Matt Jones is the online sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Northwest Arkansas Newspapers.
Arkansas-Michigan to meet in football
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas and Michigan will play a home-and-home football series beginning in 2018, the schools announced Tuesday.
The first game of the series will be played at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Sept. 1, 2018, while the second game will be played at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Aug. 31 of the following year. The dates for the games indicate it will serve as a season-opener both times.
The schools have met only once in football, with the Wolverines winning the 1999 Citrus Bowl over the Razorbacks. Michigan would be the first Big Ten opponent to ever play in Fayetteville.
Arkansas has been looking for a marquee nonconference opponent since Texas A&M announced it would join the Southeastern Conference last fall. The Razorbacks and Aggies had previously been scheduled to play a nonconference series at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas through 2018.
"As a program, we will continue to look for opportunities to schedule high-profile non-conference opponents to further enhance our national profile and complement our competitive Southeastern Conference schedule," said Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long, a former Michigan administrator.
Arkansas and Michigan will play the second part of a home-and-home basketball series this season. The Wolverines lost 66-64 at Bud Walton Arena last season and were the first Big Ten basketball team to play in Fayetteville since they had last faced the Razorbacks in 1981.
In addition to the Michigan series, Arkansas has notable nonconference games at Rutgers (2013) and in Fayetteville against Texas (2021) scheduled.