Wiz correspondent Greg Laughlin's second game on Saturday took place in Morgantown, where West Virginia took on Louisiana State. The Mountaineer fans were at their best but the team couldn't pull the upset as the Tigers rolled to a 47-21 victory.
There are more photos after the jump and you can view Greg's full gallery by clicking here.
Louisiana State opens its season Saturday night against Oregon in Arlington, Texas, but the Tigers likely will be without quarterback Jordan Jefferson, who was suspended indefinitely after being charged with felony second-degree battery following a fight outside a Baton Rouge bar. Receiver Russell Shepard also has been ruled ineligible by the NCAA for at least one game because of his relationship with scouting service owner Willie Lyles. If that's not enough bad news, offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe stepped down because of Parkinson's Disease. He will remain on staff as quarterbacks coach. The words on the poster were written by Tiger Stadium public address announcer Dan Borne. The school also produced a video, posted below, using Borne's narrative.
The Wiz of Odds is conducting a comprehensive study of bowl game expense reports. All of the data collected — expense reports for 56 teams and bowl surveys for 40 teams — are being posted on the site. Here is the latest installment. For an overview of the project, click here.
The nonprofit Cotton Bowl Athletic Association operates the Cotton Bowl, first played in 1937, making it the fifth-oldest bowl game.
2011 participants: Louisiana State and Texas A&M.
LSU expenses: The school reported only 97 absorbed tickets at a cost of $12,950. The biggest reported expense came from additional compensation and fringe benefits, which totaled $586,740. The school gave no other details. Download Louisiana State Expenses
LSU's travel party numbered 741, 10th highest among the 56 teams whose expense reports were obtained by The Wiz of Odds.
Survey: LSU did not provide a bowl survey to The Wiz of Odds.
Texas A&M expenses: The Aggies reported only 17 absorbed tickets at a cost of $2,125. The biggest expense listed was administrative, totaling an off-the-chart $773,542, easily the highest administrative cost of the 56 bowl reports obtained by The Wiz of Odds. The school did not disclose why those costs were so high. Download Texas A&M Expenses
Survey: Athletic director Bill Byrne answered either "satisfied" or "very satisfied" to each question on the survey. He gave bowl officials high marks for their use of technology.
"Bowl manual was well organized and easy to find answers to questions," Byrne wrote. "Having Manual [sic] on ipads [sic] made it easier to carry with you and have the ability to answer questions for various groups."
Sports Business Journal annually tracks what gifts bowls give to players. The Cotton Bowl declined to reveal what they would present to the players, but Byrne let the world know when he wrote this comment: "The student-athletes were very happy with the Ipad [sic]." (It's iPad)
Byrne did have one suggestion when asked what the bowl could do to improve the experience.
"Area to improve …. The driver pool (group that provides transportation). Drivers didn't know directions to stadium or other locations from hotel and would get lost, causing delays," he wrote. Download Texas A&M Survey
Congratulations to Louisiana State, winner of the Wiz Readers' Choice Poster Schedule of the Year. The Tigers saved the best for last. After finishing second to Auburn in group voting, LSU charged to a convincing win in the final, garnering 44.8% of the the 8,067 votes cast to decide the winner.
The Tigers' poster features a powerful image of shutdown cornerback Patrick Peterson over an image of Tiger Stadium.
"This is a great honor for our university and our faithful LSU fans," said Jason Feirman, LSU's athletics publications director. "Winning this contest would not be possible without the community of fans of the LSU Football pages on Facebook and Twitter, along with our readers on LSUsports.net. They rallied the vote to put us in the top spot."
"A tremendous thanks to our staff photographers Steve Franz for his photo of Patrick Peterson and Chris Parent for his photo of Tiger Stadium. Also a huge thanks to our Marketing & Promotions office and Sports Information office for assisting with the concept."
“We take tremendous pride in putting out a unique poster for every sport at LSU and are humbled by the recognition."