So. What about Arkansas?

Edward Aschoff asks the question that I’ve struggled with more than once in the last two years as a voter in the SEC Power Poll Team Speed Kills hosts:  Is Arkansas overrated?

The Hogs proved better last year than I thought they’d be, no question about it.  They get both LSU and Alabama at home this season, which can’t hurt (they split those two games in 2010).  Aschoff thinks they deserve their top ten ranking, but I’m not so sure.  As good as a lot of the skill position talent is on offense, there are question marks on both lines.  And as for the new defensive coordinator “bringing a more aggressive style to Fayetteville”, isn’t that what they say about all new DCs?  Besides, a lack of aggressiveness wasn’t really Willy Robinson’s big problem last year.

The biggest question, of course, is how they adjust to Bobby Petrino’s departure.  That Petrino was able to grab big time head coaching jobs in spite of the massive amount of personal baggage he toted with him should be seen as a tribute to his coaching ability.  He was as good a playcaller in college football last season as there was.  Maybe there’s enough talent on the staff to make up for him no longer being there, but that’s something we’ll have to wait and see.

The schedule’s favorable, with only four true road games, a non-conference slate with Rutgers as the toughest opponent and Kentucky as the other draw from the East.  Eight wins seem to be the floor.  Can Arkansas split the four remaining games with Alabama, LSU, South Carolina and Texas A&M?  That’s what the Hogs will need to do to finish in the top ten.  Stay tuned.

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14 Comments

Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal

14 responses to “So. What about Arkansas?

  1. X-Dawg

    Don’t tell SOS that Arkansas is overrated.

  2. They have the talent to win 10+. Without Petrino, though, I’m thinking 10 might be the ceiling… and that’s with some lucky breaks against the four you mentioned.

  3. Rhymerdawg

    I live in Fayetteville, AR and the Razorbacks fans think they are underrated. They honestly believe they are going to win the West. The radio talks it up incessantly. They also think the Tyler Wilson is the best QB in the nation. It is all about offensive numbers for them. When you mention defense they don’t know what to say.

    Just tired of the nauseating delusional diatribe. Thanks for letting me put my .02 in

    • I like Tyler Wilson a lot. If you watched much of Arky last year, he got the crap beat out of him by good defensive lines. Tough kid who’s a good passer.

    • Macallanlover

      I can’t blame them for felling that way, given the same circumstances at UGA, rated in the Top 10 and having the two most critical games at home, wouldn’t you expect to have a pretty solid chance to win your division? I doubt they aren’t concerned about LSU and Bama this season, but there is no reason they shouldn’t fell winning one, or both, of those games. I would certainly want my team to feel that is in the realm of possible and if they feel that way, any Arky fan should support that. Once the season starts and everyone sees how the players compete, we may find they are missing a few key pieces, or that the West will really be wild this year. Pre-season is the time to take a cautiously, optimistic view.

      • Rhymerdawg

        Guess pessimism for the season is the way I have been raised. Wondering if my team is good enough seeing the bad before the good.

        I guess the whole thing is the way that it comes across. Not Tyler Wilson might be the best QB in the nation but it comes across as why doesn’t everyone else see that Tyler Wilson is the best QB in the nation. I don’t think that Tyler Wilson is the best QB in the nation. He could be. But that is not the way the radio spins it. Blatant homerism is what it is and since I am not a homer here it is hard to get behind it.

        Maybe I am being too hard on the Razorbacks. Maybe I am longing for the season to start. Thanks for letting me see the “blatant fact(s)”

        • Macallanlover

          Don’t get me wrong, they may very well be over rated, but they have enough positives to spin a success story and not be seen as delusional. Any ranking/polls done in the Spring or Summer that assign specific numerical rankings deserve little serious consideration. If you want to name teams that can contend and state why it looks that way would be fair. There are some Tier 1 teams that look capable of competing with anyone and contenders for their conference title, a Tier 2 group that has some questions and could show themselves to belong in the Tier 1 by the end of September if things go well for them, and a Tier 3 that look to be capable of ending the season in the Top 25-40 teams. After that, the remainder just hope to become bowl eligible and perhaps upset a decent team as they look toward 2013.

          I don’t think I am a blind homer because the OL and STs at UGA have to convince me we can contend for the SEC title but I am cautiously optimistic about the SEC East, and being competitive in Atlanta if we make it there. Way to early to be running my mouth about the Dawgs at this time of the year. Check back with me in October because that is when we will know enough to make solid, grounded predictions. You aren’t related to Munson are you? It is OK to feel “OK” at this point.

  4. Cojones

    I have been waiting to see if Wilson can come back this year and start where he left off last year before I would venture an opinion. After reading their practice and scrimmage reports, I’d say he is back and damn good. Some long passes of his have hit targets accurately on dead runs making him dangerous to all Ds. He has three (so far) good to excellent receivers. Putting points on the board isn’t their problem. Ability to keep other teams from outscoring them is their problem.

    If LSU or Bama don’t play their “A” defensive game, Wilson can beat them. Same goes for Ark vs UGA. Otherwise, all three teams have Offenses that can put enough points on them to win. UGA’s is the better O of the three with Murray having the ability to have a field day. That may extend to LSU, dependant upon how Mett handles the spotlight. Ark should be able to outscore SC, depending upon the injury list for both teams.

    Ark, like UGA, could have an outstanding year. If you base your guess on the ability of the Ark O, you could say they are underrated. If you base your guess on their D, you could say that they are overrated. If anything happens to Wilson, their season could be over. Not so with Murray and the Dawgs.

    • Cojones

      The absence of Petrino shouldn’t affect them as much as most teams changing a coach are affected. They are keeping the same plays and signals so they don’t have a relearning process to deal with as most teams do after staff changes. His brother is there and a former coach under Bobby is heading things up. I’m sure they are in touch, so there won’t be a falloff. The players seem to have good attitudes, so the psychological factor for changeover is very small, although their cheer ” Lets win one for the ‘Porker Rider’ ” seems to take the shine off a little.

      • The Lone Stranger

        That’s the “unknown” element to this Hogs’ season that would give me pause were I a Razorback sympathizer (…and I guess I am given the other options in that division) — John L! I have a feeling that he may well drive that team over the cliff.

        • Cojones

          So far the players are excited about him. I agree with you when he first was named as coach. He is the caretaker to continue the Petrino ways and not upset the Hillrazors. The players seem to have glommed onto the idea that the old Petrino plays served them well before and will again under him and Petrino’s brother. Trying to keep an even keel after all the players have gone through this roiling changeover is the best they can do to keep a team together and in West contention. Planned changes next year will peak their interest after this season,quieten things down and help them assimilate into a new order.

  5. AusDawg85

    Arky Top 10? No…until you put it into perspective that they really should only have to split the 4 major SEC games. They’ve got a chance, but still don’t win the West.

  6. Debby Balcer

    My family is from Arkansas and I have grown up with their fans. The fact that they don’t have a good D is overlooked. Petrino being gone is a big deal because game management is more than knowing a play book. I think they are overrated.