LSU 2005 schedule will feature big home dates

Updated: February 15, 2005, 7:01 PM ET
Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU's home schedule next season will include three opponents who finished 19th or higher in the Associated Press poll.

Southeastern Conference powers Tennessee and Auburn, along with Arizona State of the Pac-10 all play in Tiger stadium in 2005.

And a visit by Florida, expected to be one of the stronger teams in the SEC East next season, sets up what could be one of LSU's most competitive home schedules in more than a decade.

The last time LSU played four Top 25 teams in Tiger Stadium in the same season came in 1992, when the Tigers hosted No. 3 Alabama, No. 7 Tennessee, No. 7 Texas A&M and No. 22 Mississippi State.

Auburn is coming off an undefeated 2004 season that ended with a Sugar Bowl victory and a No. 3 national ranking. Tennessee finished 13th and Arizona State 19th in 2004. Florida received votes in the poll but finished just outside the Top 25. The Gators will be coached next season by Urban Meyer, who led Utah to an undefeated season and No. 4 ranking in 2004.

The Tigers' home schedule starts with their season-opener against defending Sun Belt Conference champion North Texas on Sept. 3. The Tigers also host I-AA Appalachian State on Nov. 5, followed by their regular-season finale at home against SEC West rival Arkansas.

LSU's game against Arizona State on Sept. 10 will be the first meeting between the Tigers and the Sun Devils. Last year, Arizona State posted a 9-3 overall mark and beat Purdue, 27-23, in the Sun Bowl.

In all, five of LSU's 2005 home opponents played in a bowl game last season.

After opening next season with three straight home games, as well as an open date, LSU will play at Mississippi State on Oct. 1. LSU plays at Vanderbilt the following week, which will mark the first meeting between the Tigers and Commodores in Nashville since 1997.

LSU also travels to Alabama on Nov. 12 and Ole Miss on Nov. 19.

Last season, LSU was 9-3, losing in the Capital One Bowl to Iowa and finishing No. 16 in the nation.

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Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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