FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas and Texas Tech have finalized plans to play in 2014 and 2015. Both schools announced the nonconference series Wednesday.
The Razorbacks will travel to play Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, on Sept. 13, 2014. The teams will meet in Fayetteville on Sept. 19, 2015.
“The addition of Texas Tech gives us a quality non-conference opponent for the first two years when the world of college football changes with the playoffs in 2014,” Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said in a press release.
“We anticipate strength of schedule being a factor in deciding which teams are selected and feel adding Texas Tech to our already strong conference schedule puts us in a great position in that regard. There is a tremendous amount of excitement around our program, and this is a matchup our fans can look forward to.”
The series will be the first for the former rivals since Arkansas left the Southwest Conference after the 1991 season. Texas Tech won the last meeting 38-21.
Arkansas leads the all-time series 28-7, which includes a 15-2 record in Lubbock and 6-2 mark in Fayetteville.
"We are thrilled to begin a home-and-home series with the University of Arkansas," Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt said in a news release. "Texas Tech and Arkansas had many memorable games while conference foes in the Southwest Conference, so this should be very exciting for the fans.
“We feel like we will be placing ourselves in great position as we kickoff the College Football Playoff era in 2014, with a non-conference opponent the caliber of Arkansas and a challenging Big 12 schedule."
The series will continue to give Arkansas a big presence in Texas the next few years.
The Razorbacks have scheduled another home-and-home nonconference series with Texas Christian that will be played in 2016 and 2017. Its annual Southeastern Conference game against Texas A&M also returns to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in 2014. Arkansas will play two games in Texas in 2014 (at Texas Tech, vs. Texas A&M) and 2016 (at TCU, vs. Texas A&M).
The Razorbacks also have nonconference games scheduled with Michigan (2018, 2019) and Texas (2021) in the next several years.
NEZ Study Begins
Arkansas has started a study to examine expansion of the north end zone in Razorback Stadium. A survey was emailed to season ticket holders Wednesday and feedback will be accepted over the next 10 days.
The Arkansas Board of Trustees approved a market and cost analysis of the potential expansion earlier this year to determine the feasibility of the project. If the university determines the expansion to be viable after the study, the project will be brought back to the Board of Trustees for approval.
Razorback Stadium was last renovated prior to the 2001 season, bringing capacity to 72,000. The North End Zone expansion is part of Arkansas’ facilities master plan, although no exact timetable has been set for the project.
The results of the season ticket holders survey are expected back later this summer.
“As we continue to evaluate the potential of expanding our stadium in the north end zone, it is important to include input from our current season ticket holders and other fans,” Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said in a news release Wednesday.
“This survey will help us better understand and quantify the demand expressed by supporters during our Razorback Seat Value Plan (RSVP). There are many variables to consider with this project, and it is important that we strive to accommodate the preferences of Razorback fans now and in the future.”