ASU adds UNLV, Iowa State, Auburn
Arkansas State Athletic Director Terry Mohajir confirmed the addition of five future football games for ASU on Thursday.
Mohajir said ASU will return to Auburn in 2016 and agreed to a home-and-home series with UNLV that begins in 2017 and with Iowa State that begins in 2024.
The Red Wolves will play at Mountain West member UNLV in 2017 and host the Rebels in 2018. The Red Wolves will begin the series with Big 12 member Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, in 2024 and host the Cyclones in 2025.
“That was the first opening it [Iowa State] had, and I thought it was a good chance to get a Big 12 school on the schedule,” Mohajir said. “They wanted to play a game and it doesn’t matter if it’s 5 years or 10 years [away], it’s still a good game.”
ASU also will play at Auburn in 2016, the third meeting between the teams in seven years, an addition that completes its nonconference schedule for that season. ASU still has two openings for 2017 and three for 2018.
ASU will host FCS school Montana State to open this season, Missouri State in 2015 and Central Arkansas in 2016, after which it will have played an FCS opponent in eight of nine seasons.
Mohajir cited the need for a competitive strength of schedule component because of college football’s new bowl system. Under the new College Football Playoff, which debuts this season, the highest-ranked school from the American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West and Sun Belt, will get an invite to one of the six contracted bowls (Sugar, Rose, Orange, Cotton, Peach and Fiesta).
With sights set on reaching one of those games, Mohajir said ASU will continue to schedule games against the major conferences, which he calls “advanced training games,” and try to schedule as many games against “Group of Five” conference teams as possible.
“It’s about the ratings at the end of the year,” Mohajir said. “The way the new selection committee is going to work, if you have an FCS win, it won’t help you. It can hurt you, especially when they’re getting down to comparing schedules. If you lose to one, it’ll kill you.”
— Troy Schulte
UCA-Texas Tech time set
Central Arkansas’ season opener at Texas Tech on Aug. 30 will be at 6 p.m. Central and will be televised on Fox Sports Net. It is the Bears’ first appearance on FSN. UCA’s nonconference game at Colorado last season was televised on the Pac-12 Network. The remainder of UCA’s televised games will be announced at a later date.
— Jeremy Muck
War Memorial commission member dies
Bob Carver, a long-time member of the War Memorial Stadium Commission and Arkansas Razorbacks booster who also worked as a spotter on the radio broadcasts for Arkansas football games, died Tuesday at his home in Mena. He was 78. Carver was on the stadium commission for 36 years and worked on the radio broadcast for 38 years. He owned a car and truck dealership in Mena and served as a major in the Army National guard for 23 years. A funeral service will be at 10 a.m. today at the First United Methodist Church in Mena.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Floyd leaving Shiloh Christian
Josh Floyd announced Thursday that he is leaving Shiloh Christian to accept the head football coaching job at Class 7A Hewitt-Trussville High School near Birmingham, Ala. Floyd is expected to be formally approved by the Hewitt-Trussville school board Monday. Shiloh Christian will wrap up spring football today with a final scrimmage, and Floyd said he will start his new job June 9. “They offered the job a few days ago, and I accepted it yesterday,” Floyd said. “It’s been quick. I just kind of blew it off at first. I wasn’t looking to leave here. I think we’re going to be pretty good this year.” Floyd, 34, will take over a team that was 5-6 last fall under Hal Riddle, who resigned in April. Floyd, who also was Shiloh Christian’s athletic director, will only coach football at Hewitt. Floyd helped lead Shiloh Christian to national prominence over a 10-year span that saw the Saints climb as high as No. 24 in the USA Today national rankings in 2010. He was 99-29-1 at Shiloh Christian and led the Saints to four state championships.
— NWA Media
Armstrong to visit Little Rock
Former competitive cyclist Lance Armstrong posted on his Twitter account Thursday afternoon that he will be attending the Little Rock Gran Fondo event Saturday. “Heading to Arkansas tomorrow for the Little Rock Gran Fondo,” Armstrong tweeted. “Looking forward to it!” A Little Rock Gran Fondo’s organizer, Michael Chaffin, confirmed to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Thursday night that Armstrong is registered for Saturday’s race. This is the first year that Little Rock has held a Gran Fondo event. The Gran Fondo, which means “big ride” in Italian, is a road cycling event that is approximately 70 miles and will be run from downtown Little Rock to southern Pulaski County and eastern Saline County. Armstrong, 42, was stripped of his seven Tour de France victories (1999-2005) in 2012 because of evidence of performance-enhancing drug use. The Gran Fondo event is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. Saturday in downtown Little Rock.
— Jeremy Muck