Associated Press photo by ERIC GAY -- NRG Stadium in Houston, site of Saturday's SWAC football championship game.

LSU will open the 2017 season in Houston against BYU, the school announced on Thursday.

The Tigers and the Cougars will meet for the first time on Sept. 2, 2017, in the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff at NRG Stadium. LSU played Wisconsin in that game to open the 2014 season, a 28-24 comeback win for the Tigers.

BYU, an independent school not affiliated with a conference, has played in a bowl game in each of coach Bronco Mendenhall’s 10 seasons. The Cougars have a history of success on the field, beginning with legendary coach LaVell Edwards, who led the program to 257 wins in nearly 30 years at the helm.

LSU will host Syracuse the week after playing BYU and hosts Troy three weeks later. A home game against Georgia Southern rounds out the 2017 non-conference schedule, according to associate athletic director Verge Ausberry. All dates are tentative.

The school will make between $4-5 million from the game against BYU, Ausberry said.

The Tigers have played a non-conference neutral site game in four of the last five seasons. They’ve played TCU and Oregon in Arlington, Texas, and North Carolina in Atlanta.

It’s a trend that will continue, school officials say.

LSU meets Wisconsin at Lambeau Field to open the 2016 season and opens the 2018 season against Miami in Arlington at AT&T Stadium.

LSU’s largest non-Louisiana alumni base is Houston, and the program has recruited Texas heavily recently.

Six Texans were apart of LSU’s No. 2-ranked 2014 signing class. That’s the most Texas signees in one LSU class since Nick Saban took charge of the program in 2000. In all, LSU has signed at least three Texas players in 13 of the previous 15 classes.

LSU is mixing its neutral site games with attractive home-and-home series against Texas (2019-20), UCLA (2021-24) and Arizona State (2022-23), but the school school will host just one major conference team (Syracuse in 2017) from 2013-19.

The 2017 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff will mark the fifth year of an eight-year agreement between Lone Star Sports & Entertainment and ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN.


LSU has played neutral site games in four of the previous five years and has three scheduled.

2010: North Carolina, Atlanta

2011: Oregon, Dallas

2013: TCU, Dallas

2014: Wisconsin, Houston

2016: Wisconsin, Lambeau

2017: BYU, Houston

2018: Miami, Dallas

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @DellengerAdv.