COLUMN: Kickoff time doesn’t matter. Death Valley will be Death Valley.

When the kickoff time for Tennessee was announced, I was surprised to see the decision to start it at 11 a.m. CT.

These are two big-time programs. The Vols are undefeated and LSU is riding a four-game winning streak. There are plenty of storylines to watch, too. It’s a chance for Tennessee to go on the road in the SEC West and win, something it hasn’t done that much.

With games against Alabama and Georgia on the schedule, Tennessee needs to beat teams like LSU if it wants to have a season to remember.

In LSU’s case, this is a chance for Brian Kelly to cement what he’s building in Baton Rouge. A loss to Florida State wasn’t the best way to start his tenure, but win on Saturday, and that loss is squarely in the rearview mirror.

Suddenly, a New Year’s Six Bowl wouldn’t seem that far-fetched for LSU. Aside from all the narratives, we should see two quality teams play a close game.

So, this isn’t the typical SEC game you see in this time slot. LSU is known for its atmosphere at night. You know how it goes.

“The sun will soon find its home in the western sky, and it will be Saturday night in Death Valley.”

Nobody ever talks about Saturday afternoon or Saturday morning. It doesn’t have the same ring to it. The allure isn’t there.

On Saturday, I don’t think it will matter. I expect Tiger Stadium to be rocking.

After two years of letdowns, there’s excitement around LSU football. Since the Florida State loss, this game has been circled as a chance to earn some national respect.

There are only so many games like this every year, and it’s been a while since LSU’s had one. Fans aren’t going to miss this opportunity.

Brian Kelly came to the SEC to play in front of crowds like this. Players come to LSU to play in front of crowds like this. Tiger Stadium has a certain power to it and it remains turned on, day or night.

This isn’t just a statement game for Kelly, but for everyone involved in and around LSU, the players and the fans. We remember the big games. These are the climaxes that make college football the best reality show on television.

Make no mistake, Death Valley will be the same old Death Valley come Saturday morning.


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Story originally appeared on LSU Tigers Wire