Ranked SEC Showdown In Arlington!
Southwest Classic: #7 Texas A&M 10, #16 Arkansas 20
I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical over this rivalry being played in neutral Arlington annually. I’m no longer skeptical.
The Razorback and Aggie faithful showed out for this game, making it a fun, contentious, energetic, and explosive atmosphere. AT&T Stadium isn’t new to me– it’s just a short 30 minutes from my house. While campuses and new stadiums are exciting, I was happy about the short commute.
Sam Pittman has turned this Arkansas Razorbacks team around. This was the first Southwest Classic matchup where both teams are ranked since 2016. The consequences of losing this matchup were massive for both teams.
If going to this game is something you want to do, I’d recommend doing it in small groups as tickets are pricy. Even when the teams aren’t highly ranked, tickets were well over $100. Parking around AT&T Stadium is expensive, too, with many lots pushing $30-40. However, a few $20 and under lots do exist if you get there early.
You knew that, too, walking into Jerry’s World– which is an architectural masterpiece in itself. 45 minutes before kickoff, Texas A&M got their notorious chants thundering through their half of the stadium. It was met with rowdy “WOOOOO PIG! SOOIE!” echos and this early before kickoff we had a yell war.
To make the entire game better, Arkansas pulled off the upset– their first win over the Aggies in nine years. The celebrations were as intense as any cry from their fans for Arkansas.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t come away a little sweeter on the Razorbacks.
Game Day Grades
Stadium: N/A. Professional stadium, I’m not grading it here.
Tradition: A. This is a bit unfair since we have two equal fanbases, but this rivalry runs deep. Seriously, the fans take it personally.
Atmosphere: A. It was tense, loud, exciting, and a little uneasy. All things that make for a memorable game day. I chose to sit at the divide between the Arkansas and Texas A&M fans, so I heard all of the smack. NSFW.
Tailgating: C. I give fans credit for coming out to tailgate at a neutral site, but the scene really wasn’t that impressive. The adjacent Texas Live! bar conglomerate likely didn’t help that.
Fans: B+. The fans are passionate about their respective teams. They very much dislike the opposition. Hurtful words were thrown and some instances just got out of hand. There wasn’t a whole lot of class from a pair of fanbases that take pride in that very characteristic.
Extracurriculars: A+. Arlington and its surrounding cities have some of the most things to do and the best places to eat in the entire state of Texas. Texas Live!, both Fort Worth and Dallas within a stone’s throw, more restaurants than you can even choose from.