{{ timeAgo('2019-10-16 07:00:00 -0500') }} football Edit

Hogs switch up 2020 schedule, add another Mountain West opponent

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FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas will welcome another member of the Mountain West Conference to Reynolds Razorback Stadium next season.

Previously scheduled to play Kent State, the Razorbacks will now play Nevada to open the 2020 season. The game is still scheduled for Sept. 5.

According to a copy of the contract obtained by HawgBeat via a public-records request through the University of Nevada, the Wolf Pack will receive a $1.5 million guarantee for the game.

That has become the norm for such games, as Arkansas also paid $1.5 million to host Coastal Carolina and San Jose State in recent seasons. The Chanticleers nearly pulled off at upset before the Razorbacks rallied for a 39-38 win in 2017, but San Jose State - another MWC opponent - completed the upset by winning 31-24 earlier this season. It is believed to be the largest guarantee paid by a losing team in 2019.

The Razorbacks were slated to also pay Colorado State - another MWC team - $1.3 million for the game in Fayetteville last month, but that became a home-and-home series when Michigan backed out of its home-and-home agreement with Arkansas so it could renew its rivalry with Notre Dame.

Although it won the originally scheduled home game with the Rams, scoring 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to pull away 55-34, Arkansas dropped the added game in Fort Collins, Colo., by blowing an 18-point lead last year. The 34-27 loss seemingly started the Razorbacks’ spiral to the most losses in school history in a 2-10 season.

Arkansas isn’t the only team that has had problems with Mountain West programs. This year alone, Missouri lost to Wyoming 37-31 and Vanderbilt lost to UNLV 34-10.

Games against FCS programs have a lower price tag. Since 2016, the Razorbacks have paid Alcorn State ($575,000), Eastern Illinois ($525,000) and Portland State ($550,000) less than $600,000, but Florida A&M received $750,000 in 2017.

As a result of Nevada replacing it as the Razorbacks’ 2020 season-opening opponent, Kent State’s non-conference matchup with Arkansas has been pushed to Sept. 14, 2024. The Golden Flashes are also scheduled to play the Razorbacks on Sept. 9, 2023.

The 2024 game will be played in Fayetteville, but the 2023 game could be played in Fayetteville or Little Rock, according to the contract. Arkansas is currently scheduled to play only Missouri at War Memorial Stadium in 2023 “unless SEC scheduling necessitates playing another opponent,” according to a UA press release in May 2018. It is likely that both games will be played at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.

Citing an exemption in Arkansas’ freedom of information law that protects competitive advantages, the UA does not disclose payout information for non-conference games, so the guarantee for neither game against Kent State is not known at this time.

The Golden Flashes had been on the Razorbacks’ 2020 schedule since agreeing to the matchup on June 30, 2017, and were even included in the schedule release in August. According to a report by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, though, they were “leery” of facing three SEC opponents in the first four weeks of the season.

Kent State also has road games scheduled against Kentucky and Alabama next season. However, it replaced the Razorbacks with perennial Big Ten power and top-10 program Penn State. The Nittany Lions had been scheduled to play Nevada at the beginning of the 2020 season, virtually making it a straight-up trade of non-conference opponents between Arkansas and Penn State.

The Razorbacks have now finalized their four non-conference opponents for the next four seasons, plus they have some future opponents known as far out as the 2033 season.

Future Non-Conference Games

2020

Sept. 5 - Nevada

Sept. 12 - at Notre Dame

Oct. 3 - Charleston Southern

Nov. 21 - LA-Monroe

2021

Sept. 4 - Rice

Sept. 11 - Texas

Sept. 18 - Georgia Southern

Oct. 23 - UAPB

2022

Sept. 3 - Cincinnati

Sept. 17 - Missouri State

Oct. 15 - at BYU

Nov, 5 - Liberty

2023

Sept. 2 - Western Carolina

Sept. 9 - Kent State

Sept. 23 - BYU

Nov. 18 - FIU

2024

Aug. 31 - UAPB

Sept. 7 - at Oklahoma State

Sept. 14 - Kent State

2025

Sept. 20 - at Memphis

Oct. 4 - Notre Dame

2026

Sept. 12 - at Utah

Sept. 19 - Memphis

Nov. 21 - Tulsa

2027

Sept. 4 - at Tulsa

Sept. 11 - Oklahoma State

2028

Sept. 9 - Memphis

Sept. 16 - Utah

2029

Sept. 1 - Tulsa

2032

Sept. 18 - at Oklahoma State

2033

Sept. 10 - Oklahoma State