Together Again

Arkansas and Texas A&M announced a new 11-year contract Wednesday that will see the resumption of the Southwest Classic in 2014 at the home of the Dallas Cowboys.

As it is currently set up, the Razorback football program's 2014 "home schedule" will include four SEC games in three stadiums in two states.

Arkansas and Texas A&M announced Wednesday morning an 11-year agreement for the resumption in 2014 of the Southwest Classic, which has had the two teams meeting the last three seasons in Cowboys Stadium.

The Razorbacks – who will go to College Station this season and host the Aggies in 2013 – have won all three previous Southwest Class contests.

""We are excited to have reached a new agreement to return our series with Texas A&M to Cowboys Stadium," Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. "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," Long added. "We appreciate the efforts of the Jones Family and the Dallas Cowboys for working with both institutions to maintain what has quickly become one of college football's premiere games."

That means Arkansas will once again have home games at Fayetteville's Reynolds Razorback Stadium, Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium and the home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys.

The current contract now runs through 2024 and replaces the one between the schools that ran through 2018.

Arkansas head coach John L. Smith, speaking after addressing the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club on Wednesday, believes playing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is big for the program.

"Moving back there is a presence that I think we should have," Smith said. "The University of Arkansas having a presence in Dallas – where if I am not wrong is our longest alumni group, is our largest booster group and we recruit there heavily. Having that presence is a plus for us and is a game we should have.

"It's really got to be a home game and we have to treat it as such," Smith added. "We have to make our players and fans believe it is such and I think it is a great deal."

The Razorbacks are under contract with War Memorial Stadium to play two games in Little Rock through 2016 with at least one of them being an SEC games.

There has been speculation that number of Little Rock games could change in the future because Arkansas' home venue in Fayetteville can fit some 20,000 more fans into it than the one in Little Rock.

A recent rule change does allow Arkansas to host recruits on unofficial visits at all home and neutral site games off campus – instead of just one a season.

Also the Razorbacks also get to keep game-day concessions in Fayetteville and don't have to pay a rental fee – things they do have to do when playing in Little Rock.

The SEC is also looking at a nine-game league schedule instead of the current eight-game one and that could play a factor into how many games are at each venue.

Smith didn't really want to wade into what has been called "The Great Stadium Debate."

"I don't know about that, I know it is speculation that it is out there…," Smith said. "All I know is my feeling right now is – and I am sure I am not the only one that feels this way – is that presence in Dallas is real good for us."

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