Bobby Lamb said a couple of times this past season that Mercer's football program would like to play FBS programs inside its recruiting base: the states of Georgia, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee.
He's getting that wish.
The Bears, who are scheduled to play Georgia Tech in 2016, have agreed to play at Auburn during the 2017 season. Mercer athletics director Jim Cole announced the deal Thursday morning.
Mercer has gone 10-2 and 6-6 in its first two seasons since restarting the program with Lamb as its head coach. The Bears played their first season in the Southern Conference in 2014 and went 1-6 in the conference. They are 10-0 in non-conference games in those two seasons, but the non-conference games will be tougher moving forward.
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And that now includes the reborn program's first trip to an SEC program.
“We are excited about the challenge of facing one of the top teams in the Southeastern Conference in 2017,” Lamb said. “This is a great opportunity to test ourselves against a FBS power in one of the best stadiums in the country.”
Mercer and Auburn have met 11 times in a series that dates back to 1896, but, the upcoming contest will mark the first meeting between the two programs since 1922.