What might have seemed like a forced rivalry between Arkansas and Missouri has recently produced some genuine animosity.
A lot of it bubbled to the surface before last season’s game in November when Missouri LB Eric Beisel said “it would be a mistake” for the Razorbacks to even show up to Columbia.
His words — which he admitted were somewhat “for show” — didn’t seem to hold much weight before Missouri erased a 24-7 deficit and rallied for a 28-24 win, outscoring Arkansas 21-0 after halftime.
On Wednesday at SEC Media Days in a small session, Beisel was asked about the Battle Line Rivalry. He was reluctant at first, but he couldn’t hold back for too long.
“Like I said, I can’t say much on that,” Beisel said with a smile. “I will say that that team down south will always be below us — at least geographically, they will always be below us.”
Then in his main press conference, the outspoken Beisel had more to add.
“I probably — I guess you would call it — poked the bear,” Beisel said. “I’d say it’s more like poking a cute little kitten.”
Arkansas CB Ryan Pulley responded to those comments via Twitter this afternoon.
When asked on Wednesday about the apology issued after his comments last season, Beisel said those weren’t really his words.
“I didn’t apologize, Coach Odom apologized on my behalf,” Beisel said.