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#BuckleUp: Alabama hosts Oklahoma in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, but committee misses a golden opportunity

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We’ve got a great slate of games, but the Committee made two big errors.

There are some really intriguing matchups in the SEC/BIG 12 Challenge.

You get to see a battle of hillpeople schools with excellent basketball coaches, as Cal’s Kentucky Wildcats face Huggy Bear’s West Virginia Mountaineers. Two long, athletic squads face off when Rick Barne’s Tennessee Volunteers plays the Iowa State Cyclones. Then you have the Georgia Bulldogs and Kansas State Wildcats playing for the right to bore everyone into submission.

And, of course, you have the Crimson Tide, with its new-look class, having a fantastic mid-season test of how far the program has come, as Alabama hosts one of its multi-sport intersectional rivals, the Oklahoma Sooners (admit it, the past decade or so, they’ve been an intersectional rival: football, softball, gym.)

Here’s the complete field:

But, as great as some of these matchups undoubtedly are, the Committee made two huge mistakes.

The first was in not pairing the up-and-coming Texas A&M Aggies with their hated in-state dancing partner, the Texas Longhorns, led by Shaka Smart who seems to be treading a little water of late. Those two are like a recent divorced couple, in and out of court, fighting over who gets to keep the friends, and oh my god, i always hated that f’n cat. If you thought Alabama-Auburn got a bit petty at times, it has nothing on this pair. Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the whining.

The other failure was the missed chance to renew one of the nastiest rivalries — perhaps the nastiest rivalry — in all of America: Missouri and Kansas. The Jayhawks and the Tigers hate one another. It is not a good, clean hate either. It is a transgenerational, salt-the-earth, randomly-murder-livestock, tire-slashing, barn-burning hate. The states hate one another. The fanbases hate one another. The teams hate one another.

This is a hate that started the American Civil War, folks.

Yes, Michigan and Ohio had a border skirmish over Toledo. Yes, the Dirt Burglars and Shorties shot ‘em up over a river. But they didn’t start the Civil War. It is an animosity 170 years strong, and it’s never subsided.

What other rivalry gives you this tee-shirt, Quantrill’s Raiders sacking Lawrence? Seriously, they created apparel for a war crime.

Maybe soon we’ll see these two rivalries again. Conference expansion has many positives, the loss of traditional geographic and cultural rivalries is not among them.

Take our poll and chat below.

Poll

Among teams in the SEC, which has the biggest collegiate rivalry

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    Alabama - Auburn
    (134 votes)
  • 18%
    Alabama - Tennessee
    (41 votes)
  • 0%
    Georgia - Florida
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Georgia - Auburn
    (0 votes)
  • 8%
    Missouri - Kansas
    (20 votes)
  • 0%
    Ole Miss - State
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Tennessee - Florida
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Florida - LSU
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Arkansas - LSU
    (0 votes)
  • 3%
    LSU - Alabama
    (8 votes)
  • 0%
    LSU - Ole Miss
    (0 votes)
  • 3%
    Lol, no Vandy. Go back to counting your money.
    (8 votes)
  • 2%
    Texas - Texas A&M
    (6 votes)
  • 1%
    Other, below.
    (3 votes)
224 votes total Vote Now