LSU played its bowl game last year in mud and muck. This season, the weather isn't what is clouding things for the 11th-ranked Tigers.
Coach Les Miles' name has again been mentioned in connection with the head coaching vacancy at Michigan, his alma mater. Miles says he likes where he's being at LSU and there is no reason for anybody "to be concerned in any way."
LSU (10-2) plays in the Cotton Bowl on Friday night against No. 18 Texas A&M in climate-controlled Cowboys Stadium. The 50th meeting between the border-state schools likely is only a brief renewal of a rivalry that has been dormant for 15 years.
Texas A&M (9-3) has a six-game winning streak, and it playing its first January game since the 2005 Cotton Bowl.
No. 11 LSU (10-2) vs. No. 18 Texas A&M (9-3), 8:30 p.m. (Fox)
Line: LSU by 1½.
Series Record: LSU leads 26-20-3.
Last Meeting: Texas A&M 33-17, 1995.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
LSU is going for its sixth 11-win season, and fourth under sixth-year coach Les Miles, whose name is again being mentioned for the coaching vacancy at Michigan, his alma mater. Texas A&M, playing in January for the first time since the 2005 Cotton Bowl, has a six-game winning streak since losing three in a row, a stretch that included a loss to Arkansas in Cowboys Stadium.
Texas A&M WRs Ryan Swope and Jeff Fuller vs. LSU All-American CB Patrick Peterson. Swope set an Aggies record with 67 catches this season while Fuller has 65 catches and 12 TDs. Peterson, a junior likely playing his last game before going to the NFL, is the only player in LSU history with touchdowns on an interception return, a blocked field goal and a punt return.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
LSU: RB Stevan Ridley wasn't sure he'd be able to play in the Cotton Bowl until this week, when the NCAA cleared his eligibility after an unspecificed "one-time" academic violation. He leads the Tigers with 1,042 yards rushing and 14 TDs, including eight in the last four games.
TEXAS A&M: All-America LB Von Miller led the Big 12 with 9½ sacks during the regular season. Miller has sacks in five consecutive games, a stretch during which he also forced three fumbles and averaged seven tackles a game.
FACTS & FIGURES
Ryan Tannehill is 5-0 since taking over as Texas A&M's starting quarterback. The last Aggies quarterback to win his first five games was Bucky Richardson, whose streak included the 1988 Cotton Bowl. ... The 50th meeting of border rivals will be their first since 1995. Before they quit playing regularly, it was often the season opener. Their only bowl matchup was LSU's 19-14 win in the 1944 Orange Bowl. ... LSU's next game will also be at Cowboys Stadium. The Tigers open the 2011 season against Oregon. ... The Cotton Bowl marks its 75th anniversary with its latest game ever -- in date and the prime-time kickoff.