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College Football Week 2 - Tiger Bait

Ed Wyatt

Ed Wyatt

Written on Thursday, 06 September 2012 14:20

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College Football Week 2 

Washington @ #3 LSU, Sunday Sept 9, 9 am, ESPN.

Washington brought a live tiger to a practise session this week. Why, you ask? Because when they travel to play LSU in Baton Rouge, the Huskies will be confronted by Mike, the LSU mascot. He too, is a living, breathing (biting?) tiger and is just one part of a long, strange trip into what has been called Death Valley.

Tiger Stadium on game day is one of college football's most unique experiences. The fans are intense one of their big chants is Tiger bait, Tiger bait and they often arrive a day early to gear up for the game. The Cajun influence can be seen in the signs in the crowd "Geaux Tigers" is a big one and for outsiders, the entire weekend can seem like a visit to a foreign country.

On top of all this, LSU is damn good. Last season the Tigers lost just one game, the BCS championship to Alabama. In 2007, they won the national title. Expectations are high again this season, which kicked off with a 41-14 romp over North Texas.

Washington flies into town in year four of a rebuilding plan under head coach Steve Sarkisian. He's made progress, and quarterback Keith Price is as dynamic as anyone in the country, but the Huskies are severely short-handed going into this game, with three starters from last weeks win over San Diego State out injured.

This is the first time in 29 years that Washington has travelled to play a team from the SEC. I think they'll be lucky to get out alive. Figuratively speaking, of course.

Other Must-see games:

Utah @ Utah State, Saturday Sept 8, 10 am, ESPN 2.

City slicker big brother Utah travels to the Cache Valley to play its hayseed little bro Utah State. The home team - the Aggies as they're called - are building a good program under former Utah player and coach Gary Andersen, but the Utes have won the last 12 meetings between the teams. Not sure whether it's good or bad that the game is being played in Romney Stadium.

#6 Georgia @ Missouri, Sunday Sept 9, 9:45 am, ESPN 2.

This is Missouri's first game as a member of the powerful Southeastern Conference (SEC) and it's a tricky opener against the Georgia Bulldogs. Both teams are coming off comfortable wins: the Tigers crushed Southeastern Louisiana 62-10, while Georgia handled Buffalo 45-23. The sixth-ranked Bulldogs are led by star quarterback Aaron Murray, while James Franklin heads the Missouri attack.

Worth a look:

#23 Florida @ Texas A&M, Sunday Sept 9, 5:30 am ESPN.

Like Missouri, Texas A&M plays its first-ever game as a new member of the SEC. It wasnt supposed to be this way, but the opener against Louisiana Tech was postponed because of Hurricane Isaac. The Aggies, under new coach Kevin Sumlin, will have their hands full against Florida, although the Gators were less than impressive in their opener against Bowling Green. That game was tied 14-14 midway through the third quarter before Florida scored 13 straight points to win it 27-14. 

IQ alert:

Auburn @ Mississippi State, Sunday Sept 9, 2 am, ESPN.

Maybe you've seen the Saturday Night Live sketch famous for the phrase "More Cowbell." At Mississippi State they take it to heart with thousands of fans shaking cowbells as loud as they can. The practise, which started in the 1930s was banned for 36 years, but is now allowed, with certain restrictions. Mississippi State had no trouble with Jackson State in its first game, while the Auburn Tigers are coming off a tough loss to #14 Clemson.

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