There may be a message in the bottle.
Sent from Arkansas State’s New Athletic Director Terry Mohajir to other schools in the State of Arkansas.
“I think it’s a good thing to play in-state schools to promote our program,” Mohajir said on AStateNation Sports Radio Friday afternoon. “Why not play the game in Little Rock and promote both schools.”
This came right after he announced that Arkansas State will most likely be playing University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff at War Memorial Stadium next fall.
While this choice isn’t an overall hit with a lot of the Red Wolves fans, could Mohajir, a former ASU player being setting the stage for another in-state battle with another school on the other side of the state?
Many Arkansas State fans wanted to play a BCS opponent in Little Rock, first year head coach Gus Malzahn has made it no secret that he wanted to play a game in the state’s capital.
No you won’t be playing six home games in Jonesboro next season, but look how the non-conference schedule is laying out for the Red Wolves next fall.
While we are uncertain of the order of the schedule, especially the Sun Belt one, we are going to take a look at next year schedule from this season’s point of view.
You will open the season on the road at Auburn to take on a Tiger team that is probably at their worst point in several seasons. It will be homecoming for Malzahn, who served as Auburn’s OC during their National Championship run.
Malzahn would love nothing better to storm into the Plains and come away with a victory.
Malzahn has also talked about since his arrival about just playing one money game, if you have to have one which Arkansas State does, there is no better time to take on Auburn. Definitely a much easier task than opening in Eugene, Oregon.
Playing UAPB was something that was supposed to happen anyways next year, it was just expected to be played in Jonesboro. It replaces this year’s game with FCS opponent Alcorn State.
It’s apparent that Malzahn wants to showcase his program throughout the entire state of Arkansas and has said how important a game in Little Rock will be for exposure in all parts of the state.
Central Arkansas Media will pick up on the Monte Coleman vs Kyle Coleman battle more in Little Rock than they would normally, or will they you never know about that media base.
Third game of the year next season will be against Memphis, just a short trip to the Bluff City, I could definitely see Arkansas State having a bigger crowd than the home standing Tigers.
Here is the major issue, you play your first time in Jonesboro in the 2013 season against Idaho, many Red Wolf fans aren’t going to like it, especially after three games away from their hometown.
While playing Idaho may not fire up the faithful fans, a chance to play a FBS School and a chance to win may make it worth while. The one thing most ASU fans would loved to seen would have been a two for three deal with the struggling Vandal program, perhaps one game in Jonesboro, one in Little Rock and one in Idaho.
You can bet the ASU fan base will much rather play Idaho instead of Nebraska, this game gives the Red Wolves a chance to be 3-1 or even 4-0 if Arkansas State can pull the upset off in Alabama.
Playing Auburn is going to be a good thing for Arkansas State for multiple reasons, including the fact that Malzahn and his coaching staff are recruiting the state of Alabama as a priority.
Malzahn keeps saying taking the program to the “Next Level” while playing this schedule may not give you the happiness you desire, running the tables in Non-Conference will enhance ASU’s chances to make the Red Wolves the Boise State of the South with the possibility of winning every game you play (note I said possibility).
There wasn’t much chance for a win against Oregon or Nebraska, and while Auburn is down there is always the chance the Tigers may have a new head coach by next fall. So nothing is certain but the chances of success are much greater.
If ASU goes 12-0 or 11-1 or even 10-2 next season, will fans still be upset that they played UAPB in Little Rock.
Will they be upset if it lands the Red Wolves a couple of recruits from the area they may not have had if they hadn’t played in the state capital, especially if they have SEC offers?
In building the foundation of the program, there are always going to be things that are hard to understand the reasons of.
What if playing UAPB helps officials at another school realize it’s time for another in-state battle, would it be worth it then?
Not saying it will happen, but hey playing in Little Rock apparently appears it’s going to happen.
Maybe not the opponent everyone wanted to play, but still an in-state game in Little Rock.
While it appears that there are still some things still to be worked out before announced by the Athletic Departments of both schools, it appears that things are close to being official as discussed today by new ASU AD Terry Mohajir.