Update: Arizona State and Texas Tech have agreed to plans for a home-and-home series beginning in 2016. Sports Radio 1340 The Fan first reported that the schools were finalizing details that would set the two programs up for a home-and-home series in the near future.
On Thursday night, Texas Tech announced that the Red Raiders and Sun Devils have mutually agreed to dates and finalized a contract. Texas Tech will travel to Tempe on Sept. 10, 2016 to face the Sun Devils and Arizona State will return to Lubbock on Sept. 16, 2017 the following season.
The home-and-home series assures that Arizona State will play games in Texas in 2015, 2016, and 2017. The Sun Devils will meet Texas A&M at Reliant Stadium in Houston in 2015 and square off with the University of Texas-San Antonio in 2016.
The Arizona State Sun Devils are getting set to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the upcoming Holiday Bowl, and it could be a preview of future matchups between the two teams.
SportsRadio 1340 The Fan is reporting that the schools are working on plans that would create a home-and-home series for 2017 and 2018. The Fan is a Lubbock-based radio station and it also learned that the schools were crafting plans for the matchups prior to earning invitations to the 2013 Holiday Bowl.
The report did not say which year each school would play host, but it is presumable that Arizona State would travel to Texas Tech in 2017 because the Sun Devils have already scheduled two nonconference home games for that season (New Mexico State and San Diego State).
When Todd Graham arrived at Arizona State, the Texas native made it a point to step up recruiting efforts in the Lone Star State and playing games in Texas allows the Sun Devils to gain more visibility. Graham has already secured three verbal commitments from Texas high schoolers for the Sun Devils' 2014 recruiting class.
Arizona State made its first foray into the state of Texas under Todd Graham this season when the Sun Devils met the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at AT&T Stadium in Dallas in October. In November, the Sun Devils finalized plans for another neutral site contest when they announced a date with Texas A&M at Reliant Stadium in 2015. That game is part of the Advocare Texas Kickoff series.
The Sun Devils have also scheduled a home-and-home series with the University of Texas San Antonio for 2016 and 2018 as Arizona State will travel to San Antonio on Sept. 17 of 2016.
If Arizona State does travel to Lubbock in 2017, it will mark the Sun Devils' fourth game in the state of Texas in five years. Arizona State will not travel to the state in 2014, but the Sun Devils will play on the road at New Mexico next season.
Assuming the plans between Arizona State and Texas Tech are finalized, the Sun Devils would only have one slot to fill in its nonconference slate over the next six seasons. The free date comes in 2016, which was originally scheduled to be a trip to LSU to take on the Tigers. However, LSU dropped the Sun Devils from their schedule earlier this year.
Unfortunately for Graham and the Sun Devils, both the University of Texas and Baylor have full schedules in 2016.