in recent years. In 2010, the Tigers traveled to Atlanta to play North Carolina in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game and followed that up the following season with a date with Oregon in the Cowboys Classic in Arlington, Texas.

That trend will continue in 2013.

The LSU Tigers will take on the TCU Horned Frogs at Cowboys Stadium in the fifth edition of the Cowboys Classic, which will take place Saturday, August 31, 2013, according to a release from LSU

TCU may not have the name recognition that the Ducks had when LSU played them in 2010, but the Horned Frogs will provide a tough test in a game that will be enormous for their football program.

The Tigers shouldn't—and likely won't—take TCU lightly.

This team has finished in the top 20 of the final BCS standings in each of the last four seasons, has finished in the top 20 in total defense in four of the last five seasons and has generated plenty of momentum within the program after winning the 2011 Rose Bowl and joining the Big 12.

A win over an SEC foe on one of the game's biggest stages would kick that momentum into overdrive.

If you could catch LSU head coach Les Miles in an honest moment, he'd probably tell you that in retrospect, he probably would have given quarterback Zach Mettenberger more of the offense during the first three games. Mettenberger was slow in his decision-making in Saturday night's squeaker over Auburn, and his offensive line didn't do him any favors with its mediocre pass-blocking.

LSU won't have that option in 2013.

These are high-risk, high-reward scenarios for participants. Win, and it could jumpstart your entire season, as it did for Alabama in 2009, TCU in 2010 and LSU in 2011. Lose, and it could end a team's national title hopes before they even got going.

It's a great matchup for the Cowboys Classic. LSU is a national draw and a proven commodity, while TCU is a team on the rise that will be excited to take on an SEC foe in its own backyard.