Posts Tagged ‘SEC’

Huge Weekend for Hog Fans


Sure, Arkansas’ chances of winning either an SEC or national title are now nothing more than a fading memory. And heck, the Razorbacks aren’t even playing a game in front of their fans on Saturday. Still, this weekend should be of the absolute, utmost importance to Hog fans.

Here’s why

The Razorbacks are still very much in play for their first-ever BCS bowl appearance. That may be hard to believe for some, but it is an absolute fact. Here is the simple scenario that would result in the Hogs recieving their first BCS bid in the infamous system’s 13-year reign over the college football landscape:

  1. Alabama loses this Saturday night in Baton Rouge
  2. Arkansas beats #19 South Carolina and #20 Mississippi State on the road, and #10 LSU in Little Rock over the next 4 weeks*
  3. Auburn beats Alabama the day after Thanksgiving
  4. Auburn beats South Carolina in the SEC Championship Game

Arkansas must win the battle for "The Golden Boot"

It’s honestly that simple, and relatively foreseeable. The above scenario results in Arkansas ending the season with a 10-2 record, good for 2nd place in the SEC West (and, really, the 2nd best record in the whole conference). With Auburn’s then-certain inclusion in the BCS National Championship game, the BCS will, without a doubt, extend an at-large bid to another SEC team. Here’s the group they will be looking at:

  • *Arkansas 10-2 (6-2)
  • *LSU 10-2 (6-2)
  • *Alabama 9-3 (5-3)
  • *South Carolina 9-4 (5-3)

South Carolina, like so many SEC Championship Game losers of the past would be overlooked, and given that Arkansas would have beaten LSU head-to-head in the last game of the season, Arkansas would get the nod over the Tigers. It should also not be overlooked that the BCS brain-trust is smart, and knows that the rabid Razorback fan base would show up in droves for the Hogs’ first ever BCS appearance – especially if they were to get placed in the Sugar Bowl.

So there you have it. While there are several moving parts to this scenario, would any of them, individually, really even cause you to raise both eyebrows? Not me. The two biggest hurdles need to be cleared this weekend, and if they are, this scenario almost begins to look more likely than not.

So, as always, Woo Pig Sooiieee!

And for just a single, painful but necessary weekend…Geaux Tigers!


The Breakdown: Arkansas vs. Vanderbilt

When Arkansas Runs

The Razorbacks still only have the 89th rushing offense in the nation, but based on their improvement in that area over the last three games, that ranking is really not representative of the way Kniles Davis and company are running the ball today. Over the last two weeks, the Hogs have averaged 7.3 yards per carry against the then 23rd ranked Mississippi run defense, 4.9 yards against the then #15 run defense of Auburn. This weekend, facing Vanderbilt’s 92nd ranked rushing defense should mean that the surging Razorback running game should continue its recent breakout. Look for Davis to go over 100 yards for the second straight week in this one.
EDGE: Arkansas

When Arkansas Throws

This is where the Hogs always cash in, and this week will be no different. Arkansas still ranks 2nd nationally, throwing for 352 yards per game this season, and the Commodores have been no more than average against opposing passers, allowing a 58th best 211 yards passing per game so far. Over the past two weeks Vandy has faced Georgia’s #31 passing offense and Georgia’s #55 aerial attack. In those games, the Commodores have allowed nearly 100 yards more than their opponents season average, 355 yards and 315 yards, respectively. The Razorbacks, even with Childs and Adams potentially sidelined with injury, should have no problem putting up their average at home against Vanderbilt.
EDGE: Arkansas

When Vanderbilt Runs

The Commodores running game ranks a decent 68th nationally, totaling 146 yards per game on the ground so far this season. To date, the Razorbacks have allowed 170 yards rushing per game to their opponents, good for 86th nationally. However, the Hogs just faced Ole Miss’ #20 rushing attack and held it to about 30 yards less than its average rushing yards per game, and a half yard less than its normal average yards per carry. Starting DT Dequinta Jones will likely be suspended for the game, but the Razorbacks should still at least be able to neutralize the strength of the Vandy offense here.
EDGE: Draw

When Vanderbilt Throws

Vanderbilt’s passing offense is putrid, ranking 105th nationally, out of 120 teams. There’s no reason at all to doubt that the #26 Arkansas pass defense will be able to completely hold the Commodores in check through the air. Vandy averages just 160 yards passing per game, and I would be surprised if Arkansas allows even 150.
EDGE: Arkansas


Well, most important of all is the home field advantage that the Razorbacks will own in this game. Additionally, Vandy has lost three of four by at least 14 (but by 43 to a Georgia team the Hogs beat), with the lone win coming against an Eastern Michigan team that is winless since he beginning of last season. The Hogs may be without their two best receivers and one of their best defensive linemen, but depth at those positions should allow the Hogs to -for the most part – conduct their business as usual.
EDGE: Arkansas



Vanderbilt really doesn’t have a leg to stand on in this game. The Hogs are the better team on offense and defense, and the game is in Fayetteville. The Commodores may be able to find a reasonable amount of success on offense running the ball, but their futile passing attack should make them far too one dimensional to really threaten the Hogs. Even without Childs, Adams, and Jones the Hogs will win comfortably, but if the receivers are able to play feel free to add an additional 10 points for the Hogs.
Arkansas 35 – 17

– Warzecha –

Welcome to Fayetteville: Chris Barnett

Welcome to Fayetteville: Chris Barnett

Chris Barnett

The Razorbacks got more than a win towards their SEC standings on Saturday after their 14-point win over the Rebels (Bears?). They also got a “W” on the recruiting trail, earning a verbal commitment from a stud tight end out of Hurst, Texas in Chris Barnett. Apparently the Hurst Bell standout loves long games and rainy days, because he was in Fayetteville on an official visit for the game on Saturday and still decided to pull the trigger for the Hogs. However, he had also visited campus earlier this year in July for the Razorbacks’ Elite Camp. As commit #21 in the class of 2011, Barnett is one of Arkansas’ most highly regarded recruits to date, choosing the Hogs over Oregon and Miami, and also boasting offers from Alabama, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Notre Dame, Stanford, USC, and UCLA. He is actually an Oklahoma decommit, after previously committing verbally to the Sooners in February of his junior year.

National Rankings

Rivals 4*, #15 TE
Scout4*, #8 TE
ESPN 3*, #20 TE


Barnett is listed between 6′ 4″ and 6′ 6″ and reportedly runs a 4.52 40-yard dash at 250 pounds. Even if a slight embellishment, he’s clearly a heck of an athlete, and a big kid. lists Barnett’s route running skills and his soft hands as his biggest strengths and expects him to be a candidate for early playing time. I haven’t been able to find much as far as accurate stats go, but that is not highly unusual for a tight end – especially one that also lines up on the other side of the ball. After hitting the camp circuit this summer, he was named to the BadgerSports All-America 2nd Team.

Impact on the Class of 2011

Interestingly, Barnett is the third tight end in this class, joining Jervohnte Riles (Bessemer, AL – 3*, 3*, 4*) and Demetrius Dean (Fayetteville, AR – 3*, 3*, 4*). However, he seems to be the most highly touted, and the rangy Riles (6′ 4″ 211) is often listed as an athlete who could potentially line up at wide receiver or even outside linebacker. Even though Barnett plays DE in high school, he’s likely a lock to be the Razorbacks’ next athletic outside threat at the TE position. And with him and Dean (and possibly Riles) one would think that Petrino’s staff is done recruiting tight ends for this year.

– Warzecha –

The Breakdown: Arkansas vs Ole Miss – October 23rd

Houston Nutt & Bobby Petrino

When Arkansas Runs

The running game has been considered the weak half of the Arkansas offense all season, but it needs to be noted that all but one team (Louisiana-Monroe) on the Hogs’ schedule thus far is ranked as a Top 20 rushing defense nationally. That kind of opposition makes it difficult to employ a dominant ground attack, but in the last two weeks, against the #2 and #15 rush defenses, the Hogs have averaged 3.7 and 4.9 yards per carry, respectively. Not bad at all given the competition.
The Rebels boast the 23rd ranked rush defense in the country and had a surprising amount of success against Alabama’s 37th ranked running attack last week, holding the combination of Ingram and Richardson to a paltry 2.9 yards per carry on 34 attempts. Remember though, that Ole Miss had an extra week to prepare for Alabama’s visit to Oxford – a luxury they won’t be afforded against the Razorbacks. If the Hogs can run the ball on Saturday for an average anywhere in between what they produced against better defenses in the past two weeks, that should be plenty good enough to keep the Rebels from selling out to defend the pass.
EDGE: Draw

When Arkansas Passes

Regardless of who starts at quarterback for the Hogs – and it looks like it will be Ryan Mallett ( – the passing game is…well, its basically unstoppable. Arkansas is the #2 passing team in the entire nation, behind only Hawaii, who throws the ball like 350 times a game. The Razorbacks have faced pass defenses ranked in the top 25% nationally (Alabama & Georgia) and defenses ranked in the bottom 25% (Texas A&M & Auburn). The results have all been pretty much the same. The only thing that stops Arkansas’ passing game is itself, and probably Tebow, somehow.
Ole Miss doesn’t even pretend to be a competent pass defense. Ranked 96th in the country, the Rebels have faced some decent passing attacks, but nothing nearly like Arkansas, and nobody ranked in the Top 25 for that matter. A healthy Arkansas QB, whoever it is, should have plenty of success getting the ball to every one of Greg Childs, Joe Adams, Jarius Wright, D.J. Williams, and Cobi Hamilton on Saturday.
EDGE: Arkansas

Ryan Mallett & Tyler Wilson

When Ole Miss Runs

As stated above Arkansas is statistically worse than 81 other teams when it comes to stopping the run – much worse (and rightfully so) than they were before the embarrassment that was Cam Newton and Auburn’s #6 rushing offense last week. While the Rebels won’t be trotting out anyone with half the skills of Newton on Saturday, after what we saw last week, the Razorback run defense is far from worthy of trust at the moment.
EDGE: Ole Miss

When Ole Miss Passes

Arkansas is, statistically, the best pass defense Ole Miss will have seen this season, ranked #12 in the country. And much as it seems like Arkansas hasn’t been that dominant, it’s not like they’ve just been facing below average offenses. In fact, four of Arkansas’ five opponents have passing attacks ranked in the Top half of teams nationally, with Texas A&M’s #10 ranked unit being the best of the bunch. I think this indicates that the Razorbacks’ ranking here is pretty legitimate.
EDGE: Arkansas


Well, regardless of records, the coaches, players, and most importantly the fans involved in this game want to win in the worst way. No need to further explain the history there, except to say that it probably runs both ways pretty equally. Luckily for Hog fans, the game is in Fayetteville, so they are the ones who will get to try to make a difference on gameday.
I’m not sure it’s completely fair to say, given such a small sample size, but if anyone has anyone’s number here, Nutt has Petrino’s after winning the head to head match-up in each of the two years since both coaches took their current posts in 2008. But as the 3rd Edition of WIlly Robinson vs. Gus Mahlzan showed last week, winning the first two doesn’t always mean much.

You also have to wonder how this Razorback team will respond to, not only a tough, seemingly unfair loss, but also the reality that the major goals it had set out to achieve this season are now basically pipe dreams.
Intangibles: Draw


This stacks up to be a game that will be closer than most Razorback fans likely expected it to be just a couple weeks ago. However, pound for pound Arkansas is the better, more talented football team and they are playing at home. When Ole Miss has the ball, any advantage it has when running the ball will be met with equal force from Arkansas’ advantage when Jeremiah Masoli puts the ball in the air. The biggest mismatch by far – as usual – will come when Arkansas drops back to hook up with any of its numerous down-field threats. The Hogs should score plenty. The Rebels won’t score as many.
Prediction: Arkansas 34 – 24

– Warzecha –

Can Georgia Win The SEC East After Starting 0-3 In Conference?

The Georgia Bulldogs had a tough start to the 2010 season. Their first two conference games were against South Carolina and Arkansas (two of the toughest teams they’ll play this year).  Next they went on to lose to a Mississippi St team that many thought they should have beat. This gave them a 1-3 start to the season.

A.J. Is Back

Up to this point the Bulldogs had been playing without their best player WR A.J. Green. Thankfully he was coming back and just in time for a “warm up” game against Colorado. Green stood out as the best player on the field, but it still wasn’t enough for Georgia to pull out a victory. The Bulldogs looked defeated and with a 1-4 record people were wondering “How bad is this team?”.

Oh Look, Here Comes Vandy and Tennessee

The easiest part of the Georgia schedule was next and it couldn’t have came any sooner. A beat down of UT & Vandy is just what the doctor ordered. Aaron Murray and AJ Green have both looked really good the last two games and if they can keep it up the Bulldogs could be battling for the SEC East title.

What Has To Happen

SEC Standings

  1. Win Out – Isn’t that always the case in scenarios like this? The key for the Bulldogs is the fact they have yet to play Florida. Currently the two teams are tied for 2nd in the East. The biggest road block could be the Auburn game towards the end of the year.
  2. South Carolina Losses – There are really only 2 conference games that the Gamecocks might possibly lose. Home against the Razorbacks and at Florida.

Currently Georgia has a 2-3 conference record and South Carolina has a 2-2 conference record. With this scenario the Bulldogs would end up 5-3 and the Gamecocks would be 4-4 at the end of the season. South Carolina losing 2 more conference games is very possible considering the teams they have left on the schedule. the biggest hurdle for the Bulldogs will be upsetting the Tiger in Auburn on November 13th. Just think the Dawgs could win the SEC East and end up playing for the SEC Championship in their backyard after starting the season with a 0-3 conference record.

– Jacob –

College Football Heisman Candidates Through Week 7

1. Cam Newton (38) There is really no way to dispute Newton’s presence at the top of the Heisman race after seven weeks of college football. He did whatever he wanted on Saturday against what was considered on Friday to be a very competent Arkansas defense. With the way Auburn’s entire offense runs through him, if the Tigers win out he’ll be as sure a thing as you can be to bring home the hardware in December.

2. LaMichael James (34) – James and his Oregon teammates were on bye last week, but his team’s ranking improved as a result of Wisconsin’s win over the Buckeyes. Like Newton, James’ chances are fully invested in his teams’ continued dominance, but this probably applies to James even more because he doesn’t have the luxury of handling the ball on every offensive play.

3. Kellen Moore (24) – Another week, another super-efficient performance by the under-hyped Moore. The Bronco’s QB went 14-16 for 231 yards and two touchdowns against San Diego State. But again, unless Boise State earns a berth in the BCS Championship, Moore’s chances of winning are slim to none because his teams’ weak schedule hurts him just as much as it hurts them.

4. Andrew Luck (16) – Stanford was on bye this past week as well, but Luck left everyone with a great performance in a late-game victory over USC in week five to remember. If the Cardinal can keep winning, Luck has an outside shot, but he may not have enough opportunities on national TV to make his case when it comes down to it.

5. Denard Robinson (8) – The season’s #1 Heisman contender fell from grace this week after a second straight game in which he failed to put up the eye-popping numbers the nation had come accustomed to over the first five weeks. It was also the second time this season that Shoelace was forced out of the game early without making a return. Michigan still has three or four national TV games left on its though. So, of the last three guys on this list, Robinson is the one who I think can get back in the real discussion because his statistical potential is insane enough to overcome 3-4 losses by his team.

1. Cam Newton
2. LaMichael James
3. Kellen Moore
4. Andrew Luck
5. Denard Robinson

1. Cam Newton
2. LaMichael James
3. Kellen Moore
4. Andrew Luck
5. Denard Robinson

1. LaMichael James
2. Cam Newton
3. Kellen Moore
4. Andrew Luck
5. Denard Robinson

1. Cam Newton
2. LaMichael James
3. Kellen Moore
4. Andrew Luck
5. Denard Robinson

You can check out our Heisman Candidate voting from last week.

Fire Coach Meyer… Have Florida Fans Lost Their Minds?



The Florida Gators have seen better days in recent years. The Tim Tebow era is over and they’re struggling to find themselves. They can’t run the ball, they can’t throw the ball and their quarterback John Brantley hasn’t scored a touchdown since September.

October has been a bad month to say the least. The Gators have managed to lose all 3 games this month and to make matters worse all 3 have been conference games (Ala, LSU & Miss St). This week they face Georgia, a SEC East opponent who has caught fire recently. Things do not look good in Gainesville.

Even with all these rough times do you really think its time to get rid of Coach Urban Meyer? Really? The same coach who has given you 2 National Championships in the last 4 years. He’s won a bowl game every year since he got to Florida. But there are actually fans out there who want him gone. It seems crazy, but you can now join the rest of the fair weather fans who want Urban gone. The website was started back in late 2004 and has been dormant because of Urban’s success. It seems somebody has had enough the last 3 weeks and decided to get things fired back up again. Somebody should let the owners of that website know that they could probably find 100+ teams who wouldn’t mind taking Coach Meyer off their hands.