2017 feels like another ho-hum year for Hogs – will it cost Bielema his job?

Eric Bolin

With your bacon, have some Hogs for Breakfast. It’s SEC Country’s weekday column and roundup on all things Arkansas Razorbacks. Opinion, numbers, inane babble and more! No place like it on the Web.

If you hold me to these Arkansas “predictions,” I will haunt your nightmares. Blame ESPN Radio 99.5’s John Nabors for planting the idea, anyway.

We are still several days from signing day. Arkansas does not (currently) have a coaching vacancy. Pickings were slim around here for Razorbacks stuff. So, based off motivation from a Nabors tweet:

Let’s roll through Arkansas’ 2017 schedule together with some predictions based on absolutely nothing but what we think we know. Ready?

September 2 – Florida A&M in Little Rock
The Rattlers lost to Miami (FL) by 67 points in 2016. That’s about all you need to know about this MEAC team.

Arkansas wins

September 9 – Texas Christian in Fayetteville
Fun stat time: TCU coach Gary Patterson has finished with a losing record three times as coach in Fort Worth, including last year. In each of the following seasons, the Horned Frogs won double-digit games.

Arkansas loses

September 23 – Texas A&M in Arlington
Two ways to look at this one. The first is Arkansas hasn’t beaten Texas A&M in the Bret Bielema era, so the Razorbacks are due (which isn’t a real premise). The other is that Texas A&M always beats Bret Bielema teams so they will again (which isn’t real, either). Feels like two teams who deserve each other lately.

Arkansas loses

September 30 – New Mexico State in Fayetteville
New Mexico State last beat a team from a power conference in 1999. The Aggies last had a winning season in 2002. In pro wrestling, they call these matchups a “squash.”

Arkansas wins

October 7 – South Carolina in Columbia
Almost everyone of significance on the South Carolina offense last year was a freshman or sophomore. That unit will be good. On defense, they were seniors and juniors. That unit may not be. SEC East ‘meh’ team versus SEC West ‘meh’ team…

Arkansas wins

October 14 – Alabama in Tuscaloosa
Need I put a summary here?

Arkansas loses

October 21 – Auburn in Fayetteville
What happened in 2016 won’t happen again. Don’t buy the “they embarrassed us last year, so we’ll get ’em back this year” thing, though. Games aren’t played on emotion and even when emotion rears its head – at the very beginning, perhaps – instinct and ability take over after that. Auburn’s probably the second-best team in the SEC next year, though.

Arkansas loses

October 28 – Ole Miss in Oxford
Doesn’t feel like this downward Ole Miss spiral is going to trend upward any time soon, does it?

Arkansas wins

November 4 – Coastal Carolina in Fayetteville
Coastal Carolina has one of the better football-basketball-baseball combo programs in small college Division I. But this is the SEC. It just means more here.

Arkansas wins

November 11 – LSU in Baton Rouge
Derrius Guice gets another shot at a bunch of players who were a part of one of the worst run defenses in the last 20 seasons of college football.

Arkansas loses

November 18 – Mississippi State in Fayetteville
Doesn’t feel like last year’s Mississippi State difficulty is going to stay downward for long, does it?

Arkansas loses

November 25 – Missouri in Fayetteville
Missouri stunk last year and beat Arkansas. They’ll be better in 2017 and won’t beat Arkansas.

Arkansas wins

Howdy, 6-6.

Goodbye, Bret?

Best of the Year

Hogs athletics officials are giving fans the opportunity to vote for their favorite play from this last football season (click the link to vote).

It’s a clever little thing they have there, where you can move plays around by clicking arrows to create your own Top 8. Why not 10? I don’t know. Ask @TaylorMcGillis on Twitter. I’m sure he’d love your feedback.

At the time this is published on Thursday morning, the top three are Austin Allen’s game-winning touchdown run against TCU, Dan Skipper’s field goal block against TCU and Duwop Mitchell’s absolute blast of a hit against Florida.

Razorbacks celebrate Austin Allen touchdown Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Razorbacks celebrate Austin Allen touchdown Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

I’m down with the first two. Easy choices. I’d probably go Jared Cornelius’ touchdown run against Ole Miss as No. 3. People forget how important that was. Cool thing, though. Check it out.

SEC Basketball Power Rankings

You may not have realized this but Arkansas was still projected to make the NCAA Tournament by ESPN’s Bracketology even before the Razorbacks won on the road at Texas A&M on Tuesday night.

National people understand Arkansas basketball is good. Not great, no. And sometimes poor. On a whole, though, Mike Anderson’s bunch is solid. Where do they fall in this midweek Power Rankings? I’m going to do something a little different. Each place you see a space, note that as a clear line of demarcation. The SEC is becoming more and more a league of tiers this season.

January 18, 2017 Power Rankings
1. Kentucky (6-0)
2. South Carolina (5-0)
3. Florida (5-1)
4. Alabama (4-1)
5. Arkansas (3-3)
6. Georgia (4-2)
7. Mississippi State (3-2)
8. Tennessee (2-4)
9. Vanderbilt (2-4)
10. Ole Miss (2-4)
11. Texas A&M (1-5)
12. Auburn (2-4)
13. LSU (1-5)
14. Missouri (0-6)

Yee-Haw! Today in Arkansas

Back in the old days, stealing a horse was a capital offense. You’d get hanged for doing it.

In 2017, stealing cows in the Natural State gets you four months in prison, per this story from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

That’s not the reason he’s on here, though. Oh, no. He’s on here because he stole cattle, took them to the sale barn and then used the money he earned from selling stolen cattle to pay for casinos and drugs. My man likes to party.

Actual “yee-haw” this time.

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