Tigers to Play Washington State in 2006

Auburn will play Washington State to open the 2006 football season.

Auburn, Ala.--Coach Tommy Tuberville's Tigers will open the 2006 football season on Sept. 2 vs. the Washington State Cougars.

Athletic director Jay Jacobs made the announcement on Saturday. The game will be televised on ESPN.

The Tigers are also expected to play non-conference games vs. Villanova, Temple and Tulane in 2006.

"We're excited about adding Washington State to our schedule in 2006," Jacobs said. "They have a very good program, having won 10 or more games in three of the last four seasons.

"We are committed to a strong schedule and I think our fans will be excited about opening 2006 against a BCS opponent on national television," Jacobs said.

Tuberville, who almost swept all of the 2004 national coach of the year awards, said on Saturday, "We will be ready to play whoever they put on the schedule for us to play." Tuberville adds that he believes the Cougars will be a challenging season opener.

The game against the Pac 10 program was announced one day after Auburn unveiled a new ticket priority policy that will make season tickets more expensive for most Auburn fans beginning with the 2006 season.

The game vs. Washington State will be the first meeting ever between the two universities in football. Auburn is 4-3 all-time vs. Pac 10 opponents. Auburn's last game vs. the Pac 10 was a season-opening loss to Southern Cal at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Auburn is expected to play eight home games in 2006 including conference tests vs. Florida, LSU, Georgia and Arkansas. Jacobs said the complete schedule will be announced in September.

Originally, the Tigers had planned to open the season with a "throwback game" vs. Villanova with the Tigers wearing uniforms modeled after the 1930s uniforms when Auburn played Villanova in the Bacardi Bowl in Havana, Cuba.

Road games for the 2006 Tigers will be at Mississippi State, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Alabama.

Beginning next season, all Division I teams can play 12 regular season games.

Villanova, a Division I-AA program, posted a 6-5 record last year. Tulane was 5-6 while Temple posted a 2-9 record. Washington State had a down season in 2004 after winning 10 games the previous season. The Cougars are expected to have a strong team in 2006.

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