Arkansas with chance to keep state of Texas angry about football
The state of Texas loves its football, and there’s not a lot for which to cheer right now.
Texas remains mediocre as first-year head coach Charlie Strong looks to revive a fledgling program. Texas A&M won just seven games, a regression after two Johnny Football-crazed seasons in College Station. Texas Tech won only four games and the honeymoon phase for GQ man-turned-coach Kliff Kingsbury.
And well, Baylor and TCU, it got left out of the party.
Heck, even the Cowboys may lose in the first round of the playoffs (even making the playoffs would be an accomplishment for that team).
Related: Arkansas learning about Texas ‘hate’
Arkansas dominated the Red Raiders in Lubbock, and nearly upset then-No. 6 Texas A&M in Dallas in September. The Razorbacks and Aggies were two much different teams than they were down the stretch, however. Bret Bielema’s team now turns its attention to Texas, looking to beat the patriarch of Texas college football, a feat it has not accomplished since 2003.
When Texas and Arkansas face off in the Texas Bowl on Monday, Dec. 29. in Houston, it will be two 6-6, evenly-matched teams. Storied programs that have been down and are looking to find their ways back to the top.
Based on history, though, it feels like Texas is the big brother that always beat up on the Razorbacks.
The Longhorns have won 56 of the 77 all-time meetings between the two teams. Texas won seven of the final nine meetings during the last decade both the Longhorns and Hogs spent as members of the Southwest Conference.
Perhaps the thing that may sour Texas’ season more than anything would a bowl loss to its old nemesis.
Related: With a bright future ahead, Arkansas revisits past with bowl vs. Texas
The tones around the Arkansas and Texas programs are stark.
The Razorbacks faithful has bought into what Bielema is doing in Fayetteville, perhaps the defining moment coming in the wake of the Hogs’ 17-0 win over LSU when fans rushed the field.
Meanwhile in Austin, Strong’s tenure got off to a rocky start. He had to clear house, baffling many Texas fans when they thought Strong was brought in to right the ship. The Longhorns rather unimpressively limped to six wins. However, a bowl loss to Arkansas may not be what the doctor ordered.
Arkansas wants to be Texas. Texas, perhaps, needs to beat Arkansas.
A win for the Hogs, along with the recruiting benefits the Texas Bowl present, could send the Lone Star state into a tailspin.
And what more could the Arkansas faithful want?