Although the NCAA has approved a 12th game starting with the 2006 season, Auburn has not announced its schedule for next year.
Auburn officials have been discussing a one-time deal to play Washington State at Jordan-Hare Stadium, which would give the Tigers eight home games for 2006. On Saturday, Auburn announced the Cougars would visit Jordan-Hare Stadium to open the 2005 season in a game that will be televised by ESPN.
When the 2006 schedule is announced, Auburn fans will likely see a non-conference schedule that includes a contest with football lightweight Villanova as well as another game with a college from the city of Philadelphia, the Temple Owls. Both colleges are known as basketball schools.
The Tigers are also expected to play former SEC rival Tulane. Those two teams first played in 1902, but haven't met on the football field since 1955. The Green Wave has a 17-13-6 lead in the series.
Auburn's game vs. Villanova is expected to be a "throwback" contest in which the Tigers and Wildcats will wear replica uniforms based on their 1936 uniforms when they faced off in the first and only college football bowl game played on the island of Cuba. Auburn tied the Wildcats 7-7 in a memorable game that was called both the Bacardi Bowl and The Rhumba Bowl.
Here is a photo of Auburn's team during the late 1930's. It will be interesting to see if the jerseys Auburn wears against the Wildcats will be similar.
Auburn leads the series vs. Villanova 4-1 with a pair of ties. The last meeting was a 14-6 Auburn victory in Montgomery in 1942.
Tim Jackson, the executive associate athletic director who heads the Tigers Unlimited program, says that he believes the 2006 home schedule will be an attractive one no matter who the Tigers add for their 12th game.
"We don't necessarily correlate that by raising the prices we have got to play better folks," he says. "You have got Florida next year, you are playing LSU, and people want to win.
"Yes, we would all like to play the top 12 teams in the country and beat all of them," he tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "So, I think that our scheduling philosophy is not going to be tied to the ticket priority system. It is going to be tied to us being the best. For us to be the best, yes, we are going to have to play some folks and we are not going to be scared to play some folks, but that is in Jay's (athletic director Jay Jacobs) court."
Villanova, a Division I-AA program, posted a 6-5 record last year. Tulane was 5-6 while Temple posted a 2-9 record.