LSU to play Oklahoma home and home

LSU finalized its 2004 schedule by getting Arkansas State to move up its game with the Tigers one season, and the Tigers are close to agreeing to a home-and-home series with Oklahoma, the team they beat to claim the BCS National Championship.

Arkansas State will be LSU's opponent on Sept. 11, replacing Houston in the Tigers' second game of the season. Houston asked to be let out of its game with LSU in order to schedule a game with Oklahoma.

LSU tentatively agreed to Houston's request while it searched for another Division I-A replacement

"Football opponents used to be etched in stone years ahead of time, but those days are over," said LSU associate athletic director Dan Radakovich. "We understood Houston's request to make a change in its schedule, and we were willing to take a look at the change if it did not dramatically affect our schedule this season."

LSU coach Nick Saban said he is disappointed when teams back out of games at such late dates.

"However, Arkansas State provides us with a better opportunity to prepare our team for this year's early SEC schedule. With a Pac-10 team (Oregon State) coming in for the season opener, it is good to have a team with SEC-type tendencies in week two to continue our team's development for the rest of the season."

While looking for a Division I-A team to replace Houston, LSU entered negotiations with Oklahoma for games in Baton Rouge and at Norman, Okla. The dates are expected to be announced this spring.

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