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Auburn football: Tigers finalize 2012 schedule; opening against Clemson in Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic means returning to Georgia Dome after Chick-fil-A Bowl

AUBURN, Ala. -- The final touches on Auburn’s 2012 football schedule have been finished.

Auburn released its full football schedule for the 2012 season Thursday, including an opening-weekend game against Clemson that could garner nationwide attention.

Coming off of a Chick-fil-A Bowl appearance on New Year’s Eve, Auburn will be back in the Georgia Dome on Saturday, Sept. 1 to take on Clemson in part two of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic. According to the Chick-fil-A Bowl, the game will be televised on ABC or ESPN.

“We could not be more excited to open our season against Clemson in the Georgia Dome,” Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs said. “The Chick-fil-A Kickoff game has come to signify the start of the college football season.”

Tennessee and North Carolina State have been lined up for the Kickoff Classic’s first game Friday night.

Clemson is the highlight of Auburn’s non-conference schedule. The Tigers also will host Louisiana-Monroe on Sept. 15, New Mexico State on Nov. 3 and Alabama A&M on Nov. 17.

Unlike the 2011 season, when Auburn’s bye week came late in the SEC schedule, the Tigers will be off on Sept. 29, a week that falls between home games against LSU and Arkansas, a pair of SEC West teams likely to be ranked in the top 10 in preseason polls.

Coming off a 7-5 season, Auburn’s non-conference foes breaks the Tigers’ schedule into a pair of home stands.

After opening the season in Atlanta against Clemson and on the road against Mississippi State the following week, the Tigers play Louisiana-Monroe, LSU and Arkansas three games in a row.

Road trips to Mississippi and Vanderbilt follow the next two weeks, but then Auburn plays four straight games at home, beginning with the Tigers’ first matchup against new SEC member Texas A&M on Oct. 27.

After the Aggies, Auburn takes on New Mexico State, Georgia and Alabama A&M at home before finishing off the season on the road in the Iron Bowl against Alabama.

Auburn’s 2012 Schedule

Sept. 1 vs. Clemson (Georgia Dome, Atlanta)

Sept. 8 at Mississippi State

Sept. 15 Louisiana-Monroe

Sept. 22 LSU

Sept. 29 bye

Oct. 6 Arkansas

Oct. 13 at Ole Miss

Oct. 20 at Vanderbilt

Oct. 27 Texas A&M

Nov. 3 New Mexico State (HC)

Nov. 10 Georgia

Nov. 17 Alabama A&M

Nov. 24 at Alabama

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