The mystery of Arkansas

No, I’m not talking about what goes on in Bobby Petrino’s head.

I’m referring to, instead, the fairly widespread belief that Arkansas should be considered a serious SEC title contender even though it’s never been what you might call an élite defensive team (last year, Arkansas finished ninth in the conference in total defense) and is breaking in a new defensive coordinator.

Take, for example, this piece, which doesn’t even bother to consider Arkansas’ defense, unlike the other three contenders it mentions (and would also be the case for South Carolina, which is omitted for some reason).  Did the rules about winning the SEC with defense change, or is the Hogs’ offense expected to be that good?  I doubt the former is the case and before somebody says “Auburn 2010″, keep in mind that team averaged more than a yard per play better that last year’s Arkansas’ offense did.

Alabama and LSU waxed Arkansas last year and even though they’re both home opponents for the Hogs this time, unless John L. Smith is about to unleash a much improved defense on the SEC, I don’t see his team’s chances to win the West improving.  Obviously, other people’s mileage varies.

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15 Comments

Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal

15 responses to “The mystery of Arkansas

  1. Cojones

    They haven’t talked about their D for 3 yrs. At the rate Smith is tossing the trash out, it’s hard to say how Fall can look. They have a 2-3 player O that can be defended against. Still, Knile Davis or Tyler can step on their “whatcha-may-call-its” and fail to be there come game time.

    Lately, they’ve done nothing but talk away from their D and it’s becoming humorous. What’s really funny is their coaching situation. A class monitor of renown, he is waiting on his replacement. I’ve got one for you boys; – Mark Richt. He will be available during your 10 mo search period.

    • Cojones

      And their fan base will love him in that “Born Again” country.

    • Governor Milledge

      I hope you mean Richt will be available in the deluded fan base sense, where every Razorback thinks their school is the premiere program that every coach of any renown would consider at the drop of a hat.

      • Cojones

        Arkansas has been in high cotton before, just as we have. “Deluded fan base” is another shared attribute. Yep. Wait and see how the cacophony swells from the Ozarks. Richt could star in their “Ozark Passion Play” every Easter.

  2. The Bruce

    Everybody says we were lucky not to have the “Big Three” from the west on our schedule last year.
    I say Arkansas was lucky not to have us on their schedule.

  3. Debby Balcer

    I think it is ironic that Arkansas became one the big three in the west without winning the west. Sometimes I feel like they were elevated to that status just to put us down.

  4. shane#1

    If I am not mistaken the Razorbacks lost three WRs to the NFL and had another WR that was assumed to be a starter in 2012 kicked off the team. With Bobby gone and turnover in the WR slot will the Hog’s offense really be all that? i think their D may turn out better than expected and maybe the O slips a bit. If the Hogs under perform I will be just as happy not to play them At least the Dawgs will dodge one of the “can’t beat a ranked team” bullets.

  5. shane#1

    Not to highjack the post but I need help quickly. My Lady Friends little twelve year old Granddaughter asked me last night “who sings the song that goes woo woo we woo woo” and I was able to introduce Her to Levon Helm and Robbie Robinson and The Band. I told Her The Band did a cover of an old song. She just called Her Grandma and asked who did “Lonely Boy” first. She is still young enough to think I’m smart so I’ll have to call her back this afternoon. Can some of you musicologists help me out? I don’t want Her to realize how dumb “Mr Shane” is.

  6. Cosmic Dawg

    The question that article raises for me is this – if Georgia’s not going to make a run at the SEC Championship and beyond in 2012, then when? When will we have this many (quality!) starters returning on defense again? And in the same year have a third year QB, pretty good WR, potentially very good RB’s, etc on offense? II understand where our OL and ST are at…and even if the OL matures quickly, I’m skeptical about how far you can go with two freshman kickers.

    Still, this team *should* be better than last year’s team. And last year’s team was very close to going 12-2.

    If the D can hold them, I think the offense can score us a couple or three touchdowns pretty much every time out….

    If everyone on both sides of the ball plays up to their potential, we might just have something here. But if we don’t make a run at it this year, I think we may have to wait another year or two…although….I can also see the 2013 offense being top 10 if everyone sticks around.

  7. Just Chuck

    Analysis of your favorite simplified, just assume (1) coaching changes don’t matter and (2) the team has got to be better than last year.