State also will host a SWAC program for the fourth time in five seasons. Alcorn State returns to campus for 2013, having first visited Mississippi State in 2011. The in-state land grant schools were able to arrange a second meeting to take the place of UAB which had been on the original non-conference schedule released back in 2009.
Staying on the original non-conference slate are Troy, which returns this season's game in Troy; and a first-ever meeting with Bowling Green.
The other delay in announcing next year's schedule was complications in settling the new Southeastern Conference rotation after the 2012 additions of Texas A&M and Missouri. The newcomers were force-fit in for 2012 in a one-time scheduling. Now the future rotation is taking clearer shape. Mississippi State's anticipated home SEC games have not changed with Alabama, LSU, Kentucky, and Ole Miss coming to campus as expected. Kentucky remains MSU's permanent Eastern Division opponent.
But there will be no return trip to 2012 opponent Tennessee next year. Instead, State will go to South Carolina which they had been booked to do this year had the league expansion not happened a year ahead of schedule. The Gamecocks came to Scott Field in 2011, and State has not been to Columbia since 2007.
And after hosting Texas A&M in their debut SEC season, the Bulldogs return the trip next fall. It will be the first football appearance by a MSU team since prior to World War I. State also goes to Auburn for its SEC opener, and will again meet Arkansas in Little Rock.
This only the eighth time Mississippi State has hosted seven games. And due to the longer NCAA football calendar for 2013, there will be two open dates next season.
2013 BULLDOG FOOTBALL SCHEDULE