The Southeastern Conference will release its 2014 football schedule Wednesday, with LSU to play Kentucky as its second opponent out of the SEC East and Texas A&M on the final weekend of the regular season, a source familiar with the situation said.
LSU will play Kentucky in Tiger Stadium.
The Tigers’ game at Texas A&M will be on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27, per the Aggies’ wishes.
LSU will not be playing home games against Texas A&M on Thanksgiving Day, the source said. As has been the case with the LSU-Arkansas game, the Tigers will play the Aggies in Tiger Stadium on Fridays or Saturdays to end the season.
Arkansas has been LSU’s regular-season finale since the Razorbacks joined the SEC in 1992, except for 2001 when LSU ended the season with a rescheduled game against Auburn because of the 9/11 attacks.
The Arkansas game will move to somewhere in the middle of the season, the source said. LSU is scheduled to play at Arkansas in 2014.
The SEC announcement will allow LSU to unveil its entire schedule, including the Aug. 30 season opener against Wisconsin at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
The Tigers and Badgers are also set to open the 2016 season against each other at Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers.
LSU’s other 2014 nonconference games are scheduled for Sept. 6 against UL-Monroe, Sept. 13 against Georgia Southern, and Sept. 27 against New Mexico State. All three of those games will be in Tiger Stadium.
LSU’s other SEC home games in 2014 will be against Alabama, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. The Tigers’ remaining SEC road slate will be against Auburn and Florida.
The SEC schedule will be for 2014 only. The SEC is still working on creating a long-term scheduling format, which means LSU may not necessarily play Kentucky in 2015.
Florida is LSU’s permanent opponent under the SEC’s current 6-1-1 schedule. In that format, LSU plays all six teams from the SEC West, one permanent opponent from the SEC East in Florida, and rotates the other six opponents from the East.
LSU officials have lobbied strongly the past two years to eliminate permanent opponents, also sometimes called crossover opponents, in favor of rotating everyone from the other division. The SEC is considering that option among a number of eight- and nine-game schedules.
LSU’s 2013 schedule calls for the Tigers to play Florida and a road game at Georgia, its rotating opponent, on Sept. 28.
Florida and Georgia tied for first in the SEC East last season with a combined 14-2 record.
Meanwhile Alabama, ranked No. 1 in the preseason polls and favored to win the SEC, plays permanent opponent Tennessee and rotating opponent Kentucky from the SEC East. Those teams were a combined 1-15 in SEC play last year, with Tennessee’s only conference win coming against Kentucky.
LSU also played South Carolina as its SEC East rotating opponent last year. South Carolina, Florida and Georgia have represented the East in the past five SEC Championship games.
By placing Kentucky on LSU’s schedule in 2014, the SEC is avoiding having the Tigers play a pair of perennial powerhouse teams from the East for the third straight season.
Next year’s game will be the first between LSU and Kentucky in football since 2011.
The Tigers and Wildcats played every year from 1952-2002 but only three times since then. LSU leads the all-time series 39-16-1.
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