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  • Select 17 – Week 3

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Posts Tagged ‘Arkansas Razorbacks’

Arkansas Football Team to be Featured Next Month in ESPN TV Series

Posted by Adam Butler on September 14, 2011

The University of Arkansas Football team is one of four (along with Oklahoma State, Auburn and Wisconsin) that will be featured next month in an original ESPN TV series, Depth Chart, which is  part of the network’s Year of the Quarterback initiative.

The series begins Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN and will air on consecutive Wednesdays in the same time slot. Arkansas will wrap the series on Oct. 26. The series will be narrated by ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit.

So much for the ESP*I*N bias against Arkansas (unless of course the series casts Arkansas in a bad light–in which case I reserve the right to complain incessantly).

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

BlogHawgs Razorback Rewind–Week 2

Posted by Adam Butler on September 12, 2011

Second verse, same as the first. Arkansas did the expected in Week 2 and treated Los Lobos like Little Penny.  Here are our thoughts on Arkansas 52-3 victory over New Mexico after a day of reflection.

What We Saw in Week 2

The “Razorbacks Remember” tributes to the victims of 9/11 were tremendous. Whether it was the national anthem, fly over, the color coordination of the fans, the red, white and blue logos on the field and Hogs’ helmets, or the over-the-air salutes, they got it right. It was all done very well.

This just in: Arkansas’ wide receivers are fast. Very fast. Joe Adams, Jarius Wright and Cobi Hamilton (and you can throw Marquel Wade into the mix, too) have more speed than a handful of NFL teams’ wide receivers. It shows when UA QB Tyler Tyler Wilson gets them the ball in space. They–and the weak opponents–are the main reasons Arkansas has scored 50 points in back-to-back games for the first time since 1928.

–Wilson had a few bumps along the way, literally and figuratively. He again showed better touch on short passes than his predecessor, New England Patriot, Ryan Mallett. This led to plenty of yards after catch for his speed burner wideouts. But, Wilson also struggled some against zones, forcing things at times in the Red Zone, and failing to get the ball out of his hands quickly on another occasion. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There is value to learning from your mistakes and correcting them mid-game. As a QB, you aren’t always going to have your “A” game, but there a plenty of times you can win as long as you settle down and utilize the weapons at your disposal.

–For the second consecutive week, Wilson risked his health and safety at the goalline. Wilson took a hit and was rewarded with a TD just before half, but it also helped him punch an early ticket to the sidelines with concussion-like symptoms. Brandon Mitchell came in and moved the team, but we would like to see Wilson pick his spots a little better. There is a reason he is the starter and, for now, Mitchell is just the capable backup that adds a different dimension to the offense.

–Wilson wasn’t the only Hog to test the frayed nerves of Arkansas’ most anxious fans. Defensive end Jake Bequette went down in the 1st quarter with a leg injury, which wass later diagnosed as a strained hamstring. He returned to the sideline and did not have the look of a guy who expected to miss significant playing time, if any. Jarius Wright also tweaked his knee after again proving to be one of Wilson’s favorite targets. None of the three injuries appear to be serious and that is good news as Arkansas eyes a showdown with Alabama in a few weeks.

–Mitchell showed the explosiveness that had impressed coaches in camp, but as of yet, had not been on full display under the big lights. He was quick and decisive in the passing game, showed off a very strong arm and was a load on the run. Don’t get me wrong–there shouldn’t be, and isn’t–a quarterback controversy. But, just as we saw last year, the backup has to be ready at a moment’s notice, particularly if you have real title aspirations.

What We Didn’t See in Week 2

–The real Greg Childs. Numerous reports from  fall camp revealed that Childs is 100% physically after rehabbing from season-ending knee surgery last year. But, Childs clearly isn’t all the way back mentally. By my count, he had 3 passes targeted to him, and he looked like he wanted no part of them, coming out of his cuts timidly, and with his eyes on the approaching defenders. The old Childs would have snagged the passes, looked those guys up, and punished them.

While Arkansas, as a team, can probably overcome sub par numbers from Childs, I yearn to see him get back to his old form because Childs is a prototypical NFL wide receiver, and I would hate to see a career wasted because of the fateful tearing of his patella tendon. Look for Arkansas to get him the ball early next week in the hopes of getting his mind right heading into the showdown in Alabama.

What You May Not Have Seen in Week 2

–True freshman cornerback Tevin Mitchel (no typo, there) played early and often, and looks to have the athleticism and confidence to contribute meaningful SEC minutes this season.

–Senior defensive end Tenarius “Tank” Wright lived up to his nickname, as he punished UNM’s kicker on a fake field goal he stonewalled, and he generally had a nasty disposition all night. That’s a good thing. There will be no free lunch in the SEC and if Arkansas wants to continue to build as a program, it needs to play  like the biggest, baddest bully on the block–without picking up dumb personal fouls.

–We have an increasingly ridiculous tailgating situation at War Memorial Stadium. Yes, the tailgating is a lot of fun and the game atmosphere typically benefits. But, something has to be done about the guys who get too far into their cups. I saw one guy who had more “almost fights” than UNM had points. To say he was acting like a fool isn’t fair to fools. And, I am pretty sure “Rack ’em Willie”(NSFW) hung out near our vehicles for the entire second half There is alwayss going to be some riff raff, but I just don’t want to see any Bryan Stowe incidents at Hog games.

What We Hope to See in Week 3

–The running game needs to continue to improve. But for a fumble, Ronnie Wingo Jr. did just that. He had 73 yards on 12 carries and was, for the most part, quick, and decisive. Weakside offensive tackle Jason Peacock seemed to improve from Week 1 to Week 2 and will be worth watching next week to see if he grabs playing time ahead of Week 1 freshman Mitch Smothers.

–I want the old Greg Childs back. He is a beast, when he’s locked in. He just needs to remember that.

–Arkansas needs to take care of business, early. Troy is a step above the competition to date, and the Hogs don’t need to give them any reason to believe they can leave Fayetteville with a huge upset. And, the Razorbacks need to be able to get their starters some action but keep them healthy for the SEC opener on September 24th.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

Select 17 – Week 3

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 12, 2011

Not a lot of movement in this week’s poll.  The chalk walked this past weekend, although a few had to pull out minor miracles to get it done.  Ohio State looks very fragile, Mississippi State showed it is not quite ready for prime time, and Arkansas flexed against a weak opponent for the 2nd straight week.  Week Three presents a few marquee games, notably Florida State v. Oklahoma.  The conference schedules are about to get into full swing over the next 2 weeks, and that means this is the last week we’ll see a Select 17 with this little movement.

Rank Team Votes LW
1 Oklahoma (6) 147 1
2 Alabama (2) 144 2
3 LSU (1) 133 3
4 Stanford 115 4
5 Wisconsin 107 6
6 Boise St 106 5
7 Florida St. 97 7
8 Arkansas 91 8
9 Texas A&M 75 9
10 Nebraska 73 10
11 Oklahoma St. 60 11
12 Virginia Tech 59 12
13 South Carolina 53 14
14 Oregon 41 13
15 Michigan St. 28 16
16 Florida 22 NR
17 Ohio St. 10 17

Others Receiving Votes:  West Virginia 6, Baylor 5, Arizona St. 2, South Florida 2, Auburn 1

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Select 17 – Week 3

Gameday

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 10, 2011

Good Morning and a Hearty Wooooooooooo, Pig Sooie

The Hogs take on New Mexico this evening at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.  Kickoff is set for 6:05pm and will be televised on ESPNU.  For details today’s 9/11 Tribute at War Memorial – including the Red, White, and Blue Out seating chart, you can check here.

As for the game itself, no one expects this one to be close at all.  New Mexico is completely out-manned on both sides of the ball, both on the field and in the coaching booths.  The Lobos offensive line leaks like a sieve, the defense does not have the depth needed to challenge a national power, and the special teams do not appear to be very special.  Meanwhile Arkansas looked as dominant as I can recall in a season opener last week, pushing around an inferior opponent like you expect an SEC title contender to do.  Look for the Hogs to run a similar gameplan this week, strengthening their base offense and defense while adding a few new wrinkles.  However do not expect a fully expanded playbook.  There’s no reason to give Alabama and Nick Saban anything to study that they might see in 2 weeks.

BlogHawgs Prediction:  Arkansas 55, New Mexico 10

What Others Are Saying

ESPN.com SEC Bloggers

Edward Aschoff:Tyler Wilson was good, but not great in his starting debut last week. The Razorbacks didn’t need him to be great, but he should improve this week and spread the ball around even more. … Arkansas 44, New Mexico 7

Chris Low: The Hogs put a couple of special teams touchdowns on the board last week in the opener thanks to Joe Adams’ punt return prowess. Don’t be surprised if the defense gets into the act this Saturday in a second straight rout for the Hogs. … Arkansas 48, New Mexico 10

Bruce Feldman, CBSSPorts.com

Arkansas 49, New Mexico 6: Tyler Wilson and his stud WRs (Jarius Wright and Joe Adams and crew) are too good for the Lobos, and the Hogs’ D will feast on a New Mexico offense that surrendered 10 sacks in last week’s loss to CSU.

College Football News

What Will Happen: Target practice. Arkansas should be able to do whatever it wants offensively, and while New Mexico will provide more of a defensive speed bump than Missouri State, this could be over after about ten minutes.

CFN Prediction: Arkansas 45 … New Mexico 6

Feel free to post your predictions, thoughts, and reactions to all of college football today.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Razorback Rewarded

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 5, 2011

To no one’s surprise, Arkansas’s Joe Adams was named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week.  Adams racked up more punt return yardage (174) than Missouri State did total yardage (163) while returning 2 punts for touchdowns.  Adams was the first SEC player to score twice on punt returns since Derek Abney did it for Kentucky in 2002.  After one week Adams leads the SEC and ranks 4th nationally in punt return average at 29 yards/return.

I cannot imagine many teams kicking to Adams the rest of this year.  He is quickly developing a Devin Hester reputation.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

One for the Road

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 2, 2011

It’s been another big week here at BlogHawgs.com, and we thank you for making us part of your routine.  Football season is upon us, and judging by the work productivity I’ve noticed today everyone has mentally checked out for the holiday weekend.  Arkansas kicks off against Missouri State tomorrow night at 6:05 in Fayetteville at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.  If you’re not heading to The Hill you can watch the game via PPV for $34.95.  Follow us on Twitter for updates from around college football tomorrow and of course during the Hogs game tomorrow night.

Here are a few of our more popular stories from this week.

The Football Binge Survival Guide

ESPN’s Rick Reilly Picks Arkansas to Win National Title

Evaluating the SEC East

Evaluating the SEC West

Red Swarm – 2011 Arkansas Defensive Preview

Proving Its Points – 2011 Arkansas Offensive Preview

Free Money

2011 SEC Predictions

——-

This week’s One for the Road comes in video form.  With excitement for a new football season at the boiling point, we wanted to take a stroll through the 2010 season one last time.  These are some YouTube videos cataloging some of the Arkansas Razorbacks highlights from a season that ended in New Orleans.  Here’s hoping they head back to The Big Easy this winter.

Have a great weekend and GO HOGS!

HARD KNOCK LIFE

TYLER WILSON AT AUBURN

TOP 10 PLAYS OF 2010 RAZORBACK FOOTBALL SEASON

Posted in Commentary, Sports | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

A Sense of Calm

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 2, 2011

For the second time in as many weeks, the Arkansas Times has come through with an excellent sports column.  I’m still surprised about the last one, not because it has poor content (It was quite good.) but because it came from the Arkansas Times.  AT is not exactly a place folks typically turn to find sports info or commentary.  Keep up the good work, guys.

This week Beau Wilcox writes about the sense of calm and stability surrounding the Arkansas program.  For long-time Hogs fans, it’s a very unnatural feeling.  In past seasons an injury like that to Knile Davis would have spelled doom for the entire year.  While it’s a blow, Wilcox correctly points to the fact that head coach Bobby Petrino appears calm, cool, and collected heading into the season without his all-SEC running back.

On balance, the roster has never had such quality and quantity, a proverbial embarrassment of riches. We are unaccustomed to that after years (decades, even) of slipshod player recruitment and retention. This coaching staff pinpoints needs and labors to fill them.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on A Sense of Calm

2011 SEC Predictions

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 2, 2011

It’s finally here.

College football kicked off last night, proving once again that God does love us and wants us to be happy.  Mississippi State and Wisconsin rolled, Kentucky survived, and Syracuse pulled off a dramatic comeback…that no one could watch on television.  It looks like the major sports broadcasting networks are already in midseason form.

The time has come for the brain trust at BlogHawgs.com to impart some knowledge to you the reader.  We have sifted through the reports, analyzed the data, and come to our predictions.  We have been reasonably successful with these in the past, and I’m pretty confident these predictions will stand the test of time.

EAST

  1. Georgia – Mark Richt will turn it around this year, and it could be a remarkable turnaround at that.  While I see a path to an unbeaten season, I’m not about to go down that road.  All the Bulldogs road games are ones they can win, but the lack of depth at RB and development of new receivers creates too much doubt for me to make the big, bold prediction.  They’ll probably end up dropping one of those roadies and stumble at home against Mississippi State.  Predicted Finish:  9-3, 6-2
  2. South Carolina – When it comes down to it, I just cannot trust this team enough to pick them to win the division.  On paper they have the most talent and experience, which typically makes a team an obvious choice.  But the defense is just young enough in the front seven and the schedule includes tons of tough road games, meaning a traditionally mentally weak team needs to overcome its inner demons if they want to win the division.  I just don’t see it with this group.  Predicted Finish:  9-3, 5-3
  3. Florida – The Gators look like this year’s wild card team in the East.  It’s very difficult to predict how they’ll respond to wholesale coaching changes after six seasons with Urban Meyer.  The offense will look quite different, while the defense replaces most of its starters.  The talent is there and the coaches are excellent.  Overall, the schedule presents a number of potholes that make me think this team in transition needs one year before they compete for the title.  Predicted Finish: 7-5, 4-4
  4. Tennessee – Derek Dooley pulled off a minor miracle getting UT to a bowl game last year.  It’ll take that same type of effort to do it again in 2011.  The Vols have three brutal conference road games and still has to host three Top 25 teams at home on top of that.  With a quarterback that has the keys to the offense for the first time and inexperienced playmakers on the edge, it’s a year too early to expect the Volunteers have a real shot to win the division.  Predicted Finish: 7-5, 3-5
  5. Vanderbilt – I’ve made my affection for James Franklin known.  I think he’ll make Vanderbilt a competitive football program by implementing a dynamic offense and recruiting harder than anyone else in the free world.  This team will show some spark – and win one game they shouldn’t – but ultimately the talent and lack of depth limit the Commodores.  Predicted Finish: 5-7, 2-6
  6. Kentucky – To be fair, I had Kentucky tied with Vanderbilt for the league bottom before they looked like the Magnolia Junior High JV squad last night.  The Wildcats lost their playmakers to the NFL and have to completely retool their offense.  The experienced offensive line will help those guys grow, but this looks like a team that will struggle.  The defense will do their best to keep them in games, but ultimately this is a rebuilding year for Kentucky.  Predicted Finish: 5-7, 1-7

WEST

  1. Alabama – This is a very tough pick, but the Crimson Tide defense is just that good.  The offense will produce enough and hit its rhythm in late October.  The schedule is a big problem, but the tough road games are against teams that have several questions themselves.  They’ll probably drop one of those – and that’s it.  The defense is that good.  Predicted Finish: 11-1, 7-1
  2. Arkansas – As much as we’d like to pick Arkansas to win the division, there are just enough questions about the offense and the schedule to keep us from doing that.  Tyler Wilson should be all-SEC caliber QB, and I expect Ronnie Wingo, Jr. to put up a 1,000 yard season.  Unfortunately for Arkansas, this team has to go to Tuscaloosa early in the season.  While they certainly could win that game, it’s not a game we’re willing to say they will win.  We are willing to say, however, that is the only game they’ll lose.  Predicted Finish:  11-1, 7-1
  3. Mississippi State – The Bulldogs are about to make The Leap.  I think MSU very well may challenge both Alabama and Arkansas for the SEC West title.  In fact, I tend to think they’ll actually beat Alabama in Starkville.  They have talent, experience, and a schedule designed for success not seen at Mississippi State since the last ‘90s.  They have two very difficult road games at Georgia and Arkansas, but everything else looks like a game where MSU will be favored or less than a TD underdog.  Mississippi State is for real.  Someone needs to hire Dan Mullen away from there before he builds a legit contender year in and year out.  Although, it may already be too late.  Predicted Finish:  10-2, 6-2
  4. LSU – No one questions the talent in Baton Rouge.  Everyone questions the coaching and leadership.  Off field distractions, multiple suspensions, and a difficult schedule make LSU the team most likely to be a bust in 2011.  From the outside looking in, it appears Les Miles has a team in chaos.  You simply cannot win a championship like that.  Predicted Finish:  7-5, 5-3
  5. Auburn – The War Eagle Tigers need to rebuild this year.  Both sides of the ball lack key personnel from last year’s BCS championship team.  Gus Malzhan’s offense will score points; they did that before Cam Newton ever saw the field.  Auburn will not be able to produce at the pace from 2010, though.  The schedule is brutal, and they also have to worry about the championship hangover effect.  I don’t see a very fun year on the Plains.  Predicted Finish: 5-7, 2-6
  6. Mississippi – The Rebels have a long, long way to go.  The talent level does not compare to their division rivals, and the coaching staff … well … Arkansas fans know all about the coaching staff.  The Mississippi defense will find it difficult to improve on their ghastly 2010 season, and the offense has only one true playmaker (Brandon Bolden) on which it can rely.  Add to it an SEC schedule filled with difficult road games, and it’s hard to find much reason for optimism in Oxford.  Predicted Finish:  2-10, 0-8

2011 SEC BOWL GAME PREDICTIONS

BCS National Championship Game – Alabama

It’s rare to pick a team to play for it all when that team has an inexperienced pair of QBs like Bama.  It’s an easier decision, though, when the defense is as good as Nick Saban’s group this year.

Sugar Bowl – Arkansas

The Hogs return to New Orleans, upset that they won’t be playing there a week later.  They’ll also be there to prove that they are good enough to be in that game the following week.

Capital One Bowl – Georgia

The Bulldogs may sneak into the BCS, but a loss in the SEC Championship Game will force them to the best of the second-tier games.  It will be a nice reward for Mark Richt and the athletics administration that stood by their man.

Cotton Bowl – Mississippi State

The streets of Dallas will be filled with overalls and cowbells in early January.  Mississippi State will have earned some national respect and a trip to one of the best non-BCS bowl games out there.

Chick-fil-A Bowl – LSU

If South Carolina hadn’t gone to this game last year, they’d probably get the nod.  But Atlanta will welcome a loyal fanbase that will buy lots and lots of tickets.

Outback Bowl – South Carolina

This will be a disappointing ending to a season that started with such high hopes.  Perhaps it will also mark the last game for Steve Spurrier at Carolina.

Gator Bowl – Florida

Seems appropriate, no?  The Gators should enjoy this trip, because it’s the last one they’ll make to the Gator Bowl for quite a while.  This is a team headed in the right direction.

Music City Bowl – Tennessee

Back-to-back trips to Nashville for Tennessee fans may not be a great reward, but simply playing in a bowl game is a huge accomplishment.  Dooley is laying the foundation for a program that will go bowling out of state next season.

Liberty Bowl & BBVA Compass Bowl – Not enough SEC teams will qualify for bowls this year.  Both Vanderbilt and Auburn could make it happen, but right now we just can’t endorse those picks.

Posted in SEC Preview, Sports | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Proving Its Points–2011 Arkansas Razorbacks Offensive Preview

Posted by Adam Butler on September 1, 2011

Death. Taxes. A Potent Bobby Petrino Offense. Some things in life are inevitable.

Welcome to the 2011 football season. It’s going to be fun.

Yes, there are offensive question marks–specifically a rebuilt offensive line and running game that will have to be productive minus its fallen superstar, All-SEC running back Knile Davis, who broke his ankle early in Fall practice and is out for the season. But, when it comes to offense, when Petrino has his players, almost without fail he has the right answers.

In 13 years as a collegiate Offensive Coordinator or Head Coach, Petrino’s offenses have finished in the Top 10 nationally 7 times and in the Top 20 nationally 8 times. Of the remaining 5 years, 3 were spent setting school records at college football outpost Utah State and another featured quarterback Casey Dick and a cast of other characters that were better suited for ANY kind of offense other than Petrino’s.

At Arkansas, Petrino has averaged 21.9 (2008), 36.0 (2009) and 36.5 (2010) points per game. That sure seems like a trend. It is also bad news for opposing SEC fans considering Petrino has plenty of weapons at his disposal.

But, just as yesterday, rather than provide a position-by-position, 3-deep breakdown of the offense I have instead limited my analysis to a more reader-friendly format. You can thank me later.

Arkansas’ Offense Will be Dominant If…..

The offensive line is able to mesh quickly. Generally speaking, having to replace both offensive tackles (3-year starters DeMarcus Love and Ray Dominguez), 3 offensive lineman total (including  would-be senior Seth Oxner), and a Mackey Award winning tight end (DJ Williams) is a recipe for disaster.

Unlike the previous Arkansas regime, though, Petrino and company have made sure the cupboard isn’t bare.

Arkansas has a pair of Grants–Cook and Freeman at guard and tackle, respectively, who are going into their 5th year in the program and have shown they can compete in the SEC. They are the type of seasoned, steady players that have to step up (and usually do) when their time finally comes.

In the middle, center Travis Swanson and  guard Alvin Bailey shined last year as underclassmen and have the look of players that could be All-SEC caliber. Massive, but agile freshmen Brey Cook and Mitch Smothers could have signed anywhere in the country, and will play a big part in the O-line equation. JUCO transfer Jason Peacock will battle Smothers  for the weakside tackle spot while working to avoid the slow transition that sometimes hampers JUCO transfers. Fellow JUCO transfer Chris Stringer was once a likely redshirt candidiate, but may see action for depth purposes.

Junior Colton Miles-Nash has returned to tight end (from DE) after getting significant playing time on offense as a freshman. He is a physical presence that knows the tricks of the trade for both a TE and DE and will often be asked to seal the edge for Arkansas’ running backs. Junior Chris Gragg –a high school wide receiver–is a legitimate threat in the passing game.

The Arkansas staff has mixed and matched a lot in the preseason in order to examine combinations and prepare for the shuffling that is required every season due to injuries that come during the grind of an SEC season. Arkansas’ offense has the luxury of a 3-week, in-state dress rehearsal (Missouri State, New Mexico, Troy State) for the conference opener at Alabama on September 24th. If the offensive line can give hold its own there, the 2011 season could be a great one.

Arkansas’ Offense Will Be a Disappointment If…..

it fails to average 30 points a game. Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson proved last year by torching eventual national champion Auburn on the road that he is capable of big things. If Wilson remains healthy and isn’t an asset, after four spring camps with Petrino, he will be the first to so fail.

Wilson will have plenty of help. The quartet of Greg Childs, Joe Adams, Jarius Wright and Cobi Hamilton is the best group of wide receivers in the country. No one in the country has a 4th receiver that is a prime NFL prospect. And, others like Marquel Wade, who, due in large part to running back depth concerns may have wrestled the kickoff return duties away from Dennis Johnson, are ready if called upon. Look for Arkansas to use the non-conference slate to tinker with the running game while putting as little as possible on film for Alabama to study.

The One Offensive Player Arkansas Can Least Afford to Lose Is…..

Tyler Wilson.

After season-ending injuries to running backs Knile Davis and Broderick Green, another loss at running back would be a stomach punch. Although juniors Dennis Johnson and Ronnie Wingo Jr. are a capable running back duo, they need to stay healthy. But, without a quarterback to get the offense out of bad plays and distribute the ball, Arkansas’ offensive strength–its playmakers–could be minimized and its potential weakness–offensive line inexperience–could be exposed.

Junior backup quarterback  Brandon Mitchell has the tools to play in the SEC and is likely to see action early even if Wilson remains healthy. But, he hasn’t taken live bullets and after having  a great spring camp he struggled with the presence of plenty of backsides on bleachers at the Arkansas Spring game, making one worry that he may not be quite ready for prime time.

The Player With the Most Potential For Arkansas Fans to Either Love or Hate Is…..

Ronnie Wingo Jr.

Wingo has all the talent in the world, and as we have discussed in this space, he has shown it at times. But, he has also been prone to dancing and softness. Reports out of Fall Camp, and Wingo’s performance during the spring game (62 yards and 1 touchdown on 11 carries) have given Hog fans high hopes. That will all change the first time Wingo tap dances into a hole at Tuscaloosa. There is perhaps no player on the team who needs to have a good start more than Wingo, Jr. If he reaches his potential–look out.

Arkansas’ Offfense Will Put The Razorbacks in Position to Win the SEC West If…..

The running game is solid and the receivers minimize drops and dumb mistakes in big games. Former UA QB Ryan Mallett took the blame for the Sugar Bowl loss to Ohio State, but that one–at least as it pertains to the offense–was on the Hogs’ wide receivers and overmatched offensive tackles.

Despite putting up good numbers on paper, Joe Adams had a night to forget in Nola. Even D.J. Williams’ trusty hands betrayed him with a drop late in the loss, costing him the school career receptions record and the team 4  potential game-winning shots at the end zone from the doorstep.

If Arkansas wants to get over the hump, its supremely talented receivers have to go to Bama, take on the top defense in the nation, and win their share of battles. If they do that, Arkansas could be Ringing the Bell and Calling the Hogs at The Capstone.

Posted in SEC Preview, Sports | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Red Swarm–2011 Arkansas Defensive Preview

Posted by Adam Butler on August 31, 2011

Defense Wins Championships.

Saying that phrase is cliché’ is like suggesting “Throwing someone under the bus” and “Jumping the Shark” have, well, Jumped the Shark. But, like most oft-used expressions–it’s true.

Contrary to popular belief, last year proved the point. Yes, Auburn and Oregon averaged 42 and 49 points per game, respectively, but it was the Tigers’ sometimes suspect defense that brought home the hardware, holding The Ducks 30 points below their season average on the way to the BCS championship.

The good news for Arkansas is that after being downright offensive when head coach Bobby Petrino and defensive coordinator Willy Robinson took over in 2008, the Razorbacks defense has the swagger and talent to be one of the best units in the nation.

Dismiss the thought as blatant homerism if you must but consider: Arkansas returns 7 starters from a defense that was the SEC leader in 3rd down conversion percentage (8th in the nation) second in the SEC in sacks (2.85) (12th in the nation) 3rd in the SEC tackles for loss, (7.31)(13th in nation) and 20th in the nation in passing yards allowed per game.

While stats can admittedly be deceiving, peers and pundits can often be a good talent barometer, too. . And, for the first time in a long time, they have forecast thunder and lightning from the Razorbacks defense as six different Razorback defenders have been named to either the AP or Coaches All-SEC teams. (DE Jake Bequette, LB Jerry Franklin, safety Tramain Thomas, defensive end Tenarius Wright and linebacker Jerico Nelson).

Interestingly though, two guys who aren’t on either list–JUCO defensive tackle transfer Robert Thomas and blue-chip cornerback turned occasional enigma Darius Winston–may be the key to Arkansas’ defense climbing from good to great. (SEE BELOW)

Rather than provide a position-by-position, 3-deep breakdown of the defense I have instead limited my analysis to a more reader-friendly format. You can thank me later.

Arkansas’ Defense Will be Dominant If…..

JUCO transfer Robert Thomas is as good as advertised. Yes, I have been guilty in the past of over-hyping physically freakish JUCO transfers in this space. The name Anthony Leon comes to mind. But Thomas seems different. Longtime observers of Arkansas practice–guys that can unblinkingly be dubbed experts in the field of Razorback football–have emerged from Fall practices touting Thomas as not only a great player–but the best player on the Arkansas roster.

If Thomas “merely” produces well enough to make the postseason All-SEC lists, Arkansas should have one of the Top 20 overall defenses in the country. If–as some trained, but typically conservative observers think–he is a SEC Defensive Player of the Year caliber talent, then the Arkansas defense could be one of the best in the country–the type that goes on the road in the SEC in hostile venues and emerges with wins.

Arkansas’ Defense Will Be a Disappointment If…..

It does not continue to develop swagger on the road.

Let’s be honest. Arkansas has enough talent on both sides of the ball (and on special teams) and enough meat on the bone during the middle of the year that it should have another very solid season. But, the true measure of this team will be how it performs during two road trips–Tuscaloosa and Baton Rouge–that bookend the SEC season.

If–as Arkansas believes–it has the luxury of having the most interior line depth it has had on campus in many years–the Hogs should be able to stop the run without loading the box (ie bringing an 8th defender close to the line of scrimmage). This would force Bama and LSU to throw the ball down the field to be successful. That is not something that those run-dominant offenses want to do.

The Hogs played well enough and made enough crucial defensive plays to win on the road against a trio of emerging programs last season (USCE, MSU and Texas A&M) and another traditional blue blood (UGA) but spit the bit during two halves (2nd half at Auburn and 1st half of the Sugar Bowl) dredging up old memories of lumbering running backs breaking off career long runs.

To avoid similar dream-ending snafus, the rotating defensive tackle sixtet of Thomas, Byran and Dede Jones, Alfred Davis, Zach Stadther and Lavunce Askew will have to be a force. The good news for Razorback fans is that it should be.

The One Defensive Player Arkansas Can Least Afford to Lose Is…..

linebacker Jerry Franklin.

Franklin has spent time in and out of Head Coach Bobby Petrino’s doghouse during his career at Arkansas. But, in the meantime, he has managed to lead the UA in tackles for 3 straight seasons–a feat that has only been accomplished one other time at Arkansas since 1960.

Franklin won’t wow you with any facet of his game. He isn’t the fastest linebacker you’ve ever seen and he isn’t the hardest hitter you will run across. But, there is something to be said for knowing where you need to be, getting there and making the tackle–even if it’s ugly.

Making Franklin even more indispensable is that during his career he has logged playing time at each of the three linebacker positions and his backups at middle linebacker Terrell Williams and Braylon Mitchell don’t have much SEC experience.

The Player With the Most Potential For Arkansas Fans to Either Love or Hate Is…..

Darius Winston.

Arkansas fans love to hate cornerbacks–even the good ones. Recent examples include Ahmad “Batman” Carroll, Lawrence Richardson and Ramon Broadway. Winston is well on his way to adding his name to this list.

Don’t get me wrong. I think the proverbial light bulb came on at the end of last year for Winston. He was left on an island during the second half of the Sugar Bowl and he availed himself well in both pass coverage and run support (an area where he had been lacking earlier in his career). I expect him to be an asset this season.

Now, though, the question with Winston is whether he can become a consistent force that takes away half of the field. If the answer is no, and he again displays tantalizing glimpses of greatness only to be followed by head-scratching missed assignments, Arkansas fans have shown they will turn on him.

Likewise, if he is perfect 99 times, and gives up 1 deep ball, Arkansas fans will turn on him. So, the moral of the story is that Arkansas fans are going gripe about Winston and any other defensive back that has the audacity to play a very visible position less than perfectly.

That’s why Winston might as well make the leap, live up to his five-star talent, become a early-round NFL draft pick at some point in the future and wonder, on the way between trips to the bank, why Arkansas fans can’t wrap their minds around the fact that cornerbacks aren’t the only players that occasionally get beat by the guy across from them who also happens to be a scholarship SEC athlete.

Arkansas’ Defense Will Put The Razorbacks in Position to Win the SEC West If…..

it gives up fewer than 45 combined points at Alabama and LSU.

If you think that’s a stretch, consider that Arkansas gave up 47 combined to those teams a year ago, and although those games were played in Arkansas, both Alabama and LSU have significant concerns at quarterback.

Bama is relying on a 2-quarterback system with a redshirt freshman (Phillip Sims–no relation to former NFLer and current CBS NFL analyst Phil Simms) and a A.J.McCarron, a guy who was so bad in mop top up duty last year that Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban LITERALLY spanked him on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, in Red Stick, the Tigers will be relying on a would-be 3-year starter that just allegedly hit his first target in years (Jordan Jefferson), a loyal redshirt senior with some experience, albeit mostly of the interception-throwing, character-building variety (Jarrett Lee), and a JUCO transfer who, depending upon whom you ask is either a sexual batterer or a kid who just happened to grope an unwilling women the first time he drank alcohol (Zack Mettenberger).

In other words, neither Bama nor LSU’s offense should be vintage. If the Hogs are going to return to a BCS game and/or contend for the SEC West (and thereby the BCS) title they will have to capitalize by limiting big plays and ending the annual game of “What If?” that Razorback fans seemingly have had to play every time Arkansas has had a chance at a national championship since 1964.

Posted in Commentary, Sports | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

The Football Binge Survival Guide

Posted by Brett Kincaid on August 29, 2011

Don't Be This Guy

It’s finally here!  The season kicks off on Thursday, the Hogs play on Saturday, and we have college football all the way to Monday night.  If you have not begun to make preparations, you are far behind the curve.  Much like the games themselves, preparation is the key to success for a college football connoisseur.  Seasoned veterans know this.  For newlyweds just now facing the challenge of football season as a married man or long married men looking to make the leap, it’s a new season and your time to shine.

This is our attempt to help you navigate the world of the football binge.  It is riddled with landmines and pitfalls, but you can do it.  We have done it.  By heeding our advise – based on years of trial and error – you, too, can enjoy the college football season while simultaneously enjoying a happy home life.

I have learned that planning your weekends in advance can lead you to the biggest success.  You need to make sure one weekend of football does not come at the cost of a week of iciness at home with the wife.  In most cases, any man worth his stones can arrange at least one all day binge per month while still not missing any important games on non-binge weekends.  By successfully planning your fall weekends you can definitely enjoy a fulfilling season with tons of football and a happy home life.

There are three principles you must follow if you have any hope of pulling off a successful football season and home life simultaneously:

  • PLAN YOUR SEASON
  • PRESENT YOUR PLAN
  • LIMIT YOUR FAYETTEVILLE GAMES

Following these rules will not guarantee success, but it will certainly increase your odds.  If you are a thoughtless pig all the time, stepping your game up during football season won’t get you too far.  If you have a spouse that acts like your mother, then you have bigger problems – AND this won’t work for you.  However, if you have a good, healthy relationship with your wife this plan will get you to the college football life you want.

PLAN YOUR SEASON

It is easy to identify one big weekend per month that has the best games.  Once we get into conference season, it’s easy to argue that EVERY weekend is big.  I understand that and once lived by that mantra.  As a married man and father, though, it has become much more important to identify THE weekends of September, October, November, and December that require my full attention.  The importance of picking your spots guarantees success both on and off the field during the fall.

Example Schedule for a Razorback Fan

  • September 24 – Hogs at Alabama
  • October 22 – Hogs at Mississippi
  • November 12 – Tennessee at Hogs
  • December 3 – Championship Weekend

September 24 – Hogs at Alabama:  This is a perfect setup.  The game is out of town, so you have the ability to easily catch the Hogs AND all the remaining games that matter that weekend.  There are several big games that weekend (LSU at West Virginia, Oklahoma St. at Texas A&M, and Missouri at Oklahoma to name a few) but the Hogs/Tide will probably feature the two highest ranked teams.  This means a 2:30 CBS kickoff is all but guaranteed, meaning you can easily bookend that with marquee games.  There are also 2 Pac-12 conference games in Arizona that night (Oregon at UA and USC at ASU), meaning a quad-header is on the table.

There is a huge temptation to binge on the first weekend.  While it has become tradition for the BlogHawgs, I definitely discourage the practice by rookies or second-year players.  This is a veteran move only to be attempted by skilled practitioners.

October 22 – Hogs at Ole Miss:  This is a tough call.  The Hogs/Aggies weekend would typically be the choice here, but that presents the always tricky back-to-back binge weekend.  I strongly advise against that.  (More on the Aggies/Hogs later.)  The month of October also includes the Hogs OPEN weekend (not to be confused with a BYE weekend).  I can see your wheels turning.  DO NOT WASTE A BINGE WEEKEND HERE!  That leaves you with three other options, one of which includes a home game.  Always try to avoid a binger on home game weekends in the event you get to go to that game.  So that leaves us with Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.  Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to avoid binging on weekends where your favorite team plays a patsy.

That leaves us with Arkansas at Mississippi.  Clearly, this game sparks passion within the fan base.  That’s a great element to the shared experience of binging on football.  Looking at the rest of the schedule, you’ll see plenty of potentially great games.  That’s Alabama/Tennessee weekend, one of the better SEC rivalry games.  You’ve also got Auburn/LSU and USC/Notre Dame that weekend.  By identifying three other marquee television games that likely will not conflict with the Hogs/Rebels (very likely an early kickoff game) you’ve ensured a very strong Saturday of college football.

November 12 – Vols at Hogs:  You’ll notice we violate one of the main tenets of the plan.  Unfortunately the schedule works against us as fans – but not the Hogs as a team – with three consecutive games in Arkansas during November.  So we have to dig a little deeper to find our binge weekend.  Given all the other elements, Tennessee appears to be the strongest option in this Sophie’s Choice.

The first November weekend is against South Carolina in Fayetteville.  Both teams will almost certainly be inside the Top 20, and that’s Homecoming weekend.  November 19 has the Hogs taking on Mississippi State in Little Rock.  You simply cannot schedule a binge weekend during a Little Rock game.  The following week is Thanksgiving week, which immediately disqualifies the LSU game.  (Most fans have developed traditions around this annual post-Thanksgiving game, further marking this as a terrible weekend to binge.)

So that brings us back to Tennessee.  For the non-NWA Hog fan, this presents a difficult back-to-back roadie.  Heading out of town in back-to-back weekends creates a potential hostile environment at home.  That close to the holidays it’s not worth the risk.  Finally, the Tennessee/Arkansas weekend provides a great slate of games nationally.  Take a look at these matchups:

  • Alabama at Mississippi St.
  • Oregon at Stanford
  • Miami (FL) at Florida St.
  • Nebraska at Penn St.
  • Auburn at Georgia
  • TCU at Boise St.
  • Florida at South Carolina

That is a tour de force of college football action.  Regardless of the kickoff time for Arkansas/Tennessee, you will be treated to a full slate of meaningful games that weekend.  For someone who loves the game it’s hard to justify missing this weekend of televised games.

December 3 – Championship Game Weekend:  In addition to the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta (where you may actually be if things go right), all other BCS conference championship games are that weekend.  This includes the inaugural championship games of the Big 10 and Pac-12.  It goes without saying that this is a weekend designated for college football.

PRESENT YOUR PLAN

It’s been said that communication is the key to a happy marriage.  Never more is that true than during the football season.  Remember – your wife knows you love it.  You are not fooling anyone.  Confront the season directly. Let her know that you’ve thought about the season and have developed a plan.  This has multiple benefits, but there are a few key ones to note:

  • It lets your wife know that you care about her schedule.  Planning = Love
  • A clearly researched and presented proposal is not easy to summarily reject.
  • A schedule allows your wife to make contingency plans on those weekends.  That is far better than dropping the bomb on Thursday of Binge Week, catching her off guard and increasing the likelihood of arguments.
  • Most importantly, this let’s your wife know you want to spend quality time at home with the family.

Planning is huge, communication is even bigger.  Sharing your plan early makes life much easier at home.  It’s best to remember that you’re not in college anymore.  Doing that allows you to act like you’re in college at least one Saturday per month during the season.

LIMIT THE GAMES YOU ATTEND

This is the most difficult principle for some to observe.  If you live in NWA and plan to attend all the games at Reynolds Razorback Stadium, you can apply these same principles to make sure you get to The Hill as often as you want.  Otherwise you may want to go ahead and skip this section.

For non-NWA fans the travel to and from Fayetteville takes up a ton of time which may require sacrificing binging with your buddies.  By following these principles you can guarantee at least 2 trips to RRS each season.  It takes discipline, but you will see a noticeable uptick in your enjoyment of the college football season.

For me it’s only worth the time and effort to attend an SEC game.  I understand the value of playing some soft teams early in order to work out the kinks for the football team.  But please don’t expect me to attend.

Evaluate the home conference slate.  Then select one game per month that you deem to be worthy of attending.  There will always be one October game.  You’ll then have to choose between September and November.  In even numbered years, Alabama always heads to Fayetteville in September.  That’s a n0-brainer.  In November of odd-numbered years you generally get South Carolina in addition to one of the rotating SEC East teams.  I usually like to catch an SEC East team outside of South Carolina, but that’s not always possible.

Pick your two games, and put them on your schedule.  By building those into your binge schedule, you can limit your back-t0-back football weekends to no more than 1 per season.  This is critical.  The more often you’re gone (whether at the game or at the bar), the more frustrated your wife will become.  Eliminating back-to-back weekends like that makes life much easier.

OTHER TIPS

Up Your Game – Your behavior during the week affects your ability to enjoy binge football weekends.  Be attentive.  Volunteer to go to the grocery story.  Pick up or drop off your kid(s) when you don’t have to do it.  Take care of dinner occasionally.  Mow the yard and take out the trash without being asked.  Upping your game at home makes it much easier to enjoy your games on the weekend, especially if you’re already a high-performer in the offseason.

Treat Binge Week like Game Week – If your team has a big game coming up, do you want to hear about your starting quarterback out partying during the week?  Of course not.  You shouldn’t either.  During the lead up to your binge weekend (or travel weekend), stay home as much as possible.  Avoid the Thursday Temptation.   Those games are often not very compelling, and you can just as easily watch it at home.  Treat Game Week like a pro so you can play like a champion.

Take Your Wife to a Game – Treating a game like a family trip has tremendous upside.  It almost certainly increases the number of games you get to attend.  It also gets you credit for quality time with the wife while still enjoying football.  That’s a helluva combo.  Even better, take your wife (and kids if they’re old enough) to Dallas for the Southwest Classic.  It’s a mini-family vacation, it involves football, and – as mentioned – you get credit for quality time while enjoying football.  Win-win

Schedule Family Time for the Open Weekend – Last year I took my wife out of town on the Hogs only open weekend.  It was one of the smartest things I’ve done in married life.  I still enjoyed parts of the games that weekend (like the Tenn-LSU final seconds and most of the Oregon-Stanford game), but most importantly I devoted that weekend to time with my wife.  It’s an oasis in the college football desert for football widows.  Honor that, and you’ll have a strong second half.

Watch Other Games at Home – Look, your wife expects you to want to watch your favorite team if they’re on television.  She’s no dummy.  For games not on your binge schedule, let your wife know what time the game starts and tell her you’d like to watch at home.  That way you get the joy of watching your game while still spending time with your family, tackling necessary chores around the house.

Host Friends and Spouses for a Game – Odds are that your wife likes to host people at your home.  Pick one of your non-binge weekends and have people over to your house.  Make sure your buddies bring their wives and kids.  Create a family friendly environment, too.  That’s very important.  Go ahead a enjoy a cold one while watching the game, but also take time to interact with your kid(s) while enjoying the game.  (This is a great activity for road games you expect your team to win.)

Planning.  Preparation.  Execution.  Create a gameplan Coach Petrino could appreciate, and you can have a BCS-level season even if your team doesn’t.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

One for the Road

Posted by Brett Kincaid on August 26, 2011

As we pack up and head for the weekend, here are links to a few of our most popular stories of the week.  We appreciate the fact that you choose to spend time here.  We’d be babbling on about these topics to ourselves no matter what.  It’s gratifying to know at least a few folks find it entertaining.

The War of Aggie SECcession

One Pheauxne Call

Ray Buchanan, Jr. Picks Arkansas over Mississippi

2011 NFL Preview – The NFC

2011 NFL Preview – The AFC

2011 NFL Preview – Playoffs

This week’s One for the Road comes from Grantland.com, the now essential site for sports fans looking for more than a game story.  It comes from John Brandon, the Grantland college football writer, who takes a refreshingly honest look at former Ohio St. University football coach Jim Tressel.  Rather than touting Tressel as a “good but flawed man” as so many other have, Brandon cuts right to the core of that flawed argument.  Tressel and coaches just like him all over college football chose the path of least resistance.

Coach, you did your job and did it well (until maybe at the culmination of each year, when you ran into a team of equal recruiting prowess and were handed your ass). But here’s the thing: If you’d had any interest in doing something that transcended your job description, something that might impress — rather than your choir of Buckeye faithful, someone like St. Peter, that something you could’ve done, particularly, would’ve been taking a kid whose head was ballooning and who was in dire need of tutelage concerning what it means to be a decent person and teammate and who before he ever attended a single college two-a-day was flashing signs of assholehood by ignoring the designated signing day all the other players abide by and waiting until every last ounce of attention was focused on him alone before bestowing the promise of his presence upon Columbus — taking that kid, Coach, and guiding him away from assholehood. That’s what you could have done.

It’s a great read.

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Being Bobby Petrino

Posted by Brett Kincaid on August 24, 2011

It’s not every day one turns to the Arkansas Times for a sports perspective.  In fact, it’s a very rare day.  The Times – more specifically the Arkansas Blog – is a daily staple of my life.  Their news & political coverage generally suits my tastes, and they clearly understand that FREE content creates a loyal customer.

But sports?

This week’s edition proves that smart people who think critically can write about anything.  Case in point, Graham Gordy’s piece on Bobby Petrino.  Gordy does a great job of explaining the complexities of being the head coach of a team like the Arkansas Razorbacks.  I agree with Graham’s assessment:  I wouldn’t want the job either.

“The West Wing” taught me that I never want to be President. “The Sopranos” taught me that I never want to be a mob boss. And reading the sports page, sports websites and message boards everyday has taught me that I never want to be an SEC coach.

“But he’s the most recognized and beloved public figure in the state,” you say. Yes. And still I say, “Not worth it.” “But he made $3.56 million plus perks last year,” you say. And still I say, “He earned every penny and he deserves more.”

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Ray Buchanan Jr. Picks Arkansas Over Mississippi

Posted by Adam Butler on August 20, 2011

He might be Public Enemy Number 1 in the Dirty South, but Arkansas Head Coach has dipped into the ATL (area) to get a verbal commitment from cornerback prospect Ray Buchanan, Jr. whose father is a former NFL All-Pro.

Per the linked Yahoo! article, Petrino made a big impression on the elder Buchanan who, as a former Louisville Cardinal (prior to Petrino’s time there as head coach) has undoubtedly seen plenty of Petrino’s handiwork.

“I’m very happy [with the decision],” the elder Buchanan said. “Arkansas, Ole Miss, Maryland, Illinois and Purdue were all great schools. But I really like Coach Petrino and his system.”

This makes me alternately happy (the Mississippi Coach thought he was in good shape for Ray Jr.) and sad (I’m old).

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Mike Anderson Now on Twitter

Posted by Brett Kincaid on August 18, 2011

Now you can follow Arkansas head basketball coach Mike Anderson on Twitter.

http://twitter.com/#!/mikeandersonUA

Maybe he can teach Adam how to use it.

That is all.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , | 10 Comments »

Statesman: Arkansas on List to Replace A&M

Posted by Brett Kincaid on August 11, 2011

The Big XII apparently believes the Aggies are likely to bolt for the SEC.  Late yesterday the Austin American Statesman reported just how seriously the conference takes these latest rumors.  In the Statesman article they cite a Big XII member official talking about potential replacements for the Aggies should they leave.

The Big 12 school official told the Statesman he had heard that the Big 12, to survive in the event of A&M’s departure, would consider inviting Notre Dame and Arkansas to join, but he admitted those schools were unlikely to be interested.

Saying Arkansas would be “unlikely” to have interest gives this line of thought too much credibility.  Let’s be clear:  Arkansas would have ZERO interest to move to the Big XII – especially if A&M has moved to the SEC.  My hunch is this “Big 12 school official” has a 512 area code and likes an odd shade of orange.

And Notre Dame?  Really?

The key takeaway from this story, though, is that the conversation appears to be shifting.  More and more I hear it’s a matter of “when” and not “if” the Aggies move to the SEC.  The university has a Board of Regents meeting scheduled for August 22, which also happens to be the week athletic director Bill Byrne returns from Europe after travelling with the Aggie basketball team this summer.

Also of note…  The Longhorn Network is set to launch later that week on August 26.  You think the Aggies would like to give the Horns a big ol’ Texas-sized middle finger the week LHN hits the air?  Yeah…me, too.

UPDATE I (8:44 AM, 8/11):  Unconfirmed reports this morning that Texas Tech has escalated talks with Pac-12.  If anyone has tips/information, please email to bloghawgs@gmail.com.

UPDATED II (8:52 AM, 8/11):  MrSEC.com has a full rundown (finally) of the events of the week.  Lots of links to various stories on the Aggies-to-SEC topic.

 

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Hogs the Auburn of 2011?

Posted by Adam Butler on August 9, 2011

(Without a scandal involving allegations of proposed pay-for-play arrangement involving an unwitting Tyler Wilson, I hope.)

Brett McMurphy is pundit #3,112 this offseason to pose the question.

We are reaching jinx territory, here. There is no way the SEC allows Arkansas to beat Bama AND LSU on the road, right?

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

It’s All About Recruiting

Posted by Brett Kincaid on August 6, 2011

Matt Jones notes on his Slophouse Blog that Bobby Petrino’s staff has emphasized size in recruiting.  The previous regime seemed to relish in turning small players into big time SEC stars.  The problem is that you rarely find a Tony Bua or Sam Olajabutu.

This crew has a very different approach:

“We have a saying, ‘If you want to be a small team, recruit small players,” Arkansas offensive coordinator Garrick McGee said Friday. “We want to be a big team. We want to be tall. We believe in having length.

Early word out of camp indicates that several players from this new freshmen class may contribute in 2011, keeping up with the trend Petrino established in his first year of playing youngsters.

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Camp Opens

Posted by Brett Kincaid on August 5, 2011

The Arkansas Razorbacks opened fall camp yesterday.  Guess what?!  The defense is ahead of the offense!  When was the last time you heard that at Arkansas?  I don’t think any of us fear that is a trend likely to continue, but it does bode well for a unit that again looks to be the key to a Razorback run to January football.

Also of note, thanks to Matt Jones and his updated blog, Greg Childs looked a little rusty in his first day back after knee surgery.  In a very talented wide receiving corps, Childs gets the most ink from SEC and national writers.  He has the body and speed to succeed at the next level.  It looks like he’ll need a few days, though, to get back up to speed.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

More Lists

Posted by Brett Kincaid on August 4, 2011

ESPN’s SEC blogger Edward Ashcoff, the new sidekick for BlogHawgs favorite Chris Low, likes Razorback linebacker Jerry Franklin.  It’s about time the rising senior got some credit.  Franklin has quietly been one of the most productive linebackers in the SEC.  In the SEC Blog’s ranking of the Top 25 Players in the SEC, Ashcoff pegs Franklin at #19, which seems like a pretty fair placement to me.

In a league as deep as the SEC, it really is a big honor for anyone to be considered one of the top 25 players in the conference.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

 
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