Looking ahead, Grambling has at least four contests slated at The Rob for 2009, including a return game against Northwestern State and dates against traditional Southwestern Athletic Conference foes Alabama A&M, Mississippi Valley State and Texas Southern – the last of which could be a Thursday night broadcast on the ESPN family of networks.
GSU looks to open on the road at Alcorn State, with additional away contests at Jackson State, Oklahoma State and Alabama State. Neutral site contests include Prairie View A&M at Dallas’ Cotton Bowl, Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Little Rock’s War Memorial and Southern at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.
The question for new AD Lin Dawson becomes the MEAC/SWAC Challenge, which offers a season-opening chance for Grambling to play its counterpart champion on ESPN. In 2006, GSU moved its Alcorn opener to the end of the year, after the Bayou Classic, to accommodate this game – and that could happen again, though the contest might have to be moved to next year.
Grambling has not announced its schedule yet, so these dates (with home games in ALL CAPS) are tentative:
Sept. 5: Alcorn State
Sept. 12: NORTHWESTERN STATE
Sept. 19: Jackson State
Sept. 26: Oklahoma State
Oct. 3: Prairie View (State Fair Classic)
Oct. 10: ALABAMA A&M
Oct. 17: Alabama State
Oct. 24: OPEN
Oct. 31: MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE (Homecoming)
Nov. 7: Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Nov. 12: TEXAS SOUTHERN
Nov. 21: OPEN
Nov. 28: Southern (Bayou Classic)
Dec. 12: SWAC Championship Game
Northwestern State would be completing a home-and-home agreement with Grambling, this time with a new coach after Scott Stoker was let go. NSU won 31-19 in 2009, one of just two losses – both non-conference – as Rod Broadway and Co. won 11 games on the way to a conference championship and the school’s 13th national black college title.
Grambling will play at Oklahoma State on Sept. 26 in the completely renovated Boone Pickens Stadium, with a reported guarantee of $340,000-$275,000. Last season, OSU set school records for season tickets sold (39,823) and average home attendance (48,254).
Grambling has played Jackson State in consecutive SWAC Championship Games, falling in 2007 and winning last season. GSU won regular-season contests in both seasons, giving Rod Broadway a 3-1 record over JSU since taking over for Melvin Spears.
The Bayou Classic, Grambling’s annual Thanksgiving weekend in-state rivalry game against Southern, falls on Nov. 28 this year at the Superdome in New Orleans. Last season, Grambling snapped a two-game losing streak to the Jaguars dating back to 2006. SU holds a 5-4 series lead since 2000.
NICK’S NOTE: This story has been updated here.