Blakeney pleased with future football schedules

Published 4:04 am Saturday, June 30, 2012

While the landscape of college football has changed with the announcement of a four-team playoff system, Troy head football coach Larry Blakeney is still focused on one thing… winning games.

The Trojans may not be classified as national title contenders just yet, but many of the largest programs in the county may be soon following the mold made by likes of Troy.

“With this new format, some say that teams will be trying to beef their schedules,” Blakeney said with a chuckle on the horizon. “Ours has been beefy for a long time.”

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Blakeney’s Trojans have traveled the region to take on perennial powers like Nebraska, Florida, Arkansas, South Carolina, Florida State, and Miami. This season is no different except Troy will play the Goliath’s of the college football world in the confines of Veterens Memorial Stadium.

“It’s evolved to the point where we need to limit the number of road games we play against those type teams,” Blakeney said. “I hope that we stay at six home game from here on. Steve Dennis does a great job of handling scheduling as an athletic director and keeps me informed on what’s going on. Sometime you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do but I think we should have six games at home every year if possible.”

For the next two seasons, at least, Blakeney will get his wish. In 2012, Troy welcomes its first-ever Southeastern Conference opponent in Mississippi State on Sept. 15. On Nov. 10, the United States Naval Academy make the trip from Annapolis, Md.

Though the Trojans will also host its regular slate of conference games – Louisiana-Lafayette, Western Kentucky, Florida International, and Arkansas State, one “big boy” looms on Troy’s travel schedule. Tennessee is scheduled for Nov. 3 in Neyland Stadium.

“It will be a good schedule for not only the team but for the fans,” Blakeney said. “Everyone looks at the Mississippi State and Navy games but all of the top Sun Belt teams from last year come here also.”

Arkansas State, Western Kentucky, Louisiana-Lafayette, and Florida International finished in that order last season and will all come to Troy in 2012.

Troy has knocked off national powers like Missouri, Oklahoma State, and Marshall – the Thundering Herd dropped out of the AP Top 25 the week before – at Veterans Memorial before. 2012 will show if Troy can continue its home field magic.