Bolin: Arkansas football 2017 — the definition of average

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The first SEC Country Power Poll was released Tuesday and the Arkansas football team found itself in the middle. Seems about right.

The Razorbacks were seventh in the Week 1 power poll. In case you have forgotten, there are 14 teams in the SEC. In the best football conference in the country most years, including this year probably, being in the middle is not a bad place to be. Unless, of course, you have an anxious and wary fan base which tasted the top a few years ago and, despite several seasons of placing well below that middle, wants that feeling renewed.

The wild thing about that power poll isn’t where Arkansas landed, but where some voted them.

At least one of the voters has coach Bret Bielema’s team pegged as the 13th best team in the 14-team league.

Before you go all pitchforks and torches on that poor soul, get a load of this: Nine teams in the SEC received at least one vote for either 13th- or 14th-place. That doesn’t speak to the balance of the league. It speaks to imbalance, frankly.

There are three categories establishing themselves early in the SEC.

There are the haves: Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Georgia.

The have-nots: Missouri and … well, just Missouri for now.

And there are the mediocre: Literally every other team in the league. For example, someone voted South Carolina as high as No. 2 in the SEC. Someone else voted the Gamecocks as low as 11th.

But as for the team at hand, the Razorbacks are markedly in that center group. Personally, I voted Arkansas ninth. It doesn’t mean I think it finishes closer to being 13th than second. It means that right now they haven’t showed me they’re a strong team.

Perhaps that changes Saturday when Arkansas faces TCU. Perhaps it doesn’t.

If this season plays itself out the way most people think — whether it’s 5-7 or 7-5 — Bielema’s team is going to be about where they are right now:

Not bad. Not good, either.

That’s why we are where we are with Arkansas football at this point in the coach’s tenure. Why change now, eh?

The post Bolin: Arkansas football 2017 — the definition of average appeared first on SEC Country.

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