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Utah football inks home-and-home deal with Arkansas

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NCAA Football: Arkansas at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Utah fans haven’t been real thrilled with some of the out of conference scheduling for the Utah football team for the upcoming seasons. There are a lot of Wyomings, San Diego States, Webers, and of course, BYUs on the schedule. Whereas other Pac-12 foes have been really beefing up their non-con schedules with other P5 programs. On Wednesday, Mark Harlan inked his first major P5 home-and-home with SEC opponent Arkansas. The series will start at Rice-Eccles Stadium on September 12th, 2026, with the return trip to Fayetteville on September 16th, 2028.

Per the press released, Harland said, “We appreciate the opportunity to put together an agreement with Arkansas for our football programs to play one another in 2026 and 2028,” said Harlan. “We will continue to look at the premier programs in the country as we build out our future schedules to bring value to our football program and to our fanbase.”

This will be Utah’s first SEC opponent since the Sugar Bowl and Alabama. There have been plenty of Big-10 teams mixed in, but nothing from the south or the ACC.

An interesting note about the 2026 slate, thus far, is that Utah will be opening on the road against Houston, a very tough opening game for the Utes. The question will be, albeit 7 years down the road, where does the rivalry game fit, if at all that season?

It will also be interesting to see how Harland handles Utah’s scheduling going forward, and how aggressive he’s going to be.

What do you think of this series, and will you make the trip to the south when Utah makes the return trip?