The SEC has decided to require its members to play at least one annual nonconference game against a Power Five conference team -- someone like, say, N.C. State of the ACC. But even that edict wasn't enough to save a scheduled home-and-home series between the Wolfpack and LSU .
The Baton Rouge Advocate reported Wednesday that LSU has paid N.C. State a $100,000 penalty in exchange for canceling the two teams' planned meetings in 2017 and 2020. An LSU official told the Advocate that the Tigers had asked the Wolfpack to reschedule the series further into the future, but that NCSU had declined.
LSU recently agreed to a home-and-home with the Wolfpack's new conferencemates at Syracuse, with the Tigers traveling to the Carrier Dome in 2015 and hosting the Orange in 2017. The Advocate indicated LSU's desire to avoid two Power Five nonconference opponents in the same season may have helped motivate the cancellation.
For the most part, LSU has scheduled as aggressively as could be expected under Les Miles; witness past trips to Pac-12 opponents Arizona State and Washington, the future trips to Syracuse and UCLA, and the forthcoming neutral-site "home-and-home" with Wisconsin that kicks off this fall. Home games in 92,000-seat Tiger Stadium are also lucrative affairs, obviously, and LSU can't be expected to give them up lightly.
That said: with all due respect, neither the Wolfpack nor the Orange currently shape up as potential national title contenders or anything, and playing both teams in a season hardly shapes up as that daunting an obstacle for a Tiger program that should shape up as a potential national title contender. In 2011 LSU played both Oregon (who did qualify as robust a nonconference opponent as possible) and West Virginia, and promtply went 13-0 and played for a BCS championship.
In short: maybe LSU is planning something even grander than the Wolfpack, or maybe it couldn't arrange to have either NCSU or Syracuse come to Baton Rouge in 2017. But if not, it would have been nice to see a true heavyweight like the Tigers take on that one extra power-conference comer.