Every season, the goal for the LSU Tigers football team is ending the regular season in Atlanta for the SEC Championship. The Tigers are guaranteed a game in Atlanta next season, however, as they will start their season in the Georgia Dome against the North Carolina Tarheels in the Chik Fil A Kickoff Classic.
The game pits an ACC representative against a team from the SEC. Alabama has appeared in the game the past two seasons taking on Clemson and Virginia Tech respectively.
The game, which is to be played on Sept. 4, will be the opener for both teams and will be broadcast in prime time on ESPN. It will be a great opportunity for Les Miles and Butch Davis (two excellent recruiters) to showcase their teams in the national spotlight.
In order to make room for the game, LSU and Tulane have cancelled their 10-year contract. LSU and Tulane will play this year in Baton Rouge and one time in the future, but the year and location have yet to be determined.
While LSU will take on North Carolina and West Virginia in 2010, the last hole in the schedule will be filled by in-state FCS school McNeese St. The Cowboys are an elite FCS program with a great fan base that will be excited to make the short trip to Baton Rouge and play in Tiger Stadium. LSU and McNeese have never met in football.
The Kickoff Classic will be the seventh time the Tigers and Tarheels have tangled, with LSU holding a 5-1 all time lead in the series.
The changes don't seem to be complete yet on the 2010 schedule. While the Tigers have out of conference opponent Southern Miss on the slate next year, the early word is that LSU will let USM back out of the game in order to play South Carolina in a televised game. So stay tuned for more changes folks.
It's a bit sad though that this is more or less the divorce of the rivalry (if you can call it that) between LSU and Tulane. When I heard the news yesterday, I imagined the below scenario taking place.
Tulane: Uhhh yeah, hey, this is Tulane, look I've been trying to call you for like the last three days, you haven't returned my calls. What's up with that?
LSU: Ohh yeah, um, about that...
Tulane: I keep hearing that you're breaking our date next year for North Carolina in Atlanta. Is that correct?
LSU: Well, see...
Tulane: I mean I know I'm not as relevant as I used to be but...
LSU: It's not that, Tulane, it's just that we made these dates a long time ago, under a different AD. We have a new AD now and we're trying to schedule some fun teams to play out of conference like West Virginia, Washington, and Arizona State. It's going to be great for the fans.
Tulane: What about my fans?
LSU: I'm sure neither of them will mind...
Tulane: Hey that's not fair, we had a freaking hurricane!
LSU: It was like this for you before the hurricane. We're just too different of programs right now. I'm so sorry, it's not you...it's me.
Tulane: But I can change.
LSU: 1982 was a long time ago. I know we had our two-team thing, but we play many in state schools now...like ULL, La Tech, ULM...
Tulane: You think I didn't hear about that small time harlot you're dancing with next year, what's her name...McNeese?! What the heck kind of name is that? Did you go directly to the trailer park to pick her up?!!!
LSU: Whoa, whoa, no need to get angry here. McNeese is just another school. It's just one game.
Tulane: One of the many! You're such a pig!
LSU: C'mon baby, you know I'm not a one in-state rivalry school anymore. We need to spread the love (money) around.
Tulane: McNeese is a glorified high school team.
LSU: That's not true, they're one of the better teams in the FCS.
Tulane: And what am I now?
LSU: You've changed. You used to be great but you've really let yourself go over the past 30 years or so.
Tulane: I thought we had something special.
LSU: We used to, but you're living in the past. That's over now, it's time for me to play other teams. I'm sorry, this just isn't working out. I think we need to go on a break for while.
Tulane: I hate this.
LSU: I know, it's hard.
LSU: Hey, c'mon. Dry those eyes. Hey, who's gonna be my dancing partner later this season?
LSU: C'mon it's on Halloween. Who's gonna be my automatic win on Halloween?
Tulane: I am.
LSU: What's that? I didn't hear you.
Tulane: I am.
LSU: That's right. Now good luck in the CUSA this year; you guys are trying really hard.
Tulane: Okay, promise you won't forget me?
LSU: Of course I won't. Hey we'll always have "the Tiger Rag" right?
Tulane: Hey, what does that thing look like? I haven't seen it in decades.