This week’s road trip is for the truly committed.
Arkansas will play its first SEC road game of the year Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium against Auburn, and it’s not the easiest journey.
Google Maps spits out a lengthy 664-mile, 10-hour drive featuring a couple of construction zones on I-40 and enough accidents on the route to remind drivers of Atlanta.
It also helpfully suggests that fans look in to flying from Fayetteville to Columbus, Ga., and taking a rental car up to Auburn for the game. It would save roughly six-and-a-half hours, but it would lighten the wallet a bit, too.
Let’s have a look at the route:
Why the game could be good: Well, the last one was. Arkansas won that game, 54-46, in four overtimes.
There’s no guarantee that this one will be that entertaining. But with both teams in the Top 25 and playing well, there’s always the possibility of a little magic on the Plains.
One thing to watch for is fatigue late in the contest. Auburn is coming off a bye while the Razorbacks will be playing their eighth game in as many weeks.
Stop for food: The chance to stop in Memphis, which is a little shy of halfway, is awfully tempting. Like we suggested last week, make sure to hit Huey’s or another of the many amazing barbecue joints on your way through town.
Just for fun though, let’s plan to stop in Birmingham.
Yelp suggests the Highlands Bar and Grill, which is a bit pricey but has an oyster bar and a good variety of entree options.
Movoto has a couple of more casual options, including a panini at the Brick Tin or a burger at Chez Fonfon.
Carrigan’s Public House is a good option if you’re looking for a drink and some interesting bar food.
What to see along the way: How about a 36-foot tall replica of the Statue of Liberty in Birmingham? Apparently, there are flames shooting from the torch.
A stop in Tupelo will allow you to see the birthplace of Elvis Pressley. You can walk around outside for free, but it costs money to go inside. Don’t take pictures, though. People will scold you.
What to do besides watch football: Grab a sandwich at Toomer’s Drugs, which is near Toomer’s Corner. Even non-Auburn fans can appreciate a little college football tradition.
Be nice to the trees, though.
Tailgating options: One of the best spots is along Wire Road, and spaces are first-come, first-serve. It’s the SEC, so you can expect a tailgating scene that’s fun and friendly, no matter the color you happen to be wearing.
Parking: As always, come early and be patient. Learn more here.
Need a postgame bite or drink? SB Nation has some helpful tips for some good local barbecue spots and a few other places to wet your whistle.