When LSU learned last week that it would end up in either the Capital One Bowl or the Cotton Bowl, LSU coach Nick Saban figured the Tigers couldn't lose either way.
"We're obviously very excited to be playing in a New Year's Day bowl for the fourth straight year," LSU coach Nick Saban said. "To be 9-2 and headed for another prestigious bowl is a tribute to the players on this team and the coaches on this staff.
"We're also very pleased that our fans and players will be treated to a first-class bowl no matter which bowl we end up in. The Capital One Bowl and the Cotton Bowl are tremendous bowl games that will give us the opportunity to show a national audience what kind of football we play in the SEC and what type of football we play at LSU."
While that statement made for good public relations with both bowls, Saban and the folks at LSU kept their real feelings hidden until Auburn beat Tennessee in the SEC championship game on Saturday, sending Auburn to the Sugar Bowl and LSU to the Capital Bowl for a game against Iowa.
While the allure of Florida sunshine on New Year's Day is likely stronger than the appeal of Dallas' idea of Jan. 1, LSU players also preferred the Capital One Bowl simply because it is a new experience. For the seniors this means four different bowls in three different locations.
"You want to give as many different bowl experiences to your student-athletes as you can," Dan Radakovich, LSU's senior associate athletic director, told the Baton Rouge Advocate. "Our seniors went to the Sugar Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, the Sugar Bowl for the national championship, and now the Capital One. Those are four very different and unique experiences."
OK, so there were two trips to the Sugar Bowl, but the national-championship game experience is unlike any other.
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