Arkansas football rules the world of Razorbacks sports. So, with your bacon, have some Hogs for Breakfast and get caught up. It’s SEC Country’s weekday column and roundup on all things Arkansas … especially Arkansas football. Opinion, numbers, inane babble and more! And now with ironic exclamation points! There is no place like it on the web.
Bret Bielema is handling this situation as well as he possibly can.
While some are angry Bielema still is the Arkansas football coach, that’s the reality. While more are irate that Bielema isn’t angrier about the team’s fortunes this season, that’s the reality.
Bielema had his usual Monday press conference and it was par for the course. He didn’t announce a starting quarterback and won’t until LSU game day on Saturday. He didn’t indicate how many touches he has in store for T.J. Hammonds. Bielema is, by all accounts, doing and saying what any coach would and should.
The truth is Bielema’s demeanor is exactly how it should be. His job is to stay upbeat for his players. He will focus on LSU. Then Mississippi State. Then Missouri. Bielema can, will — and should — be a little sore when asked questions about his future.
You can think he should act differently, but what do you, realistically, want? Resignation in protest? Not gonna happen. Everything Bielema has done this season, with the media, has been perfectly acceptable. Admirable, even (sometimes). He’s owned every bit of it, even if he does, on occasion, spew half-truths.
His boss, meanwhile, nowhere to be seen.
Arkansas football recruits aren’t bailing yet
They may not at all, but Arkansas’ one-point win over Coastal Carolina on Saturday could not have been the most ideal way for the Razorbacks to showcase their football program to potential future players.
As of right now, though, they’re all staying firm.
It’s a bit of a trick scenario, honestly, with recruits. On one hand, Arkansas is badly struggling, and who wants to play for a losing program for years? On the other hand, the Hogs are struggling for a reason, not the least of which is a dearth of playmakers. Recruits want playing time, no matter where they go. Arkansas has plenty to offer going forward.
The question is how that changes after Thanksgiving weekend, the likeliest date athletic director Jeff Long and the Arkansas Board of Trustees might make a coaching change.
Arkansas Diamond Hogs schedule is out
It’s a doozy.
The Razorbacks are a guaranteed preseason top 25 team and may very well be a top 10 team when the first batch of rankings come out early next year. They’re also playing a schedule that will test that recognition.
Besides an always-tough slate of SEC games, Arkansas also plays Arizona, Southern California (USC), Texas, Texas Tech and Missouri State. The Diamond Hogs also head out for three games at the Tony Gwynn Classic, which will almost definitely include two, if not three, other NCAA Tournament-level teams.
Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn has always scheduled opponents that can provide a regular-season challenge. This year seems extraordinarily so.
The season opens at Baum Stadium on Feb. 16 for a three-game series against Bucknell.
- Bielema, as he does every Monday, provided the weekly depth chart. It lists Austin Allen and Cole Kelley as co-starters. Don’t expect him to tip his hand until Saturday. Count on it being Allen, though.
- Not sure why CBS would want to show an Arkansas football game on its air time this season, but it’s reserving the right. Hogs-Mississippi State could end up there.
- Arkansas fans will see and hear some familiar faces during basketball broadcasts this season. Former Arkansas basketball players Kikko Haydar and Manny Watkins will serve on some airings this season. Good for those two.
- Razorbacks soccer made the NCAA Tournament. The field was announced Monday. The Razorbacks will get North Carolina State in the first round Saturday.
- Kudos to our colleague and resident Hogs homer John Nabors for channeling The Lego Movie in his Borderline Erotic podcast Monday: Everything is Awful!
Tweets and the like
• Bobby’s back! Former SEC Player of the Year Bobby Portis is back from suspension with the Chicago Bulls.
"That's exciting. We’ve been playing with such great energy and Bobby is the epitome of that" – Lopez
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) November 6, 2017
• I can’t be the only one who saw this and wondered, “Why nine?” A top 10 list is much more palatable. Is it nine because of baseball innings? Maybe I’m just weird.
Here are the top-9 can't miss matchups at Baum Stadium in 2018!
— Razorback Baseball (@RazorbackBSB) November 6, 2017
• Real talk: Daryl Macon and Jaylen Barford are a top-3 guard duo in the SEC.
We followed them around for nearly 15 hours to give you a glimpse.
Enjoy ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/sM8QrNk2TK
— Razorback Basketball (@RazorbackMBB) November 6, 2017
Skip Breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here.
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