Syracuse, LSU set home-and-home series

Syracuse and LSU will play a home-and-home series beginning in 2015, the schools announced Wednesday.

The first game between the two will take place Sept. 26, 2015 at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. LSU will host the second game at Tiger Stadium on Sept. 9, 2017.

“We are thrilled to enter into this home-and-home agreement with a premiere program like LSU. Student-athletes come to Syracuse to play on the biggest stage possible, and this gives our coaches and young men the chance to battle one of the standard-bearers of the SEC on our home turf,” Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross said in a statement.

Syracuse has not been shy about scheduling tough nonconference games, facing the likes of Penn State, Northwestern, USC, Notre Dame and Washington in recent years. And it is no secret league athletic directors want to be more proactive in helping boost strength of schedule in the College Football Playoff era. To that end, the league has discussed a scheduling model that would feature an annual game against an SEC opponent.

Though that is just one idea among many that have been tossed around, it is interesting to note that a total of eight league teams now have at least one SEC game scheduled into the future. Four belong to Georgia Tech, Florida State, Clemson and Louisville, all with annual SEC rivalry games. But it does appear that steps have been taken across the league to "schedule up." Not only are there more future games against SEC opponents, ACC schools have scheduled schools like Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Baylor, Michigan State and Oklahoma State.

The boost in nonconference scheduling should be quite the topic during the spring meetings in Amelia Island, Fla., next month. Athletic directors are set to debate the merits of an eight- or nine-game league schedule once again.

Future SEC opponents

Clemson -- Georgia (2014), South Carolina (annual)

Florida State -- Florida (annual)

Louisville -- Kentucky (through 2016)

NC State -- LSU (2017, 2020)

Syracuse -- LSU (2015, 2017)

Georgia Tech -- Georgia (annual), Vanderbilt (2016), Ole Miss (2017, 2018)

North Carolina -- South Carolina (2015)

Virginia Tech -- Tennessee (2016)