Towson vs. LSU: 'A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity?'
Based on the optimism its players showed at CAA media day last week, the Towson football team believes it's ready to turn the corner and become a successful program.
So, the next step is obviously to go out and challenge one of the best teams in the entire country, right?
Towson announced Wednesday that it will visit LSU on Sept. 29, 2012. (Yes, that's Louisiana State University. The three-time national champion and perennial SEC powerhouse.)
Towson will be paid $510,000 to play in the game, the largest payout in school history, a Towson athletics official said. And director of athletics Mike Waddell calls it a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" for his players.
But considering the state of these two programs -- LSU had 11 wins last year; Towson hasn't won that many total dating back to 2007 -- this matchup of Tigers could get ugly.
The real question is whether a beatdown in Baton Rouge will actually pay dividends.
"One of the ways that we will be able to help lift our football program upward is through scheduling marquee match-ups that expand our brand nationally," Towson coach Rob Ambrose said in a statement. "To play a perennial national contender is just another building block in the foundation being laid for the future."
It's not the first time Towson has scheduled a quality FBS opponent. The Tigers have faced Navy, Northwestern, Indiana since 2008, and they play Maryland this October.
But LSU and its 92,000-seat stadium are a totally different beast.
Towson can sell this game to its fan base as a way to gain national exposure, but it's not like ESPN is going to be filming College GameDay there that week. On a national scale, this will probably amount to one ugly box score rolling across the bottom of the screen all Saturday. And for LSU, it'll be a glorified tune-up for the following week's game against Florida.
Still, if Towson can use the game to its advantage for recruiting, and also make some money in the process, who can blame them?
If you have the choice between getting blown out by Maryland or LSU, why not make the trip down south and enjoy the gumbo?