Coming off an 11-2 season the Tigers will face arguably one of the nation's toughest schedules next season and it begins with a game on national television from a member of the Big 12 Conference.
On Sept. 1 at Jordan-Hare Stadium the Tigers will square off against the Kansas State Wildcats in a game scheduled to be shown on one of the ESPN networks that night with a return trip by the Tigers tentatively scheduled for 2014.
Kansas State finished last season 7-6 after losing to Rutgers in the Texas Bowl. The Wildcats defeated defending national champion Texas at home in 2006. It will be the first meeting between the two schools since 1979 and Senior Associate Athletic Director Mark Richard says it was a long process to get Kansas State on the schedule with ESPN working with both colleges to get the deal done.
"It took quite a while for us to get it done because Kansas State had Missouri State on their schedule and Missouri State had to move Sam Houston State," Richard says. "Then Sam Houston had another school they were working with. Instead of just working with Kansas State we were actually working with four other schools. Therefore it took a little time.
"We had contacted K State this summer and knew they had a possible opening," he adds. "We then tried to target Oregon State and try to get them here for one game which did not work out for us. We went back to ESPN and they've got everybody's schedule. They can look and see what is going on. ESPN identified Kansas State and from there we started our dialogue again."
The second week brings what could turn out to be an even tougher game as Big East upstart South Florida travels to Jordan-Hare Stadium looking for another big road upset. In 2006 the Bulls defeated West Virginia on the road on the way to a nine-win season and a victory in the Papa John's Bowl in Birmingham.
Richard says that having Kansas State and South Florida on the schedule makes for a very good home schedule for fans wanting to see strong non-conference competition in Jordan-Hare.
"We wanted to get at least two BCS schools in place for this upcoming season," Richard says. "With those two and New Mexico State and Tennessee Tech and the four SEC games with Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Alabama we feel like we've got a pretty good home schedule."
Auburn opens SEC play the following weekend against Mississippi State at home with New Mexico State coming to Auburn on Sept. 22. The first road contest of the year comes in week five and begins a brutal stretch for the Tigers as they head to the Swamp to face the defending national champion Florida Gators on Sept. 29. A home contest against Vanderbilt follows before back-to-back road games at Arkansas and LSU on Oct. 6 and Oct. 13 round out a brutal month for Auburn.
On Oct. 27 Auburn returns home to face Ole Miss with homecoming opponent Tennessee Tech on the schedule Nov. 3. A trip to Athens follows on Nov. 10 as the Tigers look to get revenge on the Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia is the fourth and final road game for the Tigers against teams that had a combined record of 43-11 in 2006. The only off week of the season comes before the Alabama game in Auburn scheduled for Nov. 24. It will be the first time the two have played on Thanksgiving weekend since 1992.
2007 Auburn Football Schedule
Sept. 1 KANSAS STATE
Sept. 8 SOUTH FLORIDA
Sept. 15 MISSISSIPPI STATE
Sept. 22 NEW MEXICO STATE
Sept. 29 at Florida
Oct. 6 VANDERBILT
Oct. 13 at Arkansas
Oct. 20 at LSU
Oct. 27 OLE MISS
Nov. 3 TENNESSEE TECH
Nov. 10 at Georgia
Nov. 17 OPEN
Nov. 24 ALABAMA