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Tag:Jeff Long
Posted on: February 17, 2012 11:49 am
 

Rutgers, Arkansas agree to 2012-13 home-and-home

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Two round scheduling holes -- one in the Big East, one in the SEC -- each found a round peg Friday as Rutgers and Arkansas officially agreed to play a home-and-home series starting this fall in Fayetteville.

Thanks to the latest round of conference realignment, both programs found themselves with gaps to fill in their 2012 slate--Rutgers needing a replacement for Big 12 defector West Virginia, and Arkansas one for Texas A&M, thanks to their nonconference series with the Aggies becoming a conference matchup instead. 

The agreement has been rumored for weeks, but became official with statements issued by both sides Friday morning. The 2012 meeting will be held at Arkansas's regular home stadium in Fayetteville on Sept. 22, 2012, with the return game set for Sept. 21, 2013. The game will mark the first-ever meeting between the schools and the first time any SEC program has made the trip to Piscataway.

“It is a constant priority to secure marquee scheduling opportunities for our football program and our fans,” Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti said. “This home-and-home series with Arkansas clearly illustrates another enhancement of that strategy ... This agreement further enhances our future non-conference game schedule which includes Penn State, Miami and UCLA.

“We are pleased to add a quality non-conference opponent like Rutgers to our 2012 football schedule,” Razorback athletic director Jeff Long said. “The additions of Texas A&M and Missouri and the delay in the release of the conference schedule posed some specific scheduling challenges for the 2012 season. We know that many other events around the state are contingent on the Razorback football schedule and we appreciate the patience of our fans as we worked through this process.”

The agreement completes Arkansas's 2012 schedule, while Rutgers still needs one additional conference opponent. With a rumored in-season rematch with Syracuse off the table, the Scarlet Knights -- like the rest of the Big East -- are no doubt hoping fervently that Boise State will swoop in to rescue the league schedule.

Arkansas also announced that it would be playing Ole Miss in Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium and LSU in Fayetteville. With Arkansas traditionally hosting LSU in Little Rock, the latter game will mark the Bayou Bengals' first visit to the Arkansas campus since the Hogs' inaugural SEC season in 1992.

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Posted on: September 7, 2011 4:42 pm
 

Arkansas AD Long: Big 12 expressed interest

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Among the dozens (hundreds?) of rumors flying around during the last few weeks of expansion fever was that the Big 12 was trying to lure Arkansas away from the SEC, promising them the renewal of their traditional rivalries with Texas and other old Southwest Conference foes.

Of course, since the very concept of the Hogs abandoning the fabulously wealthy and highly stable SEC for the Big 12's offers of less money and more uncertainty is laughable, those rumors didn't get too far. So maybe it comes as something of a surprise that according to Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long, the Big 12 did in fact reach out to gauge the Razorbacks' interest.

Naturally, Long said the "conversation" between his institution and the Big 12 "didn't go far":
“I think that our program is such that there are a number of conferences that would love to add us as a member,” Long said. “But we’re strongly committed to the SEC. I’d be surprised if we weren’t reached out to by other conferences about joining them. That happened. It didn’t surprise me. But, again, we’re committed to the SEC. It’s the strongest conference in the country and is only going to get stronger.”
On the one hand, we can't fault the Big 12 just for asking if Arkansas might have had some measure of interest. But on the other, the last few days have made it clear that the Big 12 has much more on its plate than trying to get the old SWC band back together ... and that maybe keeping teams like Oklahoma from potentially bolting to the Pac-12 should have been a little higher up the priority list.

 
 
 
 
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