Cowboys set upgraded football schedule

Published 11:26 am Tuesday, December 5, 2023

McNeese State officially announced that it has signed to play a pair of football games at LSU in the coming seasons.

It was first reported last week by that the two teams had agreed to play games in the 2026 and 2029 seasons.

McNeese confirmed that the two games will bring a record total of $1.525 million to the Cowboys in guaranteed income, which is a school record.

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The two games will be played in Baton Rouge with the first set to pay McNeese $750,000 in 2026. In 2029 the Cowboys will receive $775,000.

In a release McNeese said those numbers would have been the third-highest payout by an FBS school to an FCS school in 2023 and ranked in the top five all time.

“I’m really excited to have LSU on the schedule in ‘26 and ‘29,” McNeese Athletic Director Heath Schroyer said in a statement. “The opportunity to play the Tigers in Tiger Stadium will be an amazing moment for our players, our coaches and our fans.

“I love playing a game like this, especially in this region. These opportunities to be on the national stage only helps bring recognition to our university and our community, and it helps us promote our brand.”

The 2026 game will be played in Week 2 on Sept. 12. The date in 2029 has yet to be set.

“The negotiations went back-and-forth and took some time, but I’m really glad we got to where we are,” said Schroyer. “I truly appreciate the LSU administration, especially Verge (Ausberry, LSU’s Executive Deputy AD) for working with me to get this multi-year deal done.”

The Cowboys have lost two previous games to the Tigers, falling 32-10 in 2010 and 34-7 in 2021. There was a game set for 2015 but was canceled after just two series when lighting and heavy rains hit Baton Rouge.

The two teams waited close to three hours to try and resume things before it was finally called off.

McNeese played at Florida this year, losing to the Gators 49-7 and will play at Texas A&M next season on Sept. 7. The Pokes played the Aggies in 2002 before they were members of the SEC.

The same held true in 2010 when McNeese lost at Missouri which was playing in the Big 12 at the time.

The games against LSU are part of a continued attempt of McNeese to increase its profile in all sports. This year the men’s basketball team has increased its games against other Mid-Major programs.

The McNeese women’s basketball team will play its second game against a Top 25 team Wednesday night at No. 13 Kansas State. The Cowgirls have already played at No. 10 Baylor and will travel next week to take on defending national champion LSU.

In November McNeese baseball hosted a pair of fall games against the defending national champs from LSU and will play them again in the spring.

And the softball team will play a pair of games at home against national power Oklahoma.