FAYETTEVILLE, ARK — The University of Arkansas announced today that they have agreed to a three-year road non-conference series with Florida State for the 2020, 2021, and 2022 seasons.
The contract will replace currently scheduled Louisiana Monroe (2020), Georgia Southern (2021), and Missouri State (2022) home games. As part of the contract, Florida State will pay Arkansas $2.1 million per game for the series.
“We began evaluating our upcoming schedules and realized these three games would be likely embarrassing loses anyway,” Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yuracheck said. “When Florida State approached us about a potential pay to play series we figured it was a good opportunity to earn some future buyout money, plus not be embarrassed by a low tier loss in a mostly empty stadium.”
Florida State will drop Samford from their 2020 schedule and fill open dates in their 2021 and 2022 schedules to work Arkansas in.
Florida State began looking for winnable games against Power 5 opponents for their upcoming seasons after they fired second-year coach Willie Taggart last week. Taggart went 9-17 overall at Florida State including 4-5 this season.
“We consistently struggled against teams from top-tier conferences under Taggart,” Florida State athletic director David Coburn said. “We knew we had to build in a base of winnable Power 5 games to set the next coach up for success. You never know when even a bad SEC team will pull out a victory, but we felt safe with Arkansas. Plus Bob Stoops told us he has hated the Razorbacks ever since Baker Mayfield was tackled on Dickson Street.”
In addition to the guaranteed $2.1 million from the game, Arkansas also negotiated a 45% commission from all of the Pepsi concession sales during the three scheduled games at Florida State.