The Wolfpacker's annual off-season conversation with athletics director Debbie Yow is always enlightening, both for Yow's assessment of the year gone by and for some hints at what's in the works moving forward. An interesting tidbit from part one of the interview is the news that State's close to adding a series against an SEC team in football.
Yow also mentions the, um, unfortunate home-and-home deal that Lee Fowler negotiated with LSU.
Then we have an SEC school that we are close to signing a contract with, with a million-dollar buyout. I didn't schedule the LSU contract [that LSU brought [sic] out]. Those terms were already signed, sealed and delivered. The next one will have a million-dollar buyout to better insure that it will get played. We will probably in the next month be able to announce that.
Rewinding for a second here: the Wolfpack and LSU were set for a home-and-home series beginning in 2017, but the Tigers changed their minds and added Syracuse to their schedule while opting out of the series against the Pack for ... $100,000. LSU opted out before any timing-related escalators kicked in, though none of the potentially higher fees would have garnered any notice in Baton Rouge. The buyout would only have hit $1 million if, after the Tigers hosted the Wolfpack in Baton Rouge in 2017, LSU chose not to make the 2020 return trip to Raleigh.
Yow's clearly suggesting that the mystery guest from the SEC in this current round of schedule negotiations will have a bit more trepidation about ejecting from the deal. I am gonna assume another implication here is that the series is set to begin relatively soon, and not, say a dozen years from now (the LSU deal was inked in 2005). I don't know why college football programs are constantly scheduling that far ahead, but it happens all the time. LSU has a series against Arizona State set to begin in 2022, for example. I'm sure that's totally set in stone.
My favorite thing about the whole ordeal, given the circumstances of this particular agreement and college football scheduling in general, is LSU's assertion that they "wanted to move the series back, but NC State did not." Uh huh. So State initially agreed to start this series in the college football equivalent of infinity years in the future, but adjusting that to infinity-plus-one years was the deal-breaker. Right. NC State has a breaking point, and it's located somewhere in a wormhole. (By now, possibly an alternate dimension.)
Anybody interested in meeting up for coffee in early September 2034? I have some open dates.