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.
Hogs hoops isn’t just trending up — the Razorbacks are up
Arkansas football starts in one week. Yet, the biggest talking point around campus and in the sports world with the Razorbacks was the announcement of the men’s basketball schedule.
No, this isn’t my personal affinity for the sport over football. There is legitimate excitement among the fan base for Arkansas basketball. It’s a level of enthusiasm that’s existed just once before — in 2014-15 — during the Mike Anderson era.
Knee-jerk predictions ranged anywhere from 26 regular-season wins to 21. Personally, I didn’t notice anyone post (anecdotally, on Twitter) anything lower than 21 wins. That mark would likely be enough to qualify Arkansas for the NCAA Tournament, given the SEC’s sudden status as a basketball power conference again.
Therein lies the rub. The SEC is better. Games in the last three years or so — when Arkansas has been higher in the SEC pecking order than most others — that would have been mark-it-down victories, aren’t anymore. Games against Auburn, Alabama and Missouri will be, this upcoming season, mighty difficult. In recent years past, I would have expected the Razorbacks to go better than .500, at least, against those teams.
Really, it’s too early to reasonably project where the Razorbacks will finish. Smart money is top 6 in the SEC. But with the “best” (aka: hardest) schedule in the Anderson era and an improving SEC, it’s going to be tough for Arkansas to replicate the team’s lofty record from last season.
Houston Nutt-Gus Malzahn-Mitch Mustain is ridiculous, jarring, 11 years later
If you lived in northwest Arkansas and followed Razorbacks sports from 2005-07, you remember it well. Too well.
When then-Arkansas coach Houston Nutt hired Springdale High coach Gus Malzahn to become the Razorbacks offensive coordinator, it made waves. When Malzahn left 13 months later, to Tulsa, it made more. Mitch Mustain, Malzahn’s quarterback at Springdale, left Arkansas, too, though he departed to USC.
That was only, chronologically, about the middle of the disaster.
To this day, what happened with Nutt to end his time at Arkansas is the stuff of legend. Insane, hard-to-believe legend. And it’s the seventh-most memorable moment in Arkansas’ 25 SEC seasons.
D0es Hogs’ recruiting plateau because it’s, well, the state of Arkansas?
SEC Country’s Trent Shadid was asked that this week. It’s a viable question.
The state isn’t exactly high on the visit list of 16- and 17-year-olds. And the Razorbacks haven’t dominated the scene in any sport, save track and baseball, in recent seasons.
But here’s the thing: Fayetteville is one of the better college towns in the country. The university, especially the athletic department, is fantastic at reminding us all of that. Every time a list of “best places to live” comes out, Fayetteville/northwest Arkansas is on it. Plus, one trip to Dickson Street for an eager youngster and all the concerns about Arkansas being too country — or whatever — go out the window.
Shadid goes into this question and more in his recruiting mailbag.
- Arkansas basketball special assistant Lee Mayberry is now former Arkansas basketball special assistant Lee Mayberry. Anderson said at his press conference Thursday that Mayberry left the post to take a job as an assistant at an Arkansas high school. Specifically, Mayberry is at Watson Chapel.
- The entire Razorbacks basketball recruiting class this season are Arkansas natives. Four of them, in fact. And as WholeHogSports’ Jimmy Carter wrote, they’re athletic.
- The Razorbacks volleyball season starts Friday at home. Arkansas is hosting the aptly named 2017 Arkansas Classic. Their first opponent is Cal State-Bakersfield. It’s a 7 p.m. local start.
- Arkansas center Frank Ragnow, linebacker Dwayne Eugene and quarterback Austin Allen were named to the Senior Bowl watch list Thursday.
Tweets and the like
Don’t forget about this sport at Arkansas. Their season starts soon, too. Camp began Thursday night.
Compete Camp starts tonight at 7:45 pm. This weekend will determine roster placement and should be intense! Open to the public! 7:45 – 10:00
— Razorback Hockey (@RazorbackHockey) August 24, 2017
Has to be great if you’re a fan to see this. It used to be the knock on Allen was that he didn’t prepare quite enough. Those worries are long gone, his offensive coordinator said.
Enos: Austin Allen is a great player, but he matches it with his work ethic, his preparation and his character.
— Bo Mattingly (@SportsTalkwBo) August 24, 2017
Arkansas soccer, too, is on the drone-footage bandwagon. Neat hype video for the the team’s game Friday night. The Razorbacks host the top-ranked team in the nation, Penn State. Game time is 6:30 p.m. at Razorback Field. It’s the home opener.
— Razorback Soccer (@RazorbackSoccer) August 24, 2017
Yee-Haw! Today in Arkansas
Well, this is awkward. Ironic.
— AR Democrat-Gazette (@ArkansasOnline) August 24, 2017
Skip Breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here.
The post The Arkansas basketball team’s record in 2017-18 will be … appeared first on SEC Country.