BY LOGAN LOWERY
STARKVILLE – Scott Stricklin has been a busy man this summer.
Not only has the Mississippi State director of athletics had to hire a new men’s tennis coach, he has also been occupied with completing the $75 million renovation to Davis Wade Stadium and finalizing future football schedules.
Beginning in 2016, the SEC will require all of its member institutions to schedule at least one non-conference opponent from the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten or Pac-12.
The Bulldogs have announced home-and-home dates with N.C. State for 2020-21 and Arizona in 2022-23 seasons this summer. But there is still work to be done to meet the league’s new scheduling standards starting in two years.
“The 2016 and 2017 seasons are more challenging because you work far in advance on scheduling,” Stricklin said. “We will work something out. We’re talking to our league office and let them know where we’re at. They talk to people too and can maybe steer people our way too.”
A Twitter conversation between Stricklin and Kansas State athletic director John Currie on Friday mentioned a possible matchup between Mississippi State and the Wildcats. Currie invited Stricklin and the Bulldogs to Manhattan in 2018 and would make a return trip to Starkville the following season.
“Our goal is to have seven home games,” Stricklin said. “We’re trying and want the best of both worlds. We want seven home games and to have balance in our schedule.””
The Bulldogs upcoming schedule would not meet the SEC’s future requirements with non-conference tilts against Southern Miss, UAB, South Alabama and Tennessee-Martin.
MSU has its 2015 schedule completed and will release it simultaneously along with the rest of the conference.
State has sold out of its premium season tickets in the north end zone of Davis Wade Stadium.
Now construction crews are working at a frantic pace to complete the job before the Bulldogs season opener against Southern Miss.
“There’s a lot of work that you can’t see from the outside that’s going on,” Stricklin said.
“They’re going to have a hectic eight weeks or so but we’re going to have it done and it’s going to be a lot of fun when people show up August 30th.”
The expansion will increase capacity to 61,337. As of Friday, the MSU ticket office had sold a record 34,335 season tickets to the public and have 11,000 more designated for students.
The Bulldogs sport an active home sellout streak of 30 consecutive games dating back to 2009.
BY LOGAN LOWERY