Former Georgia Bulldog and current ESPN analyst David Pollack revealed yesterday that his network’s “College GameDay” crew will be heading to South Carolina for the season-opening tilt between old rivals Georgia and Clemson. At least that’s what he thinks is going to happen:
“We’ll be there, yeah. I think with Clemson and their fanbase and how great they are, and GameDay hasn’t been there in a long time… I don’t know if it’s released yet, but I’m pretty sure. I don’t see anywhere else. I don’t think TCU and LSU would be the spot. If you can go to Death Valley with those fans, they’ve got some awesome fans. It’s an SEC-type atmosphere.”
The August 31st game between the Bulldogs and Tigers has already been slotted into ABC’s primetime broadcast, meaning that Kirk Herbstreit would have a much easier day of travel.
Last December, Dabo Swinney went all viral video in a rant against South Carolina’s football program. Trouble is, he was responding to comments from former Gamecock quarterback and current play-by-play man Todd Ellis rather than comments by Steve Spurrier, who he thought had fired the initial zingers.
Well, Spurrier did have a little fun with Clemson this week as his team prepares to play at LSU’s Tiger Stadium — which is nicknamed “Death Valley” — on Saturday. Swinney wasted no time in popping back.
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Last night, the Washington Huskies knocked off unbeaten, #8 Stanford 17-13 in Seattle. That’s good for the SEC for two reasons. (And we’ll keep this short and sweet.)
First, the Big Ten is already out of the BCS Championship picture and the Pac-12 is closely following in Jim Delany’s league’s footsteps. Stanford upset everyone’s preseason favorite Southern Cal two weeks ago. Now the Cardinal have fallen, too. Could a one-loss Pac-12 team reach the BCS title game? Possibly, but it’s unlikely. Which means the league’s main hope of reaching rarefied air is Oregon. If the Ducks quack their way through the season unbeaten, they’ll likely face — barring several unexpected collapses — the champion of the SEC in Miami for the crown. But if Oregon loses, it could be curtains for two of the nation’s remaining “big five” conferences.
Second, LSU’s strength of schedule just got a boost in the computer rankings and in voters’ minds. Back on September 8th, the same team that toppled Stanford last night ventured in Tiger Stadium and found out why they call it Death Valley. Final Score: LSU 41, Washington 3. There are currently four SEC teams (Alabama, LSU, Georgia, and South Carolina) ranked among the nation’s top six teams and Florida’s rising fast as well. That means there’s still a chance — a better chance with the woes of the Big Ten and Pac-12 — for another SEC versus SEC national title tilt. LSU took a bit of a hit in the public eye after last week’s two-point win over what looks to be an average at best Auburn squad. Now the Tigers’ win over Washington should help to make up for that.
Bottom line: The more teams in other conferences upset one another, the more likely another SEC versus SEC BCS Championship Game becomes. Whether people outside the South want one or not.
July 21st, 2011 07:35 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: LSU
Tags: Death Valley, LSU
LSU isn’t exactly rolling in cash these days. The school’s recent budget woes have led to the dropping of classes and the dismissal of faculty. So it’s no wonder the school is looking for new revenue streams.
But we didn’t think one of those streams would be alcohol.
LSU is planning to partner with Tin Roof Brewing Company and Mockler Beverage to produce and market its own brand of beer. The beverage could be distributed later this year.
LSU business students are working on the branding, imaging and marketing of the new brew.
And you thought Tiger fans were already rowdy on Saturday nights in Death Valley. Wait’ll they crack open their own LSU suds.
Across the country, falling attendance numbers are putting a scare into many, many professional teams. Watching games at home in HD a lot less stressful than driving to, parking at, and buying a seat at the local stadium. Staying at home also has the added benefit of being a heckuva lot cheaper.
Some sports analysts are even talking about what was once unthinkable — building smaller stadiums that provide more amenities than the current behemoths. Fewer seats, more luxury boxes, better sight lines, etc.
And now consider what’s going on in Baton Rouge. LSU is surveying its season-ticket holders to see if there is need to expand Tiger Stadium. Yeah, that’s right. Opposing teams might soon be facing a bigger, louder Death Valley.
While many sports officials are scratching their heads and wondering if they need to contract and spruce up their stadiums, LSU is looking at expanding. That certainly speaks to the passion of the Tiger fanbase.
“This is something that may or may not happen, but you have to start somewhere in terms of gauging interest of fans,” LSU associate AD Herb Vincent told The Associated Press. “There might be interest, but we have to know how much people are willing to pay and how does that balance out with how much the cost would be.”
According to The AP, one thought is to add a club lounge to the 92,400-seat stadium. Also, new suite leases could run anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000 per year.
Keep in mind that schools — in this economy — are trying to squeeze every dime they can from fans and boosters. So if spending X million on stadium expansion would bring in X million + 1 in revenue, expansion will be considered.
But LSU officials also must consider what would happen if the Tigers’ football fortunes turned south for some reason. Remember, there was a lengthy decline in Bayou gridiron fortunes before Nick Saban arrived and tapped into Louisiana’s deep talent pipeline. If something were to change — and every program goes through highs and lows — would an expanded yet less-filled Tiger Stadium be a negative? That will definitely be discussed… just maybe not with the local newspaper.
LSU sold out all seven home games last season.
Content provided by And The Valley Shook.
As always, all photos in this post were taken by me. You can find more and higher-res versions of all of these HERE.
Clear day to a cloudy, then foggy night. A full moon. An older man with a mirror axe. A reverend trying to out-gamble Les Miles on his own turf. Giant TV’s on Airships. A late but very strong entry into the “Worst Officiated Game of the Year” I saw all this in the final game in Death Valley for 2010. To begin, a number to set the mood.
CBS finally ante’d up for a real blimp this time (past game’s aerial footage has come from Cessnas doing repeated fly-by’s.) The thought of Mike Slive watching from up there, cackling an evil laugh, crossed my mind more than once. Also, the giant LCD screen on the side was impressive, so much that someone next to me mentioned what a great idea it would be to put another game on it for a bit of real life Picture-in-Picture.
That’s the East stands while the band is playing Pregame. Shameful. It got a little bit better as the 1st qtr went on, but that kind of attendance for a 9-1 SEC team in a rivalry game is pathetic. I urge you all to just turn over your seats now, as there are some of us who’ve been on the waiting list for quite awhile who will gladly show up to games on time.
I was having camera issues in the 1st quarter and missed capturing a few great moments
- TV timeout about midway through the 1st. Les Miles very purposefully walks a few feet onto the field and makes a great show of kneeling down to pick up some grass.
- After the gathering of legends (Cannon, Tittle, Casanova, Stovall, Taylor) Tittle spends the next few plays about two yards on the field watching the game before somebody pulls him off, while Casanova stops to charm every pretty lady who wants a picture along the south endzone fence. Tommy’s still got it.
- The Ole Miss punt return with the “hot potato” shenanigans didn’t even fool the stadium camera crew.
Aside from the 1st drive INT, the defensive struggles were maddening. It seems Masoli has some of that same talent that Cam Newton had, where he’s got great escape ability when the pocket collapses. It eats at you when the D comes within inches of a sack, only to give up a 1st down because of a dodged tackle. And I believe we can all now understand the nearly crippling mental blow Florida fans felt that comes when your opponent converts 4 4th downs. Any more than that is probably banned under treaties.
It’s been a little rough, this first year in a long time without Wickes at the helm, but I’m pleased. The band has markedly improved in both volume and quality to my ears. And I hope All I Do is Win stays in the rotation.
I’d also like to make a note to the folks in charge of the piped-in music. The Old Skool dance breaks were awesome. If those were the only kind of songs played on the PA, I wouldn’t have a single complaint.
So now for the mirror axe bit. Jim Peterik, front man for Ides of March and Survivor, and songwriter for nearly everything in heavy rotation on Eagle 98.1, was inducted into the LA Music Hall of Fame this year and came onto the field to play a couple of his hits with the band. It’s not an overstatement to say this didn’t look like a good idea at the start, but it turned out exceptionally well. Vehicle sounded great, and It was obvious he’s still got the vocal chops. More than that, everyone who had been scratching their heads trying to figure out who he was immediately recognized him once he started singing. His guitar wasn’t miced properly though, which kinda brought down Eye of the Tiger, as he did an admirable job on a lead vocal part that’s probably a few octaves too high for him.
Overall, it was great. I know there are some out there who think LSU’s gone overboard with the whole “Eye of the Tiger” motif, but I loved it and so did the crowd. Idea for next year: Get Bill Conti and the rest of Survivor down here and do a Rocky show.
There’s a video of it all HERE
, but I can’t embed it.
You know what didn’t happen in this game? Jefferswag never got booed. Sure, there was consternation at the INT and the sack, but there is a difference and the regular boo birds in my section very clearly made notice that all of their ire was directed solely at the coaching staff.
…except when DeAngelo gave up on that route. Half the stadium wanted him benched before the play was blown dead.
The sun goes down and it gets properly dark very quickly in the 4th Qtr. At some point I notice my glasses seem a little foggy, only to discover some very ominous light fog rolling in. Ole Miss fans repeatedly do a Hotty Toddy, which is soon overwhelmed by a stadium-wide “Geaux to Hell, Ole Miss!” Hat tip to the students for starting that one.
Another moment I missed capturing: After catching the final pass INT, PP7 runs straight towards us and hands the ball to a kid at the fence, then proceeds to shake hands with every fan as he walks back around to the band. Dan Borne says thanks for the memories and we all know we’ve just seen him play his last snap on this field. We’re gonna miss you Zod.
After meeting Joshua again, I make my way towards the exit. Some kids running a concession stand are shouting like carnies, trying to sell off the last of the hot food. I stop and buy a corndog. It tastes horrible, but I don’t care. It’ll be nine months before I can make that mistake again.
I hope you have enjoyed these stadium summaries, and indeed all of ATVS for the past 12 months. Last year’s debacle at Ole Miss was the first weekend I took over for Pittman. It’s been rough and we haven’t always been consistent, but for some strange reason y’all keep coming back. We’ve had amazing growth this year and broke our own visitors and page views records every single month this football season (including the very special milestone of having more visitors in October than Death Valley’s official capacity of 92,500) I’ve met quite a few of you out at the tailgates and despite my request, none of you have yet dared to tell me how piss-poor of a job we are doing. Thanks for that from all of us here at this “Coonass Cesspool”