Trent Shadid/SEC Country
Is the man in the foreground healthy enough to get his job back from the man in the background?

If Austin Allen starts, is healthy, look for an Arkansas win

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.

Austin Allen is the best passer in the SEC.

I have written that sentence double-digit times over the last calendar year. My honest belief is that it is true. Allen, though, has not played well this season. Well, he didn’t when he was healthy, anyway.

Although, Arkansas’ offensive misfortunes this season can hardly be blamed solely on Allen. Things have been something of a cluster since the season began. Even the opener against Florida A&M was less than stellar.

But if Allen plays Saturday against Ole Miss, I’m sticking to the first sentence of this piece and not the subsequent ones.

Coach Bret Bielema has said this week Allen may get a shot to go against the Rebels. He hasn’t played since leaving at the end of the third quarter against South Carolina. That was two games ago. Redshirt freshman Cole Kelley has played in his place. The results have been sub-par.

Arkansas needs a win against Ole Miss to have any chance at salvaging its season. Starting the best passer in the SEC — if he’s healthy — can help the Razorbacks do just that.

SEC Country’s upset picker has Hogs pulling one

Ole Miss is favored Saturday by 3 1/2 points in Las Vegas. That doesn’t mean the professional line setters think Ole Miss is going to win by 3 1/2 points. It means they think that’s the point spread where bettors are equally likely to pick the Rebels or the Razorbacks.

It also means Ole Miss is expected to win. Home teams typically get three points automatically by the pros. At 3 1/2, the thinking is the game is going to be close, anyway.

But Ole Miss is definitely seen as the favorite, even outside the betting world. So much so, in fact, our guy David Caraviello at Upset Watch has the game labeled as ripe for an upset. An upset in Arkansas’ favor.

And like I said above, a Hogs win wouldn’t shock me and I think, even, it very well could turn out that way.

Hoops Friday night, so go

Arkansas basketball gets its exhibition season underway Friday night from Bud Walton Arena. I recommend, if you’re not headed to Memphis/northern Mississippi for the football game, head to campus for hoops.

The game is an exhibition, yes, but it’ll give everyone a first look at what Razorbacks coach Mike Anderson is thinking with rotations and whatnot. The result is irrelevant. The individual stat totals are not important.

Take a look at who is playing with who, how often and for how many minutes at a time. That’s what’s going to matter when the regular season starts in just two more weeks.

ICYMI

  • This is really the way things are headed with live game attendance. Sports are going to have to become like stores and restaurants. You want people there? Give them a reward. Arkansas basketball is doing that soon. Jimmy Carter over at WholeHogSports wrote about the plan.
  • Arkansas baseball is going to be among the favorites in the SEC this season. Kendall Rogers at D1Baseball took a look at them this fall.
  • There are 10 keys to the game, as usual, from Clay Henry at WHS.
  • Andrew Hutchinson, my boy, wrote about the 1914 Razorbacks-Ole Miss game because, of course, he did.
  • Even out for the season, Frank Ragnow is Mel Kiper Jr.’s top center available for the NFL draft this spring.

Tweets and the like

• Um, so this is the greatest video the University of Arkansas has put out since I have been on the beat. There doesn’t appear to be any reason for it except comedy. And that’s just fine with me.

• There was once a time Thursday was a day for celebration. Not so much anymore.

• Real disappointment here on his hype video for Arkansas basketball. I mean, no drone footage? Get it together, y’all.

• Former Arkansas offensive lineman Dan Skipper is back in the NFL. He was promoted from the Lions’ practice squad to the active roster Thursday.

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