FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas has finalized its 2022 football schedule that will include six games against teams currently ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 poll, including two nonconference teams.
The Razorbacks are scheduled to open the season with a Sept. 3 game against Cincinnati, part of a seven-game on-campus schedule. The seven games in Fayetteville will be the most ever for an Arkansas team.
Arkansas is also scheduled to play nonconference games against Missouri State (Sept. 17) and Liberty (Nov. 5) in Fayetteville, and will host SEC games against South Carolina (Sept. 10), Alabama (Oct. 1), LSU (Nov. 12) and Ole Miss (Nov. 19).
Away games for the Razorbacks include a nonconference matchup at BYU (Oct. 15) in what would be Arkansas’ first-ever game in the state of Utah. The Razorbacks are also scheduled to play SEC road games at Mississippi State (Oct. 8), Auburn (Oct. 29) and Missouri (Nov. 26).
A determination will be made at a later date whether the Mizzou game will be moved to Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving. With the exception of 2020, the Razorbacks and Tigers have played on Black Friday each year since 2014.
Arkansas is scheduled to play Texas A&M in Arlington, Texas, on Sept. 24 next year as part of a long-term agreement between the teams and the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium. Athletics directors at both schools have said they expect that series to return to the teams’ campuses once the contract expires following the 2024 season.
Alabama (1), Texas A&M (7), Cincinnati (8), Ole Miss (13), BYU (15) and Auburn (23) are ranked in this week’s AP poll, and Liberty and LSU are receiving votes in the poll. The Razorbacks are ranked No. 16 this week.
That combination of teams is likely to make Arkansas’ schedule one of the most difficult in college football next year. The Razorbacks’ schedule was the nation’s most difficult in 2020, according to WarrenNolan.com, and in the preseason was projected by ESPN to rank No. 1 again this year.
While Arkansas’ nonconference schedule will not include an opponent from a Power 5 conference in 2022, BYU and Cincinnati recently accepted invitations to join the Big 12. BYU will begin competing in that conference in 2023 when the Cougars are scheduled to play a return game in Fayetteville.
It has not been determined when Cincinnati will join its new league. The Bearcats are currently a member of the American Athletic Conference and will join the Big 12 no later than July 2024.
BYU, an independent, is one of a handful of non-Power 5 teams that satisfy an SEC scheduling mandate pertaining to quality nonconference games.
Liberty, which also plays independent of a conference affiliation, is coached by Hugh Freeze, the former Ole Miss coach from 2012-16.
Missouri State, which competes at the NCAA’s lower Football Championship Subdivision, is coached by Bobby Petrino, who was Arkansas’ coach for four seasons before his firing for misconduct in April 2012.
Petrino was 34-17 during his time in Fayetteville and led the Razorbacks to the Sugar Bowl and Cotton Bowl in his final two seasons in 2010 and 2011.
Petrino won the Missouri Valley Conference in his first season at Missouri State, which concluded during the spring when the Bears (5-5) lost at North Dakota in the first round of the FCS Playoffs.
Missouri State is 1-1 this season and ranked No. 18 in this week’s Stats Perform FCS Top 25.
Arkansas has won all seven prior meetings against Missouri State, with the most recent game in 2011. The Razorbacks have never played games against Cincinnati, BYU or Liberty.
The Razorbacks are not scheduled to play in War Memorial Stadium next year. Arkansas is scheduled to resume playing in Little Rock in 2023.
2022 Arkansas Football Schedule
Sept. 3 — Cincinnati
Sept. 10 — South Carolina
Sept. 17 — Missouri State
Sept. 24 — vs. Texas A&M (in Arlington, Texas)
Oct. 1 — Alabama
Oct. 8 — at Mississippi State
Oct. 15 — at BYU
Oct. 29 — at Auburn
Nov. 5 — Liberty
Nov. 12 — LSU
Nov. 19 — Ole Miss
Nov. 26 — at Missouri