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Arkansas State Red Wolves and Memphis Tigers Renew Gridiron Animosity

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Arkansas State and Memphis have renewed a rivalry that began in Nineteen-Freaking-Fourteen.

Arkansas State returns to Memphis in 2020
Arkansas State returns to Memphis in 2020
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

A-State Athletic Director Terry Mohajir worked his negotiations magic once again to resurrect a century-old rivalry. The Arkansas State Red Wolves and Memphis Tigers announced a four-game home-and-home series beginning in 2020 when the Tigers visit Jonesboro. The return of the rivalry satisfies the mad cravings of both fan bases, Mohajir told the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette.

"It's probably the most talked about and popular opponent when it comes to scheduling," Mohajir said. "I think it's good for their fan base; I think it's good for our fan base. It's a really good regional matchup."

The A-State/Memphis rivalry began in 1914, when Arkansas State started a 7-game win streak with a 18-6 victory. Over the next 100 years, the two teams played 57 times, with the Memphis Tigers earning a slight advantage with a 29-5-23 record.

The last game between the two teams was in 2013 at the Liberty Bowl, which ended with Red Wolves then head coach Bryan Harsin absorbing a surprise 31-7 thumping from the Tigers. Red Wolves fans were not pleased with the way the rivalry ended. The new contract has the Red Wolves in Memphis in 2020 and 2022, and the Tigers in Jonesboro 2021 and 2023.

Since last the two teams played, both programs have seen coaching changes, with Blake Anderson taking over for the Red Wolves in 2014 and Mike Norvell taking charge of the Tigers after the 2015 season. Both programs have enjoyed success on the gridiron, with the Red Wolves winning two more conference titles and the Tigers flirting heavily with the AP Top 25 for most of last season.

Clearly, the two Titans of the Delta could ignore each other no longer.

Read here how a friendly shuffleboard match between Terry Mohahir and Memphis AD Tom Bowen led to the rivalry's glorious renewal.