Sun Belt and other Group of Five schools are regulars on SEC teams schedules but a bit of history is being made in the not too distant future thanks to the addition of one such team to the slate of somebody not normal known for making waves on the schedule front.
According to a release by the school, South Alabama will play Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Sept. 13, 2025. While that’s notable for being the first-ever meeting between the two programs, it’s also a bit of history in the region as it will be the Tigers’ first FBS game against an in-state foe other than Iron Bowl rival Alabama since 1996 (!).
“This is a fantastic opportunity for Jaguar football to get to play an in-state SEC school,” Jaguars head coach Steve Campbell said in a statement. “They are a perennial top-10 program that has produced several Heisman Trophy winners, it will definitely be great to be able to face them. Playing an in-state SEC school will help us in many areas.”
Auburn’s previous meeting with a local FBS team came in a game against UAB back before some of the team’s current players were even born.
Still, the Tigers seem downright progressive when compared to the Crimson Tide, who haven’t faced an in-state opponent other than Auburn since… 1944.
And this isn’t a case of USA, Troy, the Blazers or others avoiding the SEC’s best either as just about all coaches and/or AD’s at the schools in recent years have expressed interest in a game in Tuscaloosa or the Plains.
South Alabama appears to be the only one that could seal the deal however, even if it may be several more decades of waiting around for the other in-state SEC program to see the light. The Jaguars have upcoming games against Tulane and North Texas for 2025 scheduled as well and play at several other SEC schools in the coming years too, including Florida (2020), Tennessee (2021), LSU (2024) and Kentucky (2026).
As for Auburn, the South Alabama game will be their second for the 2025 season and compliments a trip to Baylor to open the campaign on August 31.