The Road to Hog Heaven

As the holiday season is now upon us, it’s time for Razorback Nation to start finalizing our travel plans.  The road to Hog Heaven is a tricky one, and if we hope arrive by January 4, 2010 in New Orleans, we can not deviate from our itinerary.  Otherwise, we may just find ourselves in Orlando, Tampa, Dallas, or Jacksonville.  While those would be fine places to stay this time of year, they can not compare to the sugary-sweetness of Hog Heaven. Our schedule is very tight, so get out your Garmins and Tom-toms and program these destinations in.

 

Iron Bowl, Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Friday, November, 26, 2010 at 1:30PM CST

Our first stop is for the Iron Bowl to watch the Auburn Tigers invade Bryant-Denny Stadium and take on the Alabama Crimson Tide.  Auburn is hoping to complete an undefeated journey through the SEC regular season, and continue their trek to the BCS National Championship.  We are here to see that they do exactly that.  We must combine forces with the Auburn faithful, chant “War Eagle, War Eagle” until our throats bleed, and lead the Tigers to victory.  This is necessary for Arkansas to finish ahead of Alabama in the SEC pecking order for bowl selection.

If the thought of cheering for the Tiger-Eagles makes you sick, then dig up some Arkansas pride and cheer on running back Michael Dyer, wide receiver Kodi Burns, offensive lineman Lee Ziemba, tight end Dakota Mosley, and of course, offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn.  So many Arkansas boys; no wonder they’re so good.

On a side note, in preparation for this article, I received a phone call from Cecil Newton saying that he would guarantee an Auburn victory for the low, low price of $180,000, payable in three easy payments with the final payment due before game time Friday.  It may eat into our gas money for this trip, but it might be something to keep in mind.

 

Battle for the Boot, War Memorial Stadium, Little Rock, Arkansas

Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 2:30 PM CST

After the stop in Alabama, we have to book it back to the Natural State because we won’t want to miss the tailgating at War Memorial before the game.  This year’s edition of the Battle for the Boot maybe the most-highly anticipated game in the series so far.  Both the Hogs and the Tigers will be playing for a potential BCS at-large berth.  A win places us behind only Auburn in the SEC order, while a loss would drop us back behind Alabama again.

The Razorbacks chances of reaching our destination would be greatly improved not by another “Miracle on Markham” kind of game, but more along the lines of a “Massacre on Markham” drubbing of the Bayou Bengals.  That last memory of the Hogs would hopefully stick in voters’ minds and computers’ hard drives to propel us on to the Sugar Bowl.  Plus, anytime we can give the Mad Hatter a very, un-merry, un-birthday is a good day.

 

SEC Championship Game, Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia

Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 3PM CST

Once again we find ourselves allies with the crew in blue and orange.  Whatever motivation you needed to get yourself to cheer for Auburn the first time, summon it again times ten.  How heartbreaking would it be for the Hogs to get this close to a BCS game only to have South Carolina screw it up by upsetting the Tiger-Eagles in the SEC Championships?  Moreover, to have South Carolina get to a BCS game before Arkansas?

When these two teams met in the regular season, Auburn won a tight game on the road in Columbia.  While the Razorbacks took the Gamecocks to the wood shed, whipping them 41-20 in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the final three touchdown spread would indicate.   To assure Auburn passes this final test on the way to the BCS Championship Game, we will be bringing the Hogs game plan for South Carolina.  It’s a book by Bobby Petrino entitled How to Make the Ol’ Ball Coach Look like a Fool on National Television.

If that were to fail, Cecil Newton said that the same deal he offered in the Iron Bowl might be in play during the SEC Championship Game, but you can bet the price will be a lot higher with three teams in the bidding war.

 

BCS Selection Show, ESPN, Bristol, Connecticut

Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 5PM

More than likely we won’t travel to Bristol.  Instead, we’ll choose to watch this one from the house.  Besides, at this point, we will have done all that we can do to show that the Razorbacks deserve to garner an at-large berth to the Crescent City.

We could still find the road to our nirvana to be blocked by a couple one-loss teams like Stanford, Ohio State, or Michigan State.  Assuming Wisconsin goes to the Rose Bowl, then only one other Big Ten team would make it to a BCS bowl according to the BCS rules.  We would be relying on the Sugar Bowl’s affinity for SEC teams that will fill the Superdome to press onward.

 

Hog Heaven aka The Sugar Bowl, Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana

Tuesday, January 4, 2011 at 7:30PM CST

Well, we made it!  It was a long and arduous journey, but the pearly gates of the Superdome opened wide to finally let the Arkansas Razorbacks in to the BCS field.  With a victory in the Sugar, the Razorbacks will finish 11-2 their best record since 1977 when they finished 11-1 under Lou Holtz with a victory over Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.

 

So, Hog fans, make sure to give thanks for the Arkansas Razorbacks and the blessing that has been the 2010 football season so far, eat plenty of food to prepare you our holiday travels, and don’t forget to say grace before digging in to the holiday meal, we’re going to need all the help we can get.

 

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About Richard Howk

Fiction author with my first novel, Pariah, available December 2nd.
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