It’s not rivalry week in college football but the Southwest Classic is looking like the real rivalry game for Arkansas.
Since joining the SEC in 1992, Arkansas has struggled to develop a real rivalry game with its SEC counterparts. One could argue that LSU is the real adversary to the natural state but no one from LSU would openly admit it . However, in 2012 Texas A&M, an old Southwest Conference foe, came to the SEC and with it came the possibility of a real rival.
When one thinks of what it means to have a rival, the first thing that comes to mind is the tradition. This isn’t something that comes overnight and it definitely isn’t something that is created by an insurance company. Tradition can only come after years of heartbreak and victory between two programs.
Arkansas and the Aggies first met in 1903 in a game that would go to A&M with a score 6-0. Over the better part of a century, the Hogs would claim one and A&M three national titles. The Razorbacks would kill the A&M dream in 1975 by beating the #2 Aggies 31-6. This victory would cause a three-way tie for the SWC champion between A&M, Texas and Arkansas.
1991 would be the last year for Arkansas to be in the Southwest Conference before moving to the SEC. A&M would send off the Hogs with 13-3 loss. It would be the end of an era for both teams, ending the yearly match-up.
More from Arkansas Razorbacks News
- Arkansas vs UConn Prediction and $1,000 BetMGM Promo
- Illinois vs. Arkansas prediction and odds for NCAA Tournament First Round
- Arkansas Razorbacks all-time round-by-round NCAA tournament record
- Every Arkansas Razorbacks potential March Madness venue in 2023 NCAA Tournament
- Arkansas March Madness Schedule: When do the Razorbacks play next? (updated March 12)
2009 and 2011 – “Welcome to the SEC”
2009 would be the first time Arkansas met A&M on the gridiron since leaving for the greener pastures of the SEC eighteen years earlier. It would be the first game to be called the Southwest Classic. Although it was supposed to be a yearly game held in the new Dallas Cowboys stadium, that would not happen yet. In fitting revenge, the Hogs would give the Aggies a 47-19 beat-down.
In 2011, six days after announcing they would be leaving the then Big 12, #12 A&M lost to #18 Arkansas 42-38. The game would later be labeled “Welcome to the SEC”. During a run into the end zone by Broderick Green for the final score of the game, Hog fans were seen on the video screen holding a sign saying “Welcome to the SEC.”
After joining the SEC in 2012 the Aggies have run the show at the Southwest Classic. Many remember the heartbreaking losses in 2014 and 2015 but none more so than Dan Skipper. Skipper would be blamed by fans for losing the game due to penalties in the 2014 game. It was so bad that Bielema would actually change his number the next week to “start fresh”. Side note, Razorback fans can be ruthless.
Manufactured or Authentic
I am not going to get into what a manufactured rivalry looks like since every Arkansas fan already knows. Hey MIZ-ZOU. However is this just a gimmick to sell tickets at Jerry’s World or is this a true passionate rivalry? Can it be both?
Growing up in Arkansas you are taught to hate any and everything from Texas (which makes for a LOT of fun with the Texan girlfriend). This mostly applies to the Longhorns (Horns-Down) but it also applies to A&M, right? Damn right! Arkansas may own the overall record with 41 wins to 28 losses, however, after the past four years of losing to A&M a spark has caught fire. The real rivalry of the Southwest glory days is alive.
We have the tradition. We have the legacy of games. We have the heart-break and victories. We have a rivalry! Gag-Em and Woo Pig!