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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Rice, Texas bring back good memories

by Wally Hall | August 28, 2021 at 3:00 p.m.

A week from today I will have driven to Fayetteville for the Arkansas Razorbacks opener with Rice.

If my math is still good, it is my 40th opener.

It is a 1 p.m. game, which will make it one of the hottest in the country. It will most likely also be humid, but the weather experts can tell us about that.

Earlier this week, UA head coach Sam Pittman, while speaking to the Little Rock Touchdown Club, almost begged the fans to remember the Razorbacks are playing Rice. He doesn't want fans looking ahead to the next game against Texas.

What Pittman is wanting his team to experience is the full Razorback Nation full-throttle cheering.

He was serious enough to be specific and say to be loud when Rice has the ball.

Arkansas’ first two games are against former foes in the old Southwest Conference, which fell apart after the Razorbacks left for the Southeastern Conference and after the Big 8 cherry-picked Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor and Texas Tech, creating the Big 12. (TCU, another former Southwest Conference member, was added years later when Colorado left for the Pac-12.)

Now the Big 12 is on its last legs because Texas and Oklahoma are leaving for the SEC in 2025 — or sooner, depending on if Baylor, Oklahoma State or Iowa State get a better offer.

Still, the first two weekends of this football season will be a bit nostalgic for yours truly.

During the days of covering the Razorbacks in the SWC, there was not a city or town in Texas where I couldn’t find great Tex-Mex. I knew a place in Bryan, Texas, that was so good, I ignored the cockroaches. (It is no longer there; I heard it had health department issues.)

The first thing I thought of when it was announced Texas was coming to the SEC was the great food. Austin is my second-favorite city for Tex-Mex, the first being San Antonio.

If anyone asks, I’m all in for inviting the University of Texas at San Antonio to join the SEC.

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