By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
A scheduling conflict has Mississippi State scrambling for an extra football game in 2012.
The Bulldogs were supposed to play Louisiana Tech that season, but earlier this month the latter paid the $300,000 necessary to buy out of the game, which was originally scheduled for Sept. 15, 2012, in Starkville.
MSU asked Tech to move the game to a different date in 2012, and State athletics director Scott Stricklin said Tuesday that he was initially told by Tech officials that they could accommodate the request.
Turns out, they could not. “We could not fulfill this request, so we asked to move the game to a later year, and Mississippi State declined,” Louisiana Tech AD Bruce Van De Velde said in a statement. “At that point we elected not to play the game.”
Van De Velde said MSU’s request came via the SEC and was related to television scheduling. Stricklin neither confirmed nor disputed that detail. Cavalier attitude?
Instead of playing MSU, the Bulldogs of Ruston will play Virginia on Sept. 29. The terms of that deal were not disclosed, but Tech team spokesman Patrick Walsh said the game with the Cavaliers “will be for an amount significantly higher than the $300,000 buyout we paid for Mississippi State.”
Walsh said the scheduling change also allowed Tech to add a sixth home game for the 2012 season (vs. Rice on Sept. 15).
So now Stricklin is hunting for another Division I-A foe. MSU already has Jackson State on the 2012 schedule, so Stricklin doesn’t want another I-AA team if he can help it.
“It’s late in the game, but we’re going to make the best of it,” he said. “I wish we could’ve just played the game, because it was contracted. That was their decision, and we’ll make the best of it and figure out what we’re doing going forward.”
The 2012 game was the back end of a two-and-one deal: The teams met in Ruston in 2008 and will play this season in Starkville (Sept. 24).
Another two-and-one series is scheduled for the 2015-17 seasons.
Contact Brad Locke at 678-1571 or firstname.lastname@example.org.