Colossal non-conference college football games these days tend to be played on neutral fields more often than in a college venue, and there does not appear to be any slowing down of this trend in the coming years. If LSU is going to sign up for a marquee non-conference game, you can pretty much forget about it being played in Tiger Stadium. Non-conference opponents are scared to make the trip to Baton Rouge, according to LSU athletics director Joe Alleva.
“Literally 80 percent just say ‘no’ right away” Alleva said Tuesday morning on 104.5 FM ESPN’s Culotta & The Prince radio show (as transcribed by The Advocate). “They’re a little more open to the so-called neutral-site game. That’s why we were able to attract a Wisconsin, a TCU … BYU in the future.”
LSU will open the 2016 season against Wisconsin in Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Tigers will open the 2017 season in Houston against BYU. TCU does not currently appear on the future schedules for LSU, according to FBSchedules.com, but LSU did open the 2013 season against the Horned Frogs in Arlington, Texas to pick up its 42nd straight non-conference regular season victory. LSU will be back in Arlington when it takes on Miami in the 2018 season opener.
“Teams don’t want to come to Tiger Stadium and get their butts beat,” Alleva suggested. “That’s just a fact of life. I’m being as blunt as I can be…they don’t want to schedule losses.”
LSU actually has a handful of future home-and-home series lined up against power conference opponents that will not take place on neutral fields. Texas (2020), Arizona State (2023), UCLA (2024) and Oklahoma (2028) are all scheduled to visit Tiger Stadium. It is also not necessarily that schools are afraid to schedule a loss on the road as much as it is getting LSU to agree to a second game on the road. There is some give-and-take when it comes to scheduling, and getting a certain number of home games for each power conference opponent is a challenge as much as it can be a necessity.