Cam Cameron went out to Tampa last week to participate in the usual bowl nonsense, including the above photo op with a fried onion helmet. The Outback Bowl has this thing where teams are either Team Onion or Team Shrimp, and whichever team wins becomes a coupon at Outback Steakhouse the next day. The gimmicks and attention are needed, as the ticket situation for LSU is looking very dire. As of last week, LSU had sold only 100 of the student ticket allotment for the game and an undisclosed number of regular tickets. To combat low sales and what appears to be an embarrassingly low turnout, TAF has decided to pay for the tickets of any student who went to 3 home games last season and give those students the option to get additional student-guest tickets for half-price. Additionally, LSU is running daily giveaway drawings to try and sell the nearly 12,000 tickets in their allotment. Iowa, on the other hand, has sold 10,000 of their tickets as of last week and should sell out well before Christmas. Also, contrast this with the situation in this year's Rose Bowl, where tickets are in such high demand that they cost more on secondary markets than those for the other BCS games combined.
Speaking of Cam Cameron, USA Today has a nifty chart of what CFB assistant coaches make. LSU is listed as spending the most on it's assistants at more than $4.5 Million. That number is set to increase dramatically as Cam Cameron's pay takes a jump from $600K to $1.3 Million next year, in accordance with the very backloaded contract he signed last year (His pay is scheduled to increase again in 2015 to $1.5 Million). Land Grant Holy Land (Ohio St) looked over the numbers to find how spending compares across conferences and find some interesting notes. For instance, the lowest paid assistant coach in FBS is ULM's WR coach Mario Price, who makes just $20,000 a year.
To pay for those assistants and the numerous construction projects currently underway or on the drawing board, LSU got approval to adjust ticket and parking pass prices next season. Most sections will see an increase in Tradition Fund mandatory "donations" but it will be lowered or even eliminated in other sections. Ticket prices in baseball were also affected, rising in some sections while tradition fund requirements have been removed in the bleacher seating sections.
Here's a side-by-side comparison of old and proposed new Tradition Fund levels for Tiger Stadium. pic.twitter.com/wt48woVayX— Cody Worsham (@CodyWorsham) December 13, 2013
Cameron went in place of Les Miles because the coach spent the week recruiting and taking the chance to watch his son Manny lead U-High in the State championship game in the Superdome. Normally, CFB coaches do not attend state title games, as they count as an in-home visit in the eyes of the NCAA. As a player's father, Miles had no such restriction. U-High lost the Div II title game to powerhouse John Curtis in a 32-0 shutout.
Last week, ahead of the Heisman ceremony, there were a series of panels about college football covering just about every hot topic in the sport these days. Mark Emmert opened his mouth to let us all know that, Yes, He is still a complete idiot. A few members of next year's playoff committee discussed some of the ways they will judge teams, emphasizing strength of non-conference schedules and how a team finishes out a year.
After years as a public event and a nice excuse to play hooky from work on National Signing Day (not to mention being the site of some of the friskiest Les Miles speeches) , The Bayou Bash is moving from downtown Baton Rouge out to the L'Auberge casino far south of campus and requiring patrons to buy a $1000 table for 10 or pay a $350 membership fee to the Gridiron Club to enter. I've never been myself, but I've heard from not a few friends who say this move, particularly the exorbitant cost, has effectively killed the event for them. In a day and age where ESPN sends nationwide coverage of Signing Day right into your living room, I have a hard time believing many will be willing to fork over that kind of cash.
The postseason awards in CFB have been handed out and the Tigers have made a few appearances. Odell Beckham Jr. won the Hornung Award for "major college football’s most versatile player." Here are the lists:
AP - Odell Beckham Jr., LSU
RS – Odell Beckham Jr., LSU *
DB - Tre'Davious White, LSU
Team Captains for '13 @LSUfball are Zach Mettenberger & Jarvis Landry on offense; Lamin Barrow on defense; & James Wright on special teams.— Michael Bonnette (@LSUBonnette) December 16, 2013
In all the mess last week about the potential of Saban leaving Bama for Texas, USA Today went back in the archives to look at how LSU landed Saban from Michigan St.
SB Nation's Bill Connelly, a life long Mizzou fan, has an amazing recap of his experience as he followed his Tigers to Atlanta earlier this month. Also of interest from SB Nation's Longform section, the tale of 8-man High School football in the small towns of Montana.
Would you be excited to go to a bowl game in Memphis? YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT RICE IS EXCITED!
Despite all but 1 team finishing with 6 or more wins, only 2 Sun Belt teams made bowls this year, with team like 8-4 WKU left home, despite the Sun Belt throwing cash at the bowls in an attempt to get teams bids.
Good Bull Hunting remains the greatest thing about adding A&M to the SEC.
Southeastern's run in the D1-AA playoffs ended in the final minute of their game against New Hampshire last weekend, despite some fantastic moves by Oregon transfer QB Bryan Bennett (see below). Unfortunately, It's the start of a rough patch for SELA, as the NCAA handed down the sanctions for the staggering 137 athletes over 5 season who competed while academically ineligible from 2005 to 2010.
I'm a bit late on this, but bear with me. Before the SEC title game, the SEC Network folks had another press conference to announce a few things. The network will have it's own "Gameday" style show from a campus site each week, hosted by Joe Tessitore, who will now become one of the lead talents of the network. The SEC also reiterated that the network will carry 3 SEC games every week during the season, including 5 games on the extended opening weekend. No new TV carriers have been announced for the network. And if you're wondering who the LSU staffer is at the end of the commercial...
Does it always seem like LSU is picked for CBS games so much more than other teams in the league? That's because they ARE picked for CBS games so much more than other teams in the league.
LSU has installed artificial turf in the foul ground territory at Alex Box Stadium in order to cut down on some maintenance work for the grounds crew. My views on the use of blasphemous carpet in a baseball stadium are well known, but the foul ground, especially behind home plate, has struggled to stay alive the last few seasons. I'll hold my judgement until Feb 14th. Also from the above report, C Michael Barash (headed to a JUCO for more playing time) and P Taylor Butler (retiring from baseball) have left the program.