This coming Saturday will mark the second meeting of the renewed SWC rivalry between the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Texas A&M Aggies.
Arkansas has moved to No.11 in the AP poll coming off of a bye week and the Aggies coming off of a bitter loss to Big 12 foe Oklahoma State.
While these two programs hold similar records, Arkansas (3-1)( 1-1) and Texas A&M (3-1)(0-1), the competition they have faced is anything but similar.
The Arkansas Razorbacks face arguably the toughest competition in college football, running the annual gauntlet that is the SEC, while the Aggies face competition in the slightly top heavy Big 12.
Although, it seems that this year the Big 12 is facing a similar fate as that of the SEC east.
In the 2009 edition of the Southwest Classic, the Hogs got off to a slow start, but finished strong, blasting the Aggies 47-19. The previously unbeaten Aggies limped away after the game and finished (6-7)(3-5) and the Hogs went on to finish the season (8-5) (3-5) with a overtime win over East Carolina.
In the 2010 edition, one can see how things could play out in the Southwest Classic.
The Razorbacks come in fresh after a tough home loss to No. 1 Alabama with an improved defense that is chomping at the bit to make any opposing quarterback pay, and a offense that has shown it can and will score on anybody.
With Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson displaying his inability to keep possession of the football, the media isn’t the only ones who have taken notice.
While at the podium in a press conference today, Arkansas DE Tenarius Wright said:
” It made our eyes get big.”
Wright anchors the end of a defensive line that has helped the Hogs reach 1st in the SEC in sacks, averaging 3.57 per game.
Needless to say if Jerrod Johnson feels as generous this Saturday as he has during his previous four games, the Hogs will feast.
Texas A&M has shown flashes of a big time college football program, albeit against the likes of Stephen F. Austin, Louisiana Tech and a Florida International team the Aggies had to mount a comeback to beat.
With an offense that tends to sputter and stall on big drives, the Aggies will have to play above the talent they have shown.
Von Miller, one of the few bright spots on defense for A&M will undoubtedly have his hands full when Coach Bobby Petrino and the talent laden No. 11 Arkansas Razorbacks come calling.
Far be it for me, a lowly scribe, to suggest anything to Texas A&M Head Coach Mike Sherman, but with his quarterback having tossed eight interceptions, and a offensive line that has allowed 14 sacks through four games, he might want to sure up the young talent in College Station.
Sherman’s squad will take on a team that held the No. 1 team in the land to 24 points.
That same team is ready, willing and able to drop half-a-hundred if given the opportunity.
And lest we forget about a win hungry young man, who simply loathes the thought of losing at anything…Ryan Mallett will be ready to lead his team to a victory.
With Mallett at the helm, Coach Petrino knows, if the Hogs are able to put together an effective running game the Hogs will become a much more dangerous team.
While geographically, these teams are only 519.07 miles from each other, they are worlds apart.