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Thursday, February 15, 2007
Updated: February 19, 2:51 AM ET
SEC battle will open '07 college football season

Associated Press

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Continuing a tradition that began last year, the Mississippi State Bulldogs will kick off the 2007 football season on Thursday night with an ESPN televised game against the LSU Tigers on Aug. 30, the Southeastern Conference confirmed.

Mississippi State opened at home on Thursday night last season against South Carolina, a game the Gamecocks won, 15-0.

"Opening the season against LSU on national television provides terrific exposure for our university and our football program," MSU coach Sylvester Croom said in a statement released by the school. "The best thing about the move is that it keeps our players focused throughout the spring and summer on LSU."

The change, which came at the initiation of ESPN, is the product of months of work between MSU, LSU, Auburn and Tulane.

Mississippi State's new schedule has the Bulldogs playing at Tulane on Sept. 8 and at Auburn on Sept. 15, according to

A university release said the school's football schedule is still not complete and that changes are expected.