The LSU Tigers played all seven of their home games at night last season for the first time since 2009.
Athletic Director Joe Alleva would like to keep it that way.
After years of lobbying unsuccessfully for the Southeastern Conference to do away with permanent cross-divisional opponents, Alleva has chosen as his cause something a little closer to home: preserving Saturday night in Death Valley.
“The whole thing about permanent partners, that battle is lost for now,” Alleva said Friday. “It won’t come up again for a vote for a long time. Given that, my No. 1 priority is night games in Tiger Stadium.”
Of course, getting to play at night is still subject to the demands of the SEC’s TV partners. CBS televises all but one of its SEC games during the day each season but used its one prime-time slot last Nov. 8 for LSU’s 20-13 overtime loss at home to Alabama.
LSU’s three nonconference home games — McNeese State on Sept. 5, Eastern Michigan on Oct. 3 and Western Kentucky on Oct. 24 — should all start at night.
The games that could get moved are the SEC contests: Sept. 19 against Auburn, Oct. 17 against Florida, Nov. 14 against Arkansas and Nov. 28 against Texas A&M. Alleva thinks the Auburn and Arkansas games could be the most likely to be moved to the daytime.
“I don’t care what network we’re on,” Alleva said, “as long as we’re playing at night.”
No Thanksgiving game
Alleva said the networks continue to push for LSU to move its game with Texas A&M to Thanksgiving day, but he has continued to refuse.
“As long as I’m here, we will not play in Tiger Stadium on a Thursday,” Alleva said. “I guarantee you that.”
The LSU-A&M game could be moved to Friday, Nov. 27, however, as was the case most years when LSU and Arkansas played on the final weekend of the regular season.
Alleva said he hopes to get a firm date on that game later this month during the SEC Spring Meeting in Destin, Florida.
Texas A&M moved its home game with LSU last year to Thanksgiving night, a 23-17 Tigers victory. A&M used to play Texas on Thanksgiving and it’s assumed the Aggies, will want to continue that tradition with their season-ending game against the Tigers.
LSU, Maryland discuss series
Alleva said LSU and Maryland are in preliminary talks to play a home-and-home series, probably sometime in the next decade.
The schools played three times in the 1950s: in 1951 at Tiger Stadium and in 1952 and 1955 in College Park. The Terrapins won all three meetings.