State will face Auburn, Florida, and Kentucky, and Arkansas on the SEC-road this fall. That last trip won't be to Fayetteville, though, as Arkansas has opted to host State at their other 'home' field in Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium.
The Florida game concludes that two-year rotation, with South Carolina coming on the slate in '06.
State's other road trip is a return to New Orleans to play Tulane in the Louisiana Superdome, but that might as well be a home date for Bulldog fans who enjoy visiting the City in September.
Rounding out the schedule are home non-conference dates with Murray State and Houston. Today's official release does not designate any of these games as the Homecoming opponent, but that is only because the campus committee in charge of the fall weekend has yet to make it formal. The Octover 22 date with the Cougars will be Homecoming, according to MSU athletic officials.
This is the latest that State has announced a schedule in several years, and the '04 slate was announced in January. The holdup has been discussions with the conference's TV network partners, particularly ESPN, about returning the Battle for the Golden Egg to Thanksgiving Thursday. As late as the end of March there was still a determination by MSU to keep the game on the holiday evening even if no network would commit to a telecast. The April edition of Dawgs' Bite Magazine reflects such informal statements from the athletic director.
Now the athletic administration has chosen to keep the game on Saturday, as in 2004, which given a slow SEC schedule on November 26 offers more opportunity for network selection. No gametime has been set for the Egg Bowl, or for any other Bulldog game.
None of the 11 games has officially been picked for a SEC TV partner showing, but there is a good chance the Tulane game will be televised by a CUSA network partner.
The schedule is:
Sept. 3 Murray State
Sept. 10 @ Auburn
Sept. 17 @ Tulane
Sept. 24 Georgia
Oct. 1 LSU
Oct. 8 @ Florida
Oct. 22 Houston
Oct. 29 @ Kentucky
Nov. 5 Alabama
Nov. 19 Arkansas @ Little Rock
Nov. 26 Mississippi