SEC Football: What 11-Year Deal at Jerry World Means for Arkansas and Texas A&M
Georgia and Florida meet every year in Jacksonville in the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, but that game will have competition as the premier SEC neutral-site game in the near future.
Arkansas announced on Wednesday that it will play SEC newcomer Texas A&M at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, from 2014 through 2024.
The two teams have met in the Southwest Classic at Cowboys Stadium in each of the last three seasons while the Aggies were members of the Big 12.
Arkansas vice chancellor and director of athletics Jeff Long commented on the deal:
The addition of Texas A&M into the SEC will only increase the excitement surrounding the Southwest Classic played in the world's most spectacular stadium. In the past three years, the University of Arkansas has seen the benefit of an annual appearance in the Metroplex with increased enrollment from the area and in student-athlete recruiting in all sports.
Sign me up.
While this rivalry doesn't have the notoriety within SEC circles of the Georgia vs. Florida rivalry, which is the SEC's most prominent neutral-site contest, it will certainly be a nice SEC West complement to the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.
What do you think of the Arkansas vs. Texas A&M game being played at Cowboys Stadium?
Playing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex will be big for the recruiting for both schools, and playing in the $1.3 billion Cowboys Stadium every year will only further the draw for both schools.
The Arkansas/Texas A&M rivalry dates back to 1903, and the two teams met every year from 1934 to 1991 when the two institutions were members of the Southwest Conference. Arkansas leads the all-time series 41-24-3.
This deal probably wouldn't have come to fruition had it not been for a new SEC rule that allows SEC teams to host recruits at neutral-site stadiums.
Neutral-site games aren't the best idea for every team, but it's perfect for Texas A&M and Arkansas.
The Aggies will now have a big stage in the state of Texas to proudly proclaim "SEC" on an annual basis, while Arkansas will renew its presence in the Lone Star State while taking its rivalry with the Aggies to the next level.
Part of the reason that Texas A&M and Missouri were brought into the conference was to raise the exposure of the SEC in major media markets.
The 11-year deal to play the Southwest Classic in Arlington certainly indicates that the Aggies are holding up their end of the bargain.
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