When the clock ran out in the Arkansas-Texas A&M college football game on Sept. 25, Rachael Harris hit the send tweet button and watched the likes roll in.
This instance was one example of the innovative exhibition that is social media trolling in college football these days. The practice has become fine art crafted by athletic department creative teams and has been on the rise this season.
It’s not just about posting a picture of the score or stats, or trying to craft a finely worded recap of the game anymore. Those are boring.
Creative teams have found a way to engage with the fans in an entertaining and unique way that has brought more eyeballs to their accounts and thus programs than ever before.
Harris is the director of digital strategy for Arkansas and runs the football social media accounts. Her team of six people whipped up a graphic showing Texas A&M ‘s mascot, Reveille, lying on the turf, staring off in the distance with a hint of melancholy in her eye with the final score of the game plastered below.
Arkansas 20, Texas A&M 10. pic.twitter.com/kAhuYig7lY — Arkansas Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) September 25, 2021 That tweet was one of 10 fired off from the Arkansas football account trolling the Aggies after the Razorbacks’ win. One included a photoshopped remake of an ESPN commercial with Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher trying to change the radio station in a car playing the Arkansas fight song with Sam Pittman sitting next to him. Record player. Jukebox. Radio. Don’t matter.
TURN IT UP pic.twitter.com/HpGzdgl7SC — Arkansas Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) September 25, 2021 Another showed a photoshopped picture of Fisher on the ground in an old "Lassie" episode, implying Lassie was Reveille and that Fisher needed help against the Razorbacks. How do you stop 30-50 feral Hogs that run into your yard within 3-5 mins pic.twitter.com/m3L75LqjQO — Arkansas Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) September 25, 2021 For Harris and her team, it was first about dipping their toes in the water to figure out where the line was and how far was too far with new coach Sam Pittman. The accounts have to reflect the coach and athletic department, but not every coach is on board with causing a scene or poking fun at an opponent.
"There was a point in quarantine a year ago that ‘Tiger King’ was a thing and we posted a graphic of [Pittman] as Tiger King," Harris said. "I think we said Hog King, and [Pittman] was just like, ‘Well, that’s weird, but OK.’ And once we posted that, we were all like, ‘OK, we’re good, we can post whatever we want.’"
That test has turned into an onslaught of hilarious posts from the Arkansas Twitter account, including a Thomas the Tank Engine edit after Arkansas beat Ole Miss in 2020. It featured Thomas with a bandanna wrapped around his face with Eli Manning’s number on the front so people knew it was supposed to be Lane Kiffin, who had been referred to as the "Lane […]