Has there been any word, or informed speculation, about the replacement for Michigan and the 2020 schedule hole?
I know they have been reaching out to schools, but nothing definite yet.
Here is my guess how this goes down. I’m going to use Iowa as an example - not because I think that is the team Arkansas will play, but because I know its future schedule.
Iowa is scheduled to play Northern Illinois in 2018 and Miami (Ohio) in 2019. Both of those games have a buyout, just like Arkansas had with Michigan. Arkansas could go in and buy-out those games with the $2 million it receives from Michigan and schedule Iowa as a home-and-home. Or Iowa could say it wants to play Arkansas in those years and reschedule Northern Illinois and Miami for later years.
The other scenario is that Arkansas plays BYU or Army, which satisfy the SEC’s scheduling requirement, or take the SEC waiver and play another directional team. I don’t see either of those scenarios happening.
As for 2020, I know Arkansas has had discussions about playing neutral-site games in Orlando and Kansas City. If I were betting, I’d say the Razorbacks favor playing in Kansas City because of its proximity to Fayetteville. One team I think it would be interested in playing there is Nebraska. Like Arkansas, Nebraska does not have a big nonconference game scheduled for that season and Kansas City is centrally located between the campuses. Jeff Long has told me that the only way he would do a neutral-site game is if it was a perfect situation.
One other thing to consider: Arkansas has three years to play with now in scheduling. It could do a home-and-home series in 2019 and '20, and do a neutral-site game in '18 if something comes open. Or it could do something like the Clemson-Auburn agreement where they play on-campus and at a neutral site a third year.
Might be interesting for BB to schedule his alma mater…
He has also said he wouldn’t mind playing Wisconsin once the kids he recruited are all gone. By my count, 2018 would be his sixth season here. Fifth-year seniors, plus the kids he was recruiting for them before he took our job in December 2012, would all be gone.
Wisky is scheduled to play Western Kentucky, New Mexico and BYU in September 2018. Buy out WKU and play the Badgers?