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Sunset Vette

24 Mar

Neutral Site Games for LSU

Texas and Oklahoma have their annual “Red River Shootout” that takes place in the Cotton Bowl here in Dallas. Georgia and Florida have their own annual meeting. A recent panel of sportswriters briefly discussed whether this was a good idea, and whether there should be more of these “neutral site” games. Some of them even went so far as to suggest a few.

I think the suggestions for LSU were just a bit stupid. ๐Ÿ˜†

First of all, LSU is located in Baton Rouge. It’s really the only major football team in the state. Their nearest geographical rivals are in Arkansas or Mississippi. (For a while they had a home-and-home series with Texas A&M but that has been over for a long time.) If you picked Arkansas, where would the neutral site be? Shreveport? And the Mississippi teams, where would that neutral site be? The best choice from a facilities standpoint would seem to be the Superdome in New Orleans. But we already play those teams on a rotating basis anyway.

The article (see below for a link) mentions that Arkansas and Texas A&M just signed a 10-year agreement to play at a neutral site. That makes sense, as prior to joining the SEC Arkansas was part of the (now defunct) Southwest Conference, and played A&M regularly.

One member of the panel says this:

The best elements for a neutral-site game would be to match traditional powers (preferably with some history between them) and large fan bases willing to travel. They would need to play in a fertile recruiting area, and in a city that has a great stadium but not a huge college football influence.

LSU fans do travel, so I think that’s okay.

Also, that city should be almost a vacation destination.

I guess that leaves out Shreveport. ๐Ÿ˜† No offense, but other than gambling I am not really aware of what else there is as far as a tourist attraction in Shreveport.

Under those guidelines, Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขd suggest Oklahoma against LSU in San Antonio. Those are programs that previously have played for a national championship, recruit well in Texas and meeting about halfway in a city that offers a lot to do.

Huh? San Antonio? Oklahoma?

First of all, Oklahoma is already in one neutral site game (the Red River Shootout I mentioned earlier). What makes this guy think they would be interested in another? I doubt that very much. And San Antonio is hardly a central location for the game. It’s a fair distance to travel for fans of either club. Even if LSU did play Oklahoma, I would still submit Shreveport as a better location. Shreveport is 376 miles from Norman, Oklahoma, and about 264 miles from Baton Rouge. It is much farther to San Antonio for fans of either team. (465 miles from Baton Rouge, 451 miles from Norman) If you want fans to travel, I think 2-3 hours is the most they’re willing to drive.

And they will want to drive. It’s hard to tailgate from an airplane ticket. ๐Ÿ™‚

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