The LSU Tigers are heading into Week 5 of the college football season at 3-1. Brian Kelly’s squad was one point away from escaping its opening non-conference slate (plus Mississippi State) as an undefeated team. While the Notre Dame legend’s debut campaign has been fun thus far, fans are going to find out a lot about his new program over the next couple of weeks.
Tiger Stadium has hosted three games thus far, none of which have been enough to necessarily get Death Valley rocking at full capacity. The wins over Southern, the Bulldogs and New Mexico were expected, now it’s time for the fun. LSU is on the road this week at Auburn, but the SEC just released kickoff times for Week 6, which means the Tigers versus Tennessee.
LSU Tigers vs. No. 8 Tennessee Vols: Football kickoff time set
Unfortunately, Tiger Stadium won’t get its chance to shine in primetime this time when a Top 10 team comes to town. CBS has relegated LSU’s game against the No. 8 Volunteers to the 11 a.m. CT slot in favor of other conference clashes.
Instead, Auburn at Georgia is taking up the 2:30 p.m. slot and the night-cap is Texas A&M at Alabama. The latter is understandable given the ongoing coaching feud between Jimbo Fisher and Nick Saban. After the Aggies beat the Crimson Tide last year, this was always going to be the network’s one primetime SEC match-up. However, there’s absolutely no reason for Auburn’s massacre to be broadcast in an ideal timeslot—rivalry or not.
Tennessee has a bye week during Week 5. The Volunteers will be given two weeks to prepare for a trip and they’re already riding the high from beating Florida last weekend. Now, they’ll be given another advantage by CBS as the network takes away a staple of Saturdays in Baton Rouge. Saturday nights in Death Valley help create the most electric environment in all of college football. Frankly, it’s borderline criminal that this game isn’t being played under the stars.
It’s understandable to not want to give the program in a so-called rebuild an optimal TV timeslot. The Tigers have proven thus far that they’re deserving of it though—as have the Vols. If the network is worried about any game taking eyes off its primetime contests, that’s a sign in and of itself that the former deserves its chance to shine too.
Fans reportedly aren’t the only ones upset with the decision either. According to WAFB’s Jacques Doucet, LSU Athletic Director Scott Woodward and a couple of high-ranking SEC officials aren’t happy with CBS for passing up on the game twice.
Death Valley will still be the most hostile environment Tennessee will travel to all season long, make no mistake about it. The LSU faithful will show up anywhere at any time to see their Bayou Bengals play football—just give them the courtesy of being able to tailgate for half the day before the game kicks off.
The one positive in this is that the Tigers have won all eight morning kickoffs that Tiger Stadium has hosted this century. Six of those came against SEC opposition. This will be just the 15th kickoff that Death Valley has seen before noon in its history, the last game coming against the Florida Gators last season.