LSU Tigers agree to major neutral site kickoff game

The LSU Tigers have agreed to a non-conference game against the Houston Cougars at NRG Stadium in 2027. The contest will serve as the Texas Kickoff, a Week 1 marquee college football opener.

LSU has appeared in the Texas Kickoff twice, including a 2014 win over Wisconsin and a 2017 win over BYU. Houston has appeared in three Texas Kickoff games. The Cougars beat Oklahoma in 2016 but dropped the 2019 game to Washington State and the 2021 matchup against Texas Tech. The Texas Kickoff has operated since 2013 and continues to serve as a significant Labor Day Weekend college football showcase.

2027 will mark the first LSU-Houston clash since 2000 and the Tigers’ first regular season road game vs. the Cougars. LSU is 2-1 all-time against Houston, winning games in 1996 and 2000 but dropping their 1999 matchup. Then, all games were played at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. But in 2027, LSU football will enter Eastern Texas with more than a single win on their minds.

According to Billy Embody, LSU will use the 2027 Texas Kickoff to expand its recruiting footprint. It’s no secret that Texas is a college football recruiting hotbed that Brian Kelly prioritizes. Six LSU Tigers 2023 recruiting class members are from Texas, including 5-star transfer cornerback Denver Harris from Houston.

Fans must remember the college football landscape will dramatically shift before 2027. Four schools, including Houston, will join the Big 12 next season. Such is the result of Texas and Oklahoma preparing their move to the SEC as early as July 2024. The SEC has announced they will do away with divisions come then, pitting their top two via conference record in a championship game. It is also worth noting the College Football Playoff will expand to 12 teams in 2024.

There is a ton for LSU Tigers fans to look forward to, and the 2027 Texas Kickoff is no exception.