First, it is that historic first "national champion vs. national champion" matchup. The Mountaineers are actually a two-time defending I-AA (oops ... FCS) champion. LSU backed into the BCS title game last year, and then put a whipping on Ohio State that surprised precisely no one.
Beyond that, there is that other reason why the game will garner plenty of national publicity. Oh, yeah. Almost forgot.
OK. I lied. I didn't almost forget. I'll never forget.
With all this in mind, the decision made this week by ESPN comes as no real surprise to me.
On Saturday, Aug. 30, LSU will open the 2008 football season on national television as the Tigers host Appalachian State in a game televised by ESPN, the Southeastern Conference announced on Tuesday.
Kickoff for the LSU-Appalachian State game is set for 4 p.m. in Tiger Stadium.
It seems ridiculous on its surface. Why would ESPN (and, presumably, ESPNHD) choose to nationally televise a I-A vs I-AA matchup?
After all, the odds of this being a greatly competitive game are virtually nil. Then again, you get a lot of nationally televised games in the first week that aren't that competitive. So why should they let that stop them?
I mean, could it really be that much worse than that 48-7 whipping LSU put on Virginia Tech in September last year? Or USC-Nebraska?
LSU should have no trouble pulling away from Appalachian State. But we said that about Michigan, too, and you all saw how that turned out. If nothing else, the off-chance of an "instant classic" should be reason enough to get people interested.