Texas thrilled to renew Texas A&M, Arkansas rivalries in SEC

Arch Manning shines in Texas spring game with 3 TD passes (2:54)

Longhorns fans get their first look at Arch Manning, who starred with 355 yards and three touchdowns in Texas' Orange-White spring game. (2:54)

DESTIN, Fla. -- Texas won't face Arkansas and Texas A&M until November, but the excitement surrounding the return of the storied rivalries was already creating chatter this week at the SEC spring meetings, where Longhorns coach Steve Sarkisian made his first appearance as an incoming member of the league.

Arkansas hosts Texas on Nov. 16 as a conference rival for the first time since 1991, when the Hogs beat the Horns 14-13 and both programs were in the Southwest Conference.

To end the season, Texas and Texas A&M will renew its heated rivalry in College Station on Nov. 30. The two haven't played since 2011, after playing each year from 1915 to 2011, which was tied for the eighth-longest uninterrupted series at the time. In that 2011 matchup, Justin Tucker kicked a 40-yard field goal to give Texas a 27-25 win in College Station.

"I've been part of some great rivalries in college football, and I know there was so much talk about realignment and I know realignment looks different for every school, but for us, we gained two rivals back," Sarkisian said. "We're playing Arkansas again, which is great for Texas and Longhorn nation. We get A&M back. The game with A&M, you're talking about houses divided, you're talking about decades of tremendous games and Thanksgiving weekend. To get that game back, we're looking forward to it, I'm sure A&M is, too. I've got a ton of respect for Coach [Mike] Elko."

Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said the state's passion for the series with the Longhorns hasn't dwindled even though the games have.

"Our rival has been Texas when we didn't play Texas," Pittman said. "You can feel it in the state. We did have an opportunity to play Texas two or three seasons ago, and it was a big, big deal for the state of Arkansas. For us at least it's a great addition to bring an old rivalry back."

When asked what he's looking forward to most about joining the SEC, Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte answered as if it were a no-brainer -- the games.

"For our old-timer people in Austin, Arkansas is a helluva game," he said. "Darrell Royal and Frank Broyles retired on the same day in DKR [Stadium]. In the 60s, President Nixon showing up. These are just historic games that are going to be awesome."

Del Conte reiterated his desire for the game against the Aggies to remain on Thanksgiving weekend, where it had traditionally been played, often on the day after the holiday.

"Maybe it's Friday," he said, "but as long as we're playing? Strap it on."

Del Conte conceded it would be difficult to set it in stone without knowing if the SEC will ultimately switch to a nine-game conference schedule.

"For me at the University of Texas, I prefer a nine-game schedule because we have a neutral site game [against OU]," he said. "I'd like to have four home games, four away games then play the Red River game. But when you have eight you have an imbalanced schedule. You have three one year, four the next."