The U. Like Elvis or Cher, the rest of the name is not necessary, because you know who what was meant by the name.
Completing a contract announced in 2013, Arkansas State will welcome the University of Miami to its camps on Saturday. The Red Wolves made the trip to south Florida in 2014 for a game Miami won 41-20.
So how did the Red Wolf brass convince The U to come to Centennial Bank Stadium?
“We asked,” ASU Athletic Director Terry Mohajir said last week. “Honest to God truth.”
This week’s game follows the Red Wolf opener against Nebraska, in Lincoln.
“I think we’re one of five teams in the country this is opening our season with back-to-back (Power) 5 schools,” said Mohajir.
As far as notoriety, Miami is arguably the biggest opponent ever in Jonesboro.
“Ole Miss has played here. TCU has played here. But no one has probably the national name brand the U has,” said Mohajir. “In the 80s and 90s they were a top 5 brand. They’ve won four national champions in the last 30 years.
“I would easily consider them a top 10 brand.”
The game was scheduled, obviously, before Miami’s program was entrusted to Mark Richt. The Hurricanes went 9-4 in Richt’s first season last year.
Richt went to Miami after being removed in Georgia following a 15-year stint. The Bulldogs compiled a record of 145-51 during his tenure and won less than eight games only once.
“You schedule these games three or four years ago and these team’s change, but having said that if we want to do what we set out to do, and set our course to do, which is to be the Group of Five team in a New Year’s Six bowl game.
“If you can beat everyone on your nonconference schedule. You still have to win your conference but you can do it.”
Although the Red Wolves were valiant in a 43-36 loss at Nebraska Saturday night, don’t tell Mohajir that it’s pie in the sky.
“I don’t think so. I think that’s what separates us and my beliefs. I don’t think it’s a lofty goal. I think it’s what we set our course to do,” said Mohajir. “We’re trying to be the best we can possibly be and the best we can possibly be is represent the Group of 5 in the New Year’s Day Six, or contract bowl game.
“That’s why we built new facilities and created new services and retained good coaches so we can do that,” said Mohajir.
Those include $60 million in facilities so far. Another $25 to $30 million project for the north end zone.
The game hasn’t sold out as of last week but Mohajir expects, at least hopes to see a full house at Jonesboro.
According to http://www.hogdb.com/db/opponents/56/Miami-series/, Miami has been to the state of Arkansas twice, beating the Razorbacks 51-7 in 1987 and 31-3 in 1991. The schools also met in Miami in 1988 in a game The U also won, but only by an 18-16 final.