With just 8 days until LSU’s season opening contest with Appalachian State, you will see numerous sites breaking down each little nook and cranny of this matchup.

Don’t get me wrong, we will get into that game, too, just a little later in the week. But today, let’s have a little fun and give our readers a little more info about the Tigers’ first opponent, Appalachian State.

The Mountaineers are unlike any other SEC school in so many different ways. So let’s have a little fun and give the Tale of the Tape for what is sure to be an entertaining football game.

AGE:

LSU: 148 years old

ASU: 109 years old

Enrollment:

LSU: 33,587

ASU: 15,871

Endowment:

LSU: $593 million

ASU: $62.2 million

Population:

Baton Rouge, LA: 800,000

Boone, NC: 14,473

Campus Size:

LSU: 2,000+ acres

ASU: 1,300 acres

Notable Alums:

LSU: Shaquille O’Neal, Mike Foster, James Carville, Pete Maravich, David Toms

ASU: Alvin Gentry, Dexter Coakley, Ron Prince

All of these are fun to look at, but let’s get down to football business.

Football tale of the tape:

Average offensive lineman size:

LSU: 6’5 310

ASU: 6’2 271

Five star players:

LSU: 5

ASU: 0

Cumulative record in past 3 years:

LSU: 34-6

ASU: 39-6
National Championships the past 3 years:

LSU: 1

ASU: 3

This was fun to do, but obviously we will have much, much more on this game in the coming days.

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As promised, we will break down each game in the SEC slate in the coming week here, so let’s get that kicked off today.

South Carolina vs. NC-State 7:00 CDT Thursday

Keys for SC:

1. Consistent QB Play – The Cocks need to find some sort of rhyme or reason to their quarterback play this season after losing Blake Mitchell. If either Chris Smelley or Tommy Beecher step it up, SC is the more talented team in this game.

2. Avoid second quarter blues – The Gamecocks won every quarter but the second quarter this past season and were outscored 83-47 in the second frames of games. A good start that is wasted is the same as a bad start, so Steve Spurrier will need to get that fixed this season.

Keys for NC-State:

1. Defensive Identity – The Wolfpack were woeful on defense this past season, giving up 28 or more points in five of their 12 games, so they must start fast on that side of the ball or else the players will sense “here we go again.”

2. Slow down the tempo – Steve Spurrier wants the game to turn into a track meet. The Wolfpack need to control the trenches and slow down the game, much like they did in their road win against Miami last season.

Las Vegas thinks: South Carolina by 12.5

I think: Season openers are tough to win by a big spread. But I think the Gamecocks roll to a sloppy, but easy win. Take the Gamecocks and the 12.5.

Vanderbilt at Miami (OH) 6:30 CDT Thursday

Keys for Vandy:

1. Mackenzi Adams – No reason to sugar coat it, Adams was far better than Chris Nickson this past season at QB for the Dores. I do not know Bobby Johnson’s intentions, but if it’s up to me, Adams is my QB.

2. Don’t look ahead – It’s hard to say Vanderbilt would look ahead to someone, but with a matchup with rival South Carolina in Week 2 (who Vandy beat in S. Carolina last year), the Dores need to take care of the task at hand first, a solid Miami team.

Keys for Miami (OH):

1. Keep the place rockin’ – It is not often that an SEC team goes to Ohio to take on the RedHawks, so they need to keep the roof rocking for as long as possible, because this is arguably one of their biggest games this season. W’s against SEC schools can put a MAC team over the top in recruiting.

2. Red Zone Woes got to go – The Red Hawks scored on just 68% of the possessions they made it into the red zone last year and got touchdowns in only 40% of those possessions. Points will probably be at a premium, so get six when you can.

Las Vegas thinks: Miami (OH) by 3.5

I think: Vandy may not be the greatest team in the world and I did pick them to lose this game in my pick’em game earlier this month. But they are traditional fast-starters, so I take them in a mild upset here.

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Daily Dime:

The monkey is firmly on my back. It is actually becoming a gorilla. Another day — another 1-1 finish.

My Braves, my beloved Braves had the “W” in the grasps and hit Pedro hard just like I said they would, but then blew it in the ninth to lose it for me. But anyway, let’s give it another go. Here is my record as it stands now:

Total: 6-8

Sure things: 4-3

Upsets: 2-5

Sure thing of the day:

Gaints -220 vs. Padres – I am always weary to call anything involving the woeful Giants a “sure-thng”, but Tim Lincecum is on the hill at home against a woeful Padres offense. I like my chances.

Upset of the day:

Indians +103 vs. Rangers – Let me be the first to say that this was an absolute no-brainer for me. I could have gone with the Rays over the White Sox, but I dislike the Rays and I know they’d have let me down if I picked them, so I will go with Fausto Carmona against the Rangers.

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Top 10:

We’re into the Top 5 in our NBA list and we’re getting into some big-time superstars now. Today’s guy could have easily been #1 had this list been taken 4-5 years ago, but has slipped on the radar a bit since being traded from Philly.

No. 5 NBA player: Allen Iverson – Iverson had possibly the most quiet NBA season ever last year, putting up 26 points and dropping 7 dimes while also playing his usual 82 games. But Iverson has slipped on some people’s radar in the past few seasons since being traded from a basketball rich 76ers team to the Nuggets.

Either way, the production is still the same and the overwhelming passion and intensity is still the same, so I put AI where I feel he needs to be: In the Top 5 among the league’s best.

No. 4 tomorrow.

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Headlines:

NFLPA head Upshaw dies at 63 – I do not know much about Upshaw, but everyone is saying this will be a loss that will echo around the NFL for years and years to come. My prayers to the Upshaw family and the NFL community.

IOC to open probe on Chinese gymnasts – Ya think? If those kids are 16, then I am 21, going on 64.

O’Sullivan outguns Smith in preseason win – Is it fair to call Alex Smith a Ryan Leaf-like bust now that he is going to seemingly lose his job to JT O’Sullivan? While on the topic of QB’s who stink: Rex Grossman was 1-4 in the game.

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YouTube Video of the Day:

I certainly am!

That’s all for me!

God Bless!

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