The Colorado State Rams have upped both their football and basketball schedules by agreeing to three games with the Arkansas Razorbacks. The basketball series is a home-and-home for the 2017-18 in Arkansas and conclude in 2018-19 in Fort Collins, with game dates yet to be determined.
The football series is a one-game arrangement in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on Sept. 14, 2019. Colorado State is no stranger in heading to the SEC and will be the third game in a row and fourth time in seven years they have headed to that part of the country.
Most recently they played Alabama in 2013 and then play three straight from 2017-19 which include playing Alabama again in 2017, Florida in 2018 and then the 2019 game against Arkansas.
"It is always our goal to create the most competitive schedule for our program," said head coach Mike Bobo in a statement. "Going on the road to face teams from the SEC will test our team and prepare us well in the non-conference season for the challenges our Mountain West schedule will present."
The addition of Arkansas increases the Rams streak of playing at least two Power 5 teams a season which will be up to eight-straight years through 2020. If Colorado State were to have a special season they have the strength of schedule to make some noise with playing multiple Power 5 teams per year.
The basketball team also gets a boost in their strength of schedule with the home-and-home with Arkansas, and hopefully this addition is the start of the Rams basketball team scheduling up on the hardwood.
The Mountain West on a whole needs to do a better job scheduling in basketball to get the overall perception -- and the outdated RPI model -- to help with getting multiple teams in the NCAA tournament.
The Rams basketball team has played an SEC foe 16 times and has won 10 of those games.
"This is a great opportunity for our team to get a home-and-home with a program with the history and quality of Arkansas," Rams head coach Larry Eustachy said in a statement. "Any time you get a chance to have a two-game series like this, it is great for the players, the program, the athletic department and the community. Bringing them to Moby Arena will be great for everyone, and I am excited we get the chance to add them to our schedule for those two seasons."
Getting the home game is key and often noted as a struggle for teams in the Mountain West. Arkansas is not a SEC powerhouse by any means but they did win 27 games two years ago and won an NCAA tournament game but dipped a bit to just 16 wins this past year. Adding them to the schedule beats playing a low-level Division I team or even a non-Division I team at home.
This combination of scheduling a football and basketball series with the same team is becoming more common in college athletics and Rams athletics director Joe Parker plans to discuss basketball matchups with teams when discussing a future football series.