Photo courtesy of CBS Sports
OPINION: You can’t fault the young pup for getting a little taste of the big time and suddenly thinking it has what it takes to be the leader of the pack. I’m talking of course about still wet behind the ears SEC newbie Texas A&M, who recently howled at the moon that, “I’m not only dangerous because I was the only team to squat on the otherwise unblemished record of last year’s eventual BCS national champion and SEC West rival Alabama Crimson Tide, but I’ll also still be guided by the only lead dog in college football history to have won the Heisman Trophy as a freshman for potentially the next three seasons. Respect me!”
To anyone who thought they were all bark and no bite, the official Texas A&M athletics website recently reported that the school’s board of regents has approved an initial plan to spend an estimated $450 million on the redevelopment of Kyle Field, projected to enhance its overall capacity to 102,500. It looks like soon the self-proclaimed “Home of the 12th man” will become the SEC’s largest football stadium behind Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium (102,455) and Alabama’s Bryant-Denney Stadium (101,821), not to mention the third largest in the entire nation. Should that be the case, one can assume it’s only a matter of time before the Tide counters by installing a few more seats- presumably foldable lawn chairs, which is how they apparently roll in Tuscaloosa.
This news comes as LSU is in the midst of a stadium expansion of its own. According to the LSU Athletic Department, approximately 60 suites and approximately 3,000 club seats are currently being added to the Tiger Stadium south end zone, as well as approximately 1,500 general public seats above the new suite and club seating. This most recent stadium expansion is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2014.
No matter how much bigger and flashier the stadiums of LSU’s SEC rivals might become, the simple fact remains that you can build a palatial dog house for a Chihuahua, but that doesn’t mean it’s suddenly going to transform the little pup into a St. Bernard. Case in point the Tennessee Volunteers, who are an underwhelming 28-34 since 2008 under five different head coaches despite playing in the largest football stadium south of the Mason-Dixon line.