As you may have seen earlier today, Mizzou released its complete 2012 schedule with the addition of Southeast Louisiana, Central Florida and Syracuse to the docket. Southeast Louisiana and Central Florida join Tennessee as first-time Mizzou opponents this season, while the Tigers and Syracuse will face for the third time in the series history.
The Orange swept a home-and-home in the mid-1980's with Syracuse winning at the Carrier Dome in 1986 (41-9) before wrapping up a 24-13 win over Mizzou in Columbia in 1987.
Ben Arnet caught up with Senior Associate Athletics Director Mark Alnutt for a piece on the Mizzou Network earlier today to discuss how the Syracuse matchup came about. In short, the departure of West Virginia from the Big East to the Big 12 created scheduling difficulties for the remaining eastern schools, and the pieces fit together just right for the Tigers and Orange to meet in Columbia in November.
The agreement means that for the first time since 2006, Memorial Stadium will host seven games in a season.
Until now, many of Mizzou's late-season non-conference games have come as a result of national-security issues, but the move to the SEC has created a couple of scheduling oddities for Mizzou.
First, 2012 marks the first late-season non-conference game for the Tigers since the Sept. 11 attacks moved the Michigan State game to the final week of the 2001 season. In addition, fans in Columbia will not see a conference game within the confines of Faurot Field in the month of November for the first time since 1944, when the November home games were vs. Michigan State and Iowa Navy Pre-Flight. The Tigers also played at Oklahoma, and in Kansas City vs. Kansas, that month.
The practice was more prevalent when Don Faurot used his "play anyone, anywhere" scheduling strategy to help pay off the construction costs of Memorial Stadium in the 1940's and 1950's, but the only other late-season non-conference game in the last 50 years came when the Tigers closed the 1994 season at Hawaii.