By LEE ADAMS
Mississippi State tries to schedule at least one FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) team every season, and wants to get those opponents from inside the state of Mississippi.
It was announced on Wednesday that the Bulldogs will open the 2013 season at home against Mississippi Valley State of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
â€śWe try to play a FCS school every year, and we prefer it that team to be an instate school,â€ť said MSU athletic director Scott Stricklin. â€śIt makes a lot of sense, itâ€™s good for relationships in the state, helps their schools financially and it benefits everybody.â€ť
The 2013 opener is scheduled for August 31 and it will be the first meeting between the Bulldogs and Delta Devils. The schools have a contract that MSU gives Valley $350,000 for the game to be played a Davis Wade Stadium.
The Delta Devils will not be the first Mississippi school from the SWAC to make the trip to Starkville as Jackson State and Alcorn State competed against the Bulldogs in the past two seasons. State was on the winning side of both games as the outscored their opponents by a combined score of 94-23.
Although there isnâ€™t a FCS opponent on tap for this season, Jackson State will start the Bulldogs season once again in 2012. Also, the University of Southern Mississippi has plans to take on the Bulldogs in the near future and that will have the Bulldogs having played every FCS and FBS in state opponents.
â€śOver the next few years, we will have played every Division 1 team in the state,â€ť said Stricklin. â€śWe think itâ€™s important as a leading academic and athletic institution in the state that we are playing all the schools in our state.â€ť