There are 45 days till college football season, and today we focus on an SEC West rivalry that goes back much longer than their SEC days.
Conference expansion has forced a lot of traditional college football rivalries to end across the country. But SEC expansion allowed for the resurrection of one old rivalry from the Southwest Conference.
The Texas A&M Aggies and Arkansas Razorbacks were both long-time members of the Southwest Conference, but the Razorbacks joined the SEC in 1992, effectively ending the rivalry. But in 2009 the rivalry was renewed as The Southwest Classic. They’ve also started playing the rivalry in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex., making this the Cocktail Party of the SEC West.
And that leads us to no. 45 on the Southbound and Down College Football Countdown.
Texas A&M Aggies scored 45 points in their 45-24 win over Arkansas in 2016
When the rivalry was renewed in 2009, the teams played three straight years and Arkansas won all three. But in 2012, the Aggies joined the SEC, and effectively took control of the rivalry.
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Even though Arkansas still leads the rivalry 41-28-3, Texas A&M has won five straight since joining the conference, and last season was the second biggest blowout of the five games.
No. 10 Texas A&M beat no. 17 Arkansas 45-24 last season, but it was closer than the score indicates. the score was tied at 17 at half time, but the Aggies turned it on, outscoring the Razorbacks 28-7 in the second half.
Texas A&M ran for 366 yards in this game and averaged 9.9 yards per carry. Traveon Williams ran for 153 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries, while Trevor Knight actually led the Aggies with 157 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.
Kevin Sumlin’s seat is getting hot in College Station, if they can win a fifth straight in the Southwest Classic, that could go a long way in him keeping his job.