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College Football Insider

Texas A&M-Arizona St. in talks for 2015 Houston kickoff game

Texas A&M plans to play in a 2015 kickoff game in Houston's Reliant Stadium that could include Arizona State as a partner, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation.

ASU has had discussions about playing in the game, said the source, who was uncertain if the Sun Devils had committed to it.

A member of the ASU football staff said Friday the coaches had talked about the 2015 game in Houston as part of their recruiting efforts in the state under second-year coach Todd Graham, who is from the Dallas suburb of Mesquite. Arizona State lost 37-34 to Notre Dame last week in Cowboys Stadium.

A&M's involvement appears set but nothing is official -- the source said A&M has 'committed' to the game. Negotiations of these games can be complicated with payouts and arranging open dates with another school.

“We don't comment on future scheduling until we have something to announce,” ASU associate athletic director Mark Brand said. “Our schedule for 2015 is not complete yet. We are working on it and future schedules.”

ASU athletic director Steve Patterson told local reporters recently that the Sun Devils were negotiating on a neutral-site, NFL-stadium game to be announced soon.

Arizona State has New Mexico and Cal Poly scheduled for the 2015 non-conference schedule while A&M has nothing officially planned, according to FBSchedules.com.

The SEC is looking to get more involved in Houston kickoff games in light of the league partnership with the Texas Bowl from 2014-19. The SEC will play the Big 12 in the bowl game.

For A&M, this is a chance to receive a big payday without getting on a plane. Reliant Stadium is about 100 miles from the A&M campus.

Houston hosted Oklahoma State-Mississippi State this season and LSU-Wisconsin will follow in 2014.

Texas Bowl spokesman Amy Palcic said the game isn't ready to announce kickoff games beyond 2014.

Texas A&M athletic director Eric Hyman was not immediately available for comment Friday as the Aggies traveled to Ole Miss.


Jeremy Fowler is a national college football insider with CBSSports.com. Fowler joined CBS in 2012 after covering the Minnesota Vikings for the St. Paul Pioneer Press for two seasons and covering the Florida Gators for the Orlando Sentinel for two years. Fowler is also a contributor to the CBS Sports Network.
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