Scheduled to play each other at Cowboys Stadium each of the next seven years, the Arkansas-Texas A&M series could find itself doomed thanks to the failure to meet financial projections, the Bryan-College Station Eagle reported over the weekend.
The 10-year series, which was first played in 2009 and dubbed “The Southwest Classic”, was expected to make in the neighborhood of $5 million for each school per year. According to the paper, and by way of an open records request, A&M was paid $4.2 million for the first game, a figure that dropped to $2.9 million for the 2010 game. The numbers for the 2011 game were not yet available, and the Razorbacks’ take for the first two games was not listed.
As a result, the Eagle writes, “its continued existence as a neutral-site game may be in jeopardy.”
A&M will be moving from the Big 12 to the SEC in 2012, with 247Sports.com writing that “A&M’s 2012 schedule will include a game against Arkansas at Kyle Field”, not at Cowboys Stadium per the contract signed in April of 2008.
A&M athletic director Bill Byrne told the Eagle that the future of the series is still up in the air, and that the two school will need to continue discussions on which direction they should head.
“We wanted to play Arkansas in the Metroplex,” Byrne said. “We felt once we lost our contacts with TCU and SMU, we needed a presence in the Metroplex. We still think we do.
“Having said that, we need to talk to Arkansas and see whether they want to continue having a conference game in the Metroplex.”
The SEC is expected to release its 2012 schedule as early as today, so there should be some short-term clarity for the series in the not-too-distant future.