As expected, the LSU Tigers cancelled their future two-game series against the NC State Wolfpack. After recently scheduling a home-and-home series with Syracuse for the 2015 and 2017 seasons, the Tigers decided that they did not want to have to play two major nonconference opponents in 2017. This was a move that has been in the works for some time now.
The Tigers and Wolfpack were scheduled to play each other in 2017 in Baton Rouge and in 2020 in Raleigh. When the deal was struck in 2005, the Tigers were unaware that they would be playing the Orange during the 2017 season. Verge Ausberry, the Tigers’ senior associate athletic director, wanted to move the series back, but the Wolfpack were not willing to do so. A penalty of $100,000 was paid to the Wolfpack.
This move may seem a bit odd to some, as the Tigers have always scheduled games against major nonconference opponents, but the team doesn’t have anything to gain since the Wolfpack are hardly a contender. In the past, LSU has played several nonconference juggernauts. For instance, they played the Oregon Ducks and the West Virginia Mountaineers in 2011. The Tigers won both those games on their way to a spot in the BCS championship.
Maybe the move has something to do with the SEC‘s recent scheduling change. SEC officials announced that all of its members must schedule a nonconference game against a team from either of the other four major conferences. It is obvious that the SEC is trying to strengthen its position in college football.
The Tigers move makes complete sense after really thinking about it. Why add a team like NC State to an already difficult schedule. Having a game against a cupcake opponent probably looks a little more appealing for LSU. Look for the Tigers to add another opponent to the vacant spot left after the recent cancellation.