In '03, I saw a Texas partisan lean over a wheelchair-bound Sooners fan and shout in his face, "OU sucks!" Perhaps it was poetic justice that OU drilled the Horns that day 65--13—the fourth of five straight wins over UT. Two years later Vince Young returned the favor, leading the Longhorns to a 45--12 win over OU and then to the national title. College football has long been a figurative carnival. Once a year, in Dallas, it is a literal one.
WHEN TO VISIT
Oct. 15: FLORIDA
Oct. 29: OLE MISS
Nov. 26: ALABAMA
I'VE BEEN to Athens and Tuscaloosa, Rocky Top and Tiger Stadium, but the most malevolent SEC crowd I've ever heard was in the orange canyon of Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium. (This was Oct. 14, 2006, and the home team had upset Florida, that season's eventual national champion.)
Before the coin toss, fans are whipped into a frenzy by the flight of the Auburn eagle. As they roar, "W-a-a-a-r!" and opponents look on in trepidation, a trained raptor pounces on what appears to be a helpless rodent. The crowd booms, "EAGLE!"