Arizona State University and Texas Tech University, who will meet next Monday night in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, have agreed on a future home-and-home football series.
The first game will be played September 10, 2016 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe and then the series will shift to Texas, with the Sun Devils and Red Raiders playing in Lubbock on September 16, 2017.
"This is a series that addresses several criteria that we have in football scheduling," said interim director for university athletics James Rund in a statement. "It is important for us to schedule home/home series with schools that are located in the Western portion of the United States. The state of Texas destination offers our fan base with an easy trip to make to watch their beloved Sun Devils play. Texas Tech is a first-class institution representing the powerhouse Big 12 Conference. And our football staff, led by Head Coach Todd Graham, recruits heavily in the state of Texas."
The schools met on the gridiron on a regular basis from the 1930s to the 1950s when they were both members of the Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association. But since Texas Tech left the conference following the 1955 season, they've met only once -- a game won by Arizona State 31-13 in Tempe to open the 1999 season.
ASU senior associate athletic director Rocky Harris knows the importance of playing games against teams in fertile recruiting areas like Texas.
"It's critical because we had only played a handful of games in Texas over the last thirty years," Harris said Thursday on the Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta on Arizona Sports 620. "So we're really trying to ramp that up, with a head football coach (Todd Graham) from Texas.
"I lived in Houston for nine years, and there are phenomenal athletes there and we need to start getting out there and recruiting better. We do a good job in California and a good job in Arizona and now we need to reach out to Texas, too."