Coin toss: We're about ready to go, and as expected the stadium seems to be at least 70 percent LSU colors.
LSU won the toss and will kickoff.
Time to play for a title.
I'll click in on the quarters with a note or two.
One hour 15 minutes till kickoff: I assume LSU will eventually enjoy a home-state advantage in the crowd tonight. However, as the teams just took the field, there were more boos for LSU and a louder cheer for Ohio State. I'm assuming the most local fans are just arriving later, while the Midwest fans wanted to come in and explore the dome. Or something. We'll see.
Two hour 15 minutes till kickoff: I just took a walk around the Superdome. It's clearly fully back from Katrina, but no greatly improved. Most of the key features I remember from being back in New Orleans when the building opened in the mid-'70s are still easily recognizable. It looks like they might have an extra bar/restaurant, and maybe some plush seating in the second level. However, Saints over Tom Bensen wasn't happy with the place before Katrina, and it's hard to see where the post-Katrina version would change that.
Now, that said, I always thought Benson's complaints about the Superdome are a lot like Clay Bennett's complaints about KeyArena. Which is to say, bogus. Yes, both arenas probably lack the most modern revenue streams. But as comfortable places to watch the respective sports, they work well enough where no reasonable person could make the case that they should come down.
Three hours till kickoff: Don't miss the national anthem tonight. We just watched and heard the reheasal, and it a was terrific, slow, old New Orleans jazz version version by the Perservation Hall Jazz Band -- which is the real thing.
Four hours to kickoff: One of the great things about the Superdome as a BCS venue is that it's located right on a fringe of downtow. That, in fact, makes it unique among the BCS stadiums. The Rose Bowl is far from LA in Pasadena. Dolphins Stadium is far from Miami, downtown or beach. And University of Phoenix Stadium is in suburban Glendale, Ariz.
However, with the Superdome located within walking distance of not only downtown New Orleasn but within walking distance of the French Quarter and Bourbon Street, fans are free to do more than tailgate for their pregame fun.
And that's sure what they seemed to be doing as I wandered the Quarter this morning and early afternoon, and then on the media bus ride over to the dome. In fact, I think I'm going to leave the press box in a few minutes and go back out and soak up some more local color before returning for what figures to be a pretty good game