Arkansas and Texas may still be the best Razorbacks rivalry and it could happen soon
With your bacon, have some Hogs for Breakfast. It’s SEC Country’s weekday column and roundup on all things Arkansas. Opinion, numbers, inane babble and more! And now with ironic exclamation points. There is no place like it on the Web.
Depends on who you ask. Generally, it depends on the age of the person you ask.
“Who is Arkansas’ biggest rival?”
Throw out some names.
Alabama? Everyone’s rival in the sense the Crimson Tide are who every team wants to be and wants to beat.
Auburn? Bret Bielema once said, “I don’t think it needs to be said how much I hate Auburn.” Plus, Gus Malzahn.
LSU? The Tigers played for a trophy for years and have the most classic games in recent memory.
Missouri? Battle Line, baby.
Texas? Well …
How about that last one? The other four are SEC schools, so they make sense. Rivalries are, largely, built like a math equation.
Recency + animosity = rivalry, typically.
If you choose to use such a formula, Texas doesn’t apply. But ask folks older than 50. A healthy portion of them — confirmed by my own very unscientific polling, too — will pick the Longhorns. Even Texas A&M had a lot of write-in votes on social media.
The hatred for the Lone Star State is real. And it’s spectacular. So, imagine Texas in Fayetteville with a Super Regional bid on the line. It would glorious.
Because even though Arkansas and Texas played in football in 2014, basketball just this past December and baseball in 2012, the Longhorns aren’t in NWA often. The last time Texas baseball was in Arkansas was in 1991. Football was back in 2004 (before that, it was 1989). Basketball was 1991.
Throw in Missouri State to a theoretical NCAA Tournament Regional in Fayetteville and Baum Stadium might cave in on itself from the noise. If you were around for the Super Regional back in 2015, you remember what the environment was like. Imagine that only with Texas included now, too.
Stranger things have happened. And while it would take a minor miracle to get Texas, Arkansas and Missouri State all at the same location for the postseason, the possibility is real.
First, Arkansas has to get past another rival: Texas A&M. A win in the three-game set this weekend would go a long way to making the former a reality.
It’s OK to dream.
Arkansas’ breakout player is …
Not Austin Allen. He’s already the best quarterback in the SEC. It isn’t Dre Greenlaw, either. He is well-established at linebacker.
Sophomore McTelvin Agim earns the nod for the Razorbacks, according to SEC Country’s Oliver Connolly.
You probably wouldn’t find many around the program who disagree with that prediction. Agim showed flashes of his 5-star recruit brilliance last season. He finished with 27 tackles, including 5 1/2 for loss and 2 1/2 sacks. Mostly those numbers came in part-time duty.
Here’s what Connolly had to say:
There will be a heavy reliance on stunts and twists to generate pressure. One week Agim will be attacking mostly inside, the next mostly outside, whether he lines up initially at those spots or not. His agility, at his size, will make Razorbacks stunt packages things of destructive beauty. It will be one challenge to pick up the exchange, and another thing to stop it.
Wouldn’t that be lovely? After struggles on the front line last season, good news is great news for the Arkansas defensive line.
Biggers getting national love
The nine-hole hitter on the Arkansas baseball team might be the best one.
National folks are recognizing Arkansas sophomore shortstop Jax Biggers. Biggers was named a semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace Award. The award is given by the College Baseball Foundation to the best shortstop in college baseball.
Biggers is batting a team-high .325 this season. SEC pitching hasn’t phased him, either. He’s hit .321 in conference play, also best on the team.
Mississippi State’s Ryan Gridley was the only other SEC shortstop named.
The award will be announced at the 2017 College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions this summer.
The rebuild is rolling
Mike Neighbors knows the job in front of him as Arkansas women’s basketball coach. The program was in absolute disarray this past season. The year saw Jimmy Dykes let go and Neighbors, formerly of Washington, brought in. He called it his dream job. And he’s trying, as fast as he can, to make Arkansas relevant.
Oklahoma transfer Chelsea Dungee is joining the team.
Dungee will have to sit out the 2017-18 season after averaging 7.4 points and 2.8 rebounds for the Sooners last season. It was her first, and only season in Norman, Okla. She was named to the All-Big 12 Freshman Team.
“Chelsea saying yes to the Arkansas Razorbacks is the jump-start we need to reinvigorate our regional visibility,” Neighbors said. “Our fans will be reminded of great Razorback competitors like fellow Oklahoman Wendi Willits, Sarah Pfeifer and Melissa Wolff. Chelsea has the potential to leave her own mark in the history of Razorback basketball.”
Appears to be a good get.
Yee-Haw! Today in Arkansas
Parental advisory time, y’all. Fair warning here.
If you thought you saw someone, um, molesting a dog, what would you do?
First, I pray to the heavens you never have to see such a thing. Second, if you’re like this woman, you may shoot a warning shot near him in hopes of scaring him away.
Charges were dropped against a Centerton woman who did exactly that. She had been arrested in late April and faced an aggravated assault wrap. Apparently, she looked out her house window and saw a boy in her neighbor’s yard doing sexual things in his boxers with a dog. She took her gun outside, the boy ran off and hopped a fence and that’s when she fired a stay-away shot.
Poor woman. Scarred.
Skip Breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here.