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Alabama coach Nick Saban's Crimson Tide almost were plucked by Arkansas and Bret Bielema in 2014.

Alabama, Nick Saban are worried about Arkansas … sort of

Eric Bolin

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.

Alabama, Nick Saban preparing for Arkansas’ two-headed QB

The passer, Austin Allen, and the runner, Cole Kelley. Only Kelley can throw and Allen can run.

Sounds scary, doesn’t it? And if media types and coaches would have thrown that out as chum in the spring, appetites would have oh so whet.

Well, Alabama is preparing for that, anyway. Coach Nick Saban said during his news conference on Wednesday he was impressed with both Arkansas quarterbacks. Minutes after Saban’s presser, Arkansas coach Bret Bielema had an impromptu 5-minute briefing with Arkansas media.

Bielema was optimistic Allen would start. In fact, Allen will start if the quarterback is completely healthy. So far, so good. But the week has to play itself out.

Either way, it’s an advantage the Razorbacks can carry into a game they will need all the one-ups they can get.

Arkansas to the Big 12 is not going to happen

This is one of those stories I just don’t even want to bring up it’s so asinine, but I have to because, well, it’s news.

Now know this: It isn’t news when a caller to an Arkansas radio show brings it up from left field. When that happens, the suggestion is shot down immediately by all-comers. But when former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops says Arkansas might be better off in the Big 12, then it’s obligatory we indulge the national-championship-winning coach.

But that’s about it. Arkansas isn’t going to the Big 12. Not if it wants to maintain relevancy. That league isn’t going to last another 10 years, I say.

Besides, the absolute last thing this fan base wants is to be a clear second fiddle to Texas, whose money and size own the league.

No way, no how. Let’s move on.

Starting Austin Allen over Cole Kelley is the right call

Bielema may, probably will, roll out both quarterbacks against Alabama on Saturday. That wouldn’t be unique. He has done it a few weeks in a row now.

Some suggested Tuesday and into Wednesday that the coach should only play Kelley against Alabama. Various reasons for that, they said. Allen needn’t get himself further injured against the Crimson Tide was typically top of that list.

News flash: If Allen is hurt now, they aren’t going to play him anyway. There is no “further injured” to deal with. Besides, do you really want to throw a redshirt freshman with zero career starts to the Alabama defense?

Sounds like a recipe for failure, honestly.

Roll with Allen, who has proven his toughness and his ability the last season-plus.

ICYMI

  • Is Arkansas winning at Alabama a bad thing? If you asked the Bielema haters it is, but reality is an upset of that caliber would do wonders. Trent Shadid and I talk about that and more in the Sound Off this week.
  • Speaking of Bielema haters, our SEC Country Arkansas podcaster and resident Hogs fan John Nabors talks about why it isn’t working with the former Wisconsin head man in his Wednesday podcast.
  • Luke Ford is one of the top high school tight ends in the country. He once was committed to Arkansas. That changed a few months back, and although the Razorbacks remain “in” on him, they’re not the favorites anymore.
  • The Cardinal team took the opener of Arkansas baseball’s Fall World Series on Wednesday by a whopping 13-0. Third baseman Jack Kenley hit for the cycle.
  • Arkansas golfer Mason Overstreet won his first collegiate title earlier this week. Tom Murphy of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has the story.

Tweets and the like

Stoops was in northwest Arkansas on Wednesday to speak at the NWA Touchdown Club. He was greeted warmly and even garnered a chuckle from the crowd. Problem is, the chuckle is more sad than funny if you’re an Arkansas fan.

CBS Sports’ Brad Nessler isn’t calling the Arkansas-Alabama game this week, but he has some thoughts as the network’s primary SEC play-by-play man. None of them are good for the Razorbacks.

Sorry to go heavy on the Bo Mattingly tweets here, but this one is too funny (and a little inside-baseball) to not pass along. Mike Irwin is the most famous media member — other than maybe Bob Holt — on the beat.

Skip Breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here.