For the first time in a long time when the Red Raiders take
the field on September 13, 2014 at Jones AT&T Stadium it will be a
nonconference game but against a worthy opponent – the Arkansas
are thrilled to begin a home-and-home series with the University of
Arkansas," Texas Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt said in a news
release on Wednesday. "Texas Tech and Arkansas had many memorable
games while conference foes in the Southwest Conference, so this should be very
exciting for the fans. We feel like we will be placing ourselves in great
position as we kickoff the College Football Playoff era in 2014, with a
non-conference opponent the caliber of Arkansas and a challenging Big 12
In the past few years the Red Raiders have played teams like
Texas State, Northwestern State and New Mexico, which were the nonconference
opponents in 2012.
Those three teams finished last season a combined 12-24
overall with none of the teams winning more than four games in 2012.
Not only did the Red Raiders beat the Bobcats, Demons and
Lobos but absolutely dominate them outscoring the three by a combined score of
In the upcoming season, the Red Raiders nonconference foes
include Texas State, Stephen F. Austin and SMU.
Only one of the three teams finished above .500 with SMU
going 6-6 in the regular season before stomping Fresno State in the Hawaii
Bowl, 43-10, finishing 7-6 overall.
So to put it simply, with the addition of Arkansas to the
nonconference schedule in 2014 the Red Raiders are taking a huge step forward.
There is never a doubt about the strength of Texas Tech’s,
or really any other Big 12 Conference member’s, schedule when it comes to
conference play but the nonconference portion has been a bit of an issue
Arkansas will provide a few things to Tech;
a worthy opponent in nonconference play and the resurrection of another old
Southwest Conference rivalry.
The Red Raiders got to renew an old SWC rivalry in 2012 when
Tech traveled to Fort Worth to take on TCU, which ended up being a
triple-overtime thriller and now in 2014 another chance to renew another
Arkansas will be coming off the first season under new head
coach and former Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema and possibly a return to
postseason play following a miserable 2012.
Putting the 4-8 mark last season aside, the Razorbacks have
been a quality program with back-to-back 10-plus win seasons in 2010 and 2011,
including an 11-2 mark in 2011 including a 29-16 win against Kansas State in
the Cotton Bowl.
With the wins has come being nationally ranked, which has
also become a norm for Arkansas in the past few seasons.
In two of the last five final Associated Press polls the
Razorbacks have been national ranked. Arkansas checked in at No. 5 in 2011 and
No. 12 in 2010.
Tech has the same number of appearances in the final
Associated Press poll during the past five seasons, finishing No. 12 in 2008
and No. 21 in 2009.
So with two quality programs finally deciding to renew an
old SWC rivalry, at least one nonconference game in 2014 will be against a
quality and help the Red Raiders strength of schedule even more.
When the Red Raiders and Razorbacks clash in 2014 it will
mark the first time since 1991, when Tech beat Arkansas 38-21 at the Jones.
With the addition of Arkansas to the 2014 schedule, the Red
Raiders will host Oklahoma, West Virginia, Texas and Arkansas at home, which
could prove to be a great set of games for the fans.
The two-game series will conclude on September 19, 2015 in