Saturday morning in Tiger Stadium doesn’t seem very intimidating.

But here we are.

LSU is playing Tennessee, the Tigers’ most significant game since the 2019 national championship season on Saturday.

And kickoff against Tennessee in Tiger Stadium is 11 a.m. local time.

That means for the crowd to simulate its demeanor for a traditional 7 p.m. kickoff, fans would practically have to start tailgating on Thursday.

But the networks have spoken and 11 a.m. it is.

Tennessee coach Josh Heupel loves the early kickoff. He said nearly all coaches love the early kickoff. He’s probably right.

Up and at ‘em. No point in having players sit around hotel rooms all day thinking about the game. The preparation is done, put it to use.

But the fans have a different perspective.

They want to have plenty of time to get their game faces on. They don’t want their game to be a prelim. They want the rest of the games to be a build-up to their game.

But the networks have spoken and 11 a.m. it is.

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Brian Kelly, the Tigers’ 1st-year head coach, is still waiting for his 1st pure Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.

Technically games against Southern and New Mexico were night games, starting at 6:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., but in September that means kickoff before sunset so they don’t qualify.

SEC games in Tiger Stadium – and pretty much everywhere in the conference – are supposed to be played in the dark.

LSU’s SEC opener against Mississippi State was in Tiger Stadium, but the kickoff time was just a tease – 5 p.m. Better than 11 a.m., but not Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.

Kelly understands that 11 a.m. kickoffs don’t sit well with the faithful.

He began his Monday news conference making a plea for Tiger fans to take lemons and make lemonade – even though it really isn’t the beverage of choice in Death Valley.

But his message was to make Saturday morning in Tiger Stadium as close to Saturday night in Tiger Stadium as possible.

LSU fans, like fans throughout the SEC and really the whole country, have had to adapt to unconventional start times as well as nearly as many different start times as there are games.

So not having a 7 p.m. kickoff is hardly anything new. But 11 a.m.? For this game?

“Look,” Kelly said, “it’s Tiger Stadium, it’s LSU football. If you’re not excited for that, I don’t know what gets you going in October.”

The real question, though, is what gets the TV networks going in October?

All 14 SEC teams are in action this Saturday. They are paired off in 7 conference games.

Even though 7 SEC teams are ranked, only 1 of the games on Saturday – Tennessee at LSU – features a pair of ranked teams. The Vols are undefeated and ranked No. 8. The Tigers are 2-0 in SEC play and have a 4-game winning streak that propelled them into the rankings at No. 25 this week.

This is a rare CBS prime-time Saturday, where CBS chooses which game to show at 8 p.m. ET.

It’s understandable that CBS spent its prime-time chip on Texas A&M and Alabama. Alabama is always going to bring big ratings.

But playing the Aggies, in the first meeting since A&M upset the Crimson Tide, since Jimbo Fisher became the first former Nick Saban assistant to beat Saban, since the offseason brouhaha over NILs and Saban saying Fisher bought players with NIL promises and Fisher firing back at his former?

OK, that was a no-brainer.

But, come on. Tennessee vs. LSU is the most intriguing match-up football-wise in the SEC on Saturday.

Best Tennessee team in years. Just produced a very entertaining game vs. Florida on CBS. One of the most entertaining teams in the country, certain to be ranked at least No. 8 with an open date looming after the Florida game.

Brian Kelly’s 1st LSU team was starting to figure some stuff out. Barely lost to an improved Florida State team in the opener. Rolled to victory in 2 other non-conference games. Handled Mississippi State in its SEC opener.

Is Tennessee really that good? Maybe good enough to unseat the reigning national champions as SEC East champions?

Is LSU about to become relevant again under Kelly?

Tune in early and find out.