UPDATED: JSU set to play at Auburn in 2015
by Al Muskewitz
Aug 27, 2013 | 3807 views |  0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When Jacksonville State lost the chance to play in-state power Auburn this year, there was disappointment throughout the Gamecock Nation but always a hope it would happen some day.

Some day is 2015, and the Gamecocks are expected to be several hundred thousand dollars richer for it.

JSU confirmed Tuesday the two teams will play at Jordan-Hare Stadium on

Sept. 12, 2015.

The Gamecocks announced the game after JSU athletics director Warren Koegel received permission from Auburn to do so following The Anniston Star's reporting of the matchup earlier in the day.

"We have been working with them and diligently ever since the decision they couldn't play us for scheduling reasons and they had been interested (in making it happen)," Koegel said. "We all said we wanted to play each other. It was just a matter of when. They had to wait until the SEC got squared away. It's worked out."

JSU coach Bill Clark revealed during an Ohio Valley Conference coaches media teleconference Tuesday the Gamecocks were in talks with the Tigers for a game in 2015.

“I think that’s a potential,” he said. “Let’s just say that’s on the horizon. Obviously, we’ve got to add another game in that spot. I don’t know if that’s been official yet, but we’re in talks.”

The 2015 spot on the Gamecocks’ schedule opened when LSU moved that contracted game to 2016.

JSU and Auburn were contracted to play in Jordan-Hare Stadium this season, but the Tigers had to pull out to accommodate the addition of Texas A&M and Missouri to the Southeastern Conference schedule. JSU still stood to pocket the $500,000 guarantee because Auburn couldn’t fulfill the contract.

Financial terms for this new contract were not disclosed immediately, but if the guarantee matches what the 2013 game fetched, the Gamecocks stand to make a cool $1 million from Auburn for the two games.

Messages for Auburn officials seeking comment were not returned.

With the game solidified, the Gamecocks now have one FBS game each of the next three seasons. JSU will face Michigan State in 2014.

That would suit Clark just fine. JSU played two FBS teams last year -- Arkansas to open the season and Florida to close -- and in 2009. Clark related how his South Alabama team played Mississippi State tough last year, but lost two players to injury in the process.

“That’s a concern for probably every one of us,” he said. “Some people may not be as concerned about it as others, but if you could limit that to one game a year that would really be good for us.

“I don’t know if we’ll be able to do that financially, but from my perspective I would rather just see one of those games a year.”

The Gamecocks are still in the market for two games in the 2014 season after Central Florida pulled out of that contracted game without compensation to JSU.

Al Muskewitz covers Jacksonville State sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3577.

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