SEC Football: One Big Dysfunctional Family

Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports /
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Arkansas and Tennessee: The Embarrassing Redneck Cousins

Everyone has those family members “you just can’t take anywhere”. In the SEC football family, Arkansas and Tennessee both qualify. The embarrassing redneck cousins in the Southeastern Conference, the Razorbacks and Volunteers offer mediocre football and sometimes downright embarrassing behavior. Only at UT’s Neyland Stadium can you find a grown man sporting orange and white checkerboard overalls. And in Fayetteville, Hog Hats (pig snout and all) are the fashion of the day among fans.

Both schools have decent football records; Tennessee has 6 national titles and Arkansas just one. Each has its own impressive list of alumni, too. Everyone recognizes Peyton Manning as UT’s most famous graduate, but did you know football analyst and personality Paul Finebaum, money guru Dave Ramsey, and actress Dixie Carter are all UT grads?

Pro golfer John Daly, former football coach and current analyst Lou Holtz, and Head Barner Gus Malzahn can all hang Razorback-emblazoned degrees in their homes.

There could be arguments that labeling Tennessee and Arkansas as the redneck cousins is unfounded. In my experience, hollerin’ Pig SOOIE at the top of your lungs doesn’t qualify as classy. To sum up both the “embarrassing” and “redneck” descriptions of the cousins in the SEC football family, I’ll end with an excerpt from the lyrics to the Tennessee Volunteers’ fight song: Rocky Top.

“Wish that I was on old Rocky Top / Down in the Tennessee hills /

Ain’t no smoggy smoke on Rocky Top / Ain’t no telephone bills /

Once there was a girl on Rocky Top / Half bear the other half cat /

Wild as a mink, sweet as soda pop / I still dream about that”

Those lyrics alone are eye-roll inducing and leave everyone else in the SEC singing their own version of the chorus: “Rocky Top, you’ll never be Home Sweet Home To Me…”

Next: Mississippi State