With the Southeastern Conference setting both the matchups and dates for 2014, Mississippi State has plugged in the non-conference games already announced. Those include the August 30 opener which will see debut of the expanded-and-renovated Davis Wade Stadium, but bring Southern Mississippi to campus for the first time since 1990. State is contracted to return that game in 2015.
The Bulldogs face a pair of Alabama teams the next two weeks, hosting UAB before a first-ever visit to South Alabama. The other non-league game brings Tennessee-Martin to campus in November.
There is no change of course to the Western Division matchups, but there has been an interesting adjustment of dates. After facing Arkansas as the next-to-last scheduled game for 17 seasons, the Bulldogs will meet the Razorbacks on November 1. This is so the next Eastern Division opponent to rotate-onto State's slate, Vanderbilt, can be played prior to the Egg Bowl. Vanderbilt replaces South Carolina for '14.
State keeps Kentucky as its 'permanent' East opponent, though such things are no longer permanent as the SEC adapts to both the 14-team league scheduling challenges and network-partner requests that impact every conference team's plans on a year to year basis.
And, the Battle for the Golden Egg, which takes its turn in Oxford next year, is booked for a Saturday. But as fans know now, such things are subject to change as this year's game was moved to Thanksgiving Night for network needs. This year's Kentucky game also was moved up to a Thursday after the slate had been announced. So, stay tuned and hold off on buying any air tickets or such until further notice.
The two open dates are September 27 and October 18.
Mississippi State was able to finish the 2014 schedule after the Southeastern Conference completed all 14 member’s league slates for the season. As all teams are expected to open on August 30 everyone gets the two open dates.
Regardless there will be conference games for network broadcast(s) each of the 14 weekends.
This plays into launching of the SEC Network which is now set for debut on August 21 of 2014, a week before the league schedule opens with a Thursday night game between Texas A&M and South Carolina in Columbia.
As announced during this past spring’s conference meetings the football schedule format continues under review. The 2014 schedule is still based on a twelve-year rotation and six Divisional games for everyone, one ‘permanent’ inter-Division game and one rotating opponent.
“The SEC presidents and chancellors have committed to a review of football scheduling to be completed in time for the 2016 schedule,” commissioner Mike Slive said in today’s released statement. “The objective of this review is to develop a scheduling format for the 2016 season and beyond which will be in the best interests of the conference. The conference’s current 6-1-1 scheduling format will continue until a new format is approved by the conference membership.”
The full 2014 schedule is:
August 30 Southern Mississippi
September 6 UAB
September 13 at South Alabama
September 20 at LSU
October 4 Texas A&M
October 11 Auburn
October 25 at Kentucky
November 1 Arkansas
November 8 Tennessee-Martin
November 15 at Alabama
November 22 Vanderbilt
November 29 at Ole Miss