BATON ROUGE, La.(AP) — As a country kid, Domanick Davis is an
early riser. But as a football player he doubts that he's ever
played a game at 10 a.m. — not even a neighborhood game in the
"Maybe not even then," Davis said. "That's kind of early."
Early, yes, but that's when LSU and Texas will be playing the
first football of the new year, Jan. 1 in the Cotton Bowl.
"I've never played a game that early," sophomore linebacker
Lionel Turner said. "That's early for us."
While LSU's tradition of night games in Tiger Stadium is
legendary, third-year coach Nick Saban has preached that if LSU is
to have a highly regarded program the Tigers have to be prepared to
play at any time.
"We can't control those external things," linebacker Bradie
James said. "We've got to control what we can do."
The Cotton Bowl, sponsored by SBC, was usually an early
afternoon game until it hooked up with the Southeastern Conference
The Capital One Bowl has a clause in its SEC contract that
states the Cotton Bowl can't overlap with the first half of its
game, which begins at noon Central time in Orlando, Fla. The
Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla., also kicks off shortly after 10 a.m.
To prepare for the Cotton kickoff, Saban has scheduled all of
LSU's game week practices for 10:30 a.m. except for the day the
Tigers arrive in Dallas. LSU practices at 4 p.m. Dec. 26.
LSU will practice most of the week at the Dallas Cowboys' Texas
Stadium in Irving, one day on grass at the Cowboys' Valley Ranch
facility, and hold a New Year's Eve walk through at the Cotton
"Last year at the Sugar Bowl we practiced at noon or something,"
Saban said. "I don't like to get the players up too early, but if
you practice early when it's over the players have free time to
Texas will follow a similar schedule, starting its practices at
SMU's Ford Stadium between 9:30-11:30 a.m. each day.
Fans in Dallas for the game shouldn't expect to see the Tigers
out on the streets at midnight on New Year's Eve. They'll have long
since been tucked in for curfew with a probable 6 a.m. wakeup call
waiting for them on gameday.
No matter when kickoff is, the Tigers' pregame routine starts
four hours before.
"There's a formula for all this stuff," Saban said. "Pregame
meal is four hours before kickoff. Church is 30 minutes before
that, so we might have to have that the night before.
"It will be reveille."