LSU will travel to the Carrier Dome to face Syracuse at noon ET Saturday, and if that game feels a little weird, it’s because it is.
But it’s not as odd of a scheduling quirk as UMass’ home game against Mississippi State at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro next year, or Mizzou’s trip to UConn in 2017. At least it’s against a power five opponent.
Road games that far north of the Mason-Dixon line are a rarity for the SEC. Looking at the number of times Army, Boston College, UConn, UMass and Syracuse have welcomed an SEC team since World War II (Buffalo has never played an SEC team at home):
Army (6): 2009 vs. Vanderbilt, 1991 vs. Vanderbilt, 1988 vs. Vanderbilt, 1974 vs. Vanderbilt, 1973 vs. Tennessee, 1968 vs. Vanderbilt
Boston College (7): 1987 vs. Tennessee, 1983 vs. Alabama (Foxboro), 1979 vs. Tennessee, 1963 vs. Vanderbilt, 1949 vs. Ole Miss, 1947 vs. LSU, 1946 vs. Tennessee
UConn (1): 2010 vs. Vanderbilt
UMass (1): 2013 vs. Vanderbilt
Syracuse (5): 2001 vs. Auburn, 1998 vs. Tennessee, 1991 vs. Florida, 1991 vs. Vanderbilt, 1986 vs. Mississippi State
Of these 20 games, Vanderbilt accounts for nine of them, while Tennessee has traveled to the Northeast five times. The last SEC team not based in Tennessee to play in the Northeast was Auburn in 2001.
So that gives LSU’s trip to Syracuse some historical context. And Mississippi State’s trip to Foxboro next year. And Mizzou’s trip to UConn in 2017.
Gotta hit that fertile Northeast recruiting territory, I guess.