FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas may have a real rivalry sooner rather than later.
Excuse the wording. It was too easy to do it that way.
But a story in The Tennessean that listed eight rivalries that will grow when Texas and Oklahoma join the league took the traditional approach rather than looked ahead.
Don't discount Oklahoma, which apparently a lot of folks tend to do nationally.
The Sooners may have more fans within 100 miles of Fayetteville than every other team in the SEC. That's strictly a guess and nothing scientific was involved.
There has been an awful lot of OU merchandise in various retail outlets recently. Just using a rough estimate while in a sports store a few days ago showed as much stuff with Sooners as Razorbacks.
Especially in Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley area.
With the tremendous growth the area is experiencing and the great quality of life brings fans of different college teams to town and they aren't about to switch loyalties.
Fans still want to hate the Longhorns. That was pointed out clearly in the article:
"Many Arkansas fans consider Texas to be the school’s top rival, according to Razorbacks coach Sam Pittman, despite the fact that, before last September, the teams hadn’t met since 2014."
The Hogs and Sooners have played only three times in the last 95 years and haven't met since the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day in 2002.
Exactly why has never really made a lot of sense.
Fans grew to hate the Longhorns mainly because the Hogs never won very often. They lost nearly 70% of the time from 1928-91 playing every year.
Since 2000, the Hogs are 4-2, including two bowl games none of the Texas folks seemed particularly interested in attending or the team playing.
It was a rivalry simply because they played every year. There is a random Longhorns fan in Northwest Arkansas you run across, but not many. Sooners fans are as common as those confounded bicycles clogging up traffic.
Since Arkansas moved to the SEC in 1992, they've tried to develop a rivalry, but nothing has really taken.
The school has desperately tried to create one with Missouri but nobody really gets worked up over it. It's actually comical (especially to the fans) how everybody tries to invent something.
Whenever Oklahoma lands in the SEC it will be a rivalry with the Hogs fairly quickly. Geography and a lot of fans here will make that happen faster than anyone is expecting.
Texas will always be a rival to the fans, most of whom remember when the Hogs struggled to win a game. The younger ones are dealing with what has been passed down to them.
But OU could be the biggest.
And really soon.
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