Arkansas football unites state, families on Saturdays
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Hide the children, or cover their ears, because Robert Dacus is fumbling through his black Yukon for the CD that says "GAME DAY," and it's time to get psyched. Forget decorum. A block up the road, seemingly normal people are raising their hands to the sky, fluttering their fingers, and chanting, "Woooooooooo Pig! Sooie!" Forget the fact that Dacus is a middle-aged optometrist with a balding head and two grown boys.
Friday, Oct. 5, NoonThree white busses roll down Interstate 540, past winding cliffs and Wal-Mart trucks and a sign that leads to Toad Suck Park. Weston Dacus closes his eyes and listens to his country CDs. He has an iPod but rarely uses it -- the downloads are too much of a hassle. No Garth Brooks, no Rascal Flatts because that's just a little too pretty for him.
Friday, 5:30 p.m.Father and son talk or text nearly every day, but by late afternoon on Fridays, Robert Dacus knows not to bother. Weston sleeps on Fridays. On home weekends, coach Houston Nutt whisks his team off to a hotel in Bentonville, which is about 30 minutes away. There, they are free of distractions and noisy roommates and swooning co-eds.
Saturday, Oct. 6, sometime before 5 p.m.It is just before kickoff, and Robert Dacus is puffing up like a bandy rooster, tailgating and telling stories about the times his boy laid on the floor after football games, late into the night, and watched hours of tape just to see what he did wrong.
Saturday, 9 p.m.All of the rest, the driving, and the buildup, and War Memorial Stadium is quiet and part empty by the fourth quarter. The Razorbacks aren't exactly dominating Tennessee-Chattanooga, a former Division I-AA team whose claims to fame are Terrell Owens -- who didn't show up for his Hall of Fame induction -- and "Saved By the Bell's" Mr. Belding.
MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HEADLINES
- Mariota throws 5 TDs as Oregon trumps Cal
- Source: Ex-judge to conduct Winston hearing
- Sources: Syracuse to face NCAA Oct. 30-31
- Donovan on Muschamp: He's working his tail off
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Southern Living: A Weekend in the SEC
Ride along on an inside trip with Mike Slive as the unlikely boss of the best and bawdiest league traveled around the movable feast of an SEC weekend. Story Curry: Life in the SEC
Bill Curry has coached and played in the SEC, and he understands the passion of its fans, the genius of its coaches and why there's nothing like it. Story Alabama: View from above
It's a mantra any good Crimson Tide fan will recite: "At a lot of places, they just play football. At Alabama, we live it." Chris Low Arkansas: Calling all Hogs
There are few things in life that can bring a diverse state or a divorced couple together, but Arkansas football proves every Saturday that it has that power. Liz Merrill Auburn: Rocking and Rollin'
what happens in the center of town when students and alumni gather at Toomer's Corner after an Auburn win is a truly unique celebration. Zoom Gallery LSU: To be like Mike
Mike the Tiger's historic first day on the job drew plenty of anticipation and excitement. Eric Adelson Ole Miss: Get your Grove on
Beneath the patchwork and the paisley; behind the seersucker, Skoal and Sperry Top-Siders -- it's another world in The Grove. Mary Buckheit Mississippi State: Cristil clear delivery
While the fortunes of Mississippi State football have ebbed and flowed over the past 55 years, the simple, even cadence of Jack Cristil has been the one constant. David Albright South Carolina: Lights, Camera, Action
It's likely one of the easiest part of the job, but doing a weekly TV show pays off in the end for South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier. Mark Schlabach Tennessee: Checkerboard Picasso
The Tennessee checkered end zones are one of the most recognizable scenes in sports. Meet the man who is responsible for the transformations at Neyland Stadium. Ron Higgins SportsNation
• Poll: Who are the SEC's all-time best?
• Ranker: Which team is the best in SEC history?
• Chat: Higgins and Low, noon ET