No, Athlon, Austin Allen isn’t the third-team All-SEC QB; he’s the best
With your bacon, have some Hogs for Breakfast. It’s SEC Country’s weekday column and roundup on all things Arkansas. Opinion, numbers, inane babble and more! And now with ironic exclamation points. There is no place like it on the Web.
Back in the day, picking up a college football preview magazine was a big deal. Used to be that there were only a couple. Now, though, there are countless. And they’re all, well, they’re all sort of the same.
Like anything else that becomes oversaturated, the content of the magazines are now mostly fodder. It’s not even summer yet and the first one is upon us. With those magazines come preseason all-conference honors. Some magazines name just one or two all-conference teams. Some go up to four (and include honorable mentions).
One of the first this year is Athlon Sports. Arkansas saw seven players named on Athlon’s four All-SEC teams that came out Tuesday. They are as follows.
- Frank Ragnow, center, first team
- Austin Allen, quarterback, third team
- Devwah Whaley, running back, third team
- Jared Cornelius, wide receiver, third team
- Ryan Pulley, cornerback, third team
- Dre Greenlaw, linebacker, fourth team
Most of those are fine. Whaley as a third-team running back is a bit of surprise. And Pulley could afford to be a team higher. But one stands out as rather egregious.
Question: How is Allen just the third-best quarterback in the SEC? Answer: He isn’t. He’s higher.
Allen was just a third-team selection, though, behind Alabama’s Jalen Hurts and Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham. As Arkansas Athletics was sure to write in its press release announcing the selections:
“Athlon’s all-conference teams are based on how players will perform in 2017. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2017 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.”
That caveat gets Athlon out of it. Barely. Stidham hasn’t thrown a pass in the SEC yet. His entire projection at Auburn is based off three games he played at Baylor two years ago as a freshman (Note: Stidham technically played in 10 games at Baylor, but only three took place when the game was in doubt; everything else was in garbage time of blowouts.). You know, the Baylor Bears, whose offense would light up just about anyone regardless of who the quarterback was.
But, it is true Auburn and Alabama are expected to be better than Arkansas. And with Arkansas’ offensive line difficulties last season, Allen’s loss of targets at wide receiver and exit of running back Rawleigh Williams III, it’s likely Allen doesn’t put up the same numbers he did last season when he was among the SEC leaders in several passing categories.
Still, mark him down for my money as the conference’s best.
Arkansas baseball gets another day to rest, prepare
Trevor Stephan and the Arkansas baseball team can leave no doubt as to their worth in hosting an NCAA Tournament Regional at Baum Stadium. Now, they just have to wait a few more hours to do it.
Arkansas’ second-round game in the SEC Tournament was pushed back a day — from Wednesday night to Thursday morning — because of rain and lightning in Hoover, Ala., where the tourney is being played. And Arkansas’ matchup wasn’t the only game moved back.
The SEC managed to only get three of its first four games in on Day 1 of the tournament Tuesday. The last game of the night — Mississippi State vs. Georgia — was moved to Wednesday morning. Everything that followed suffered the same outcome.
That means the Razorbacks won’t know their opponent until Wednesday, as opposed to knowing it late last night. Really, though, little change. In fact, it may be a blessing for a Diamond Hogs pitching staff — especially right-hander Blaine Knight — that could use another day to rest.
Arkansas is now scheduled to play at 9:30 a.m. (CT) Thursday. The Razorbacks will either get the fifth-seeded Bulldogs (MSU) or the 12th-seeded Bulldogs (UGA). The Razorbacks swept both this season. Beating Mississippi State might be a little more difficult now than it was at the time, though. Consider, too, Mississippi State is one of the Razorbacks’ top challengers for one of the final hosting spots in the NCAA Tournament next week.
None of that means Arkansas can’t host next a regional the first weekend in June without a win. Things simply become harder. Mississippi State was in line to host one itself until it was swept in the final regular-season series by LSU, 3-0. It sent the Bulldogs spiraling out of the hosting picture, but only barely.
An extra-day-rested Trevor Stephan will get the call for Arkansas come Thursday morning.
Cortez Kennedy practically was a Razorback
Cortez Kennedy, the mountain of a man who stymied NFL defenses from the middle of the Seattle front line in the 1990s, died on Tuesday. He was 48.
Kennedy is most famous for being arguably the best defensive tackle in pro football from 1990-2000. He spent his entire 11-year career with the Seahawks, earning 8 Pro Bowl honors and was a 3-time All-Pro.
Shocked at Cortez Kennedy passing..1 of the most talented players I ever recruited or coached…a fun loving person a sad day..
— Jimmy Johnson (@JimmyJohnson) May 23, 2017
Kennedy was also born and raised in Arkansas. He was born in Osceola and grew up in Wilson, going to Rivercrest High School, then to Northwest Mississippi Community College before landing at Miami (Fla.), where he was an All-American in 1989.
Kennedy is part of Arkansas’ vastly underrated 1980s high school football era that produced several future NFL players. Kennedy, Keith Jackson (Little Rock), Keith Traylor (Malvern), Wayne Martin (Forrest City) and Jackie Harris (Pine Bluff) all played simultaneously in Natural State preps football. All five had NFL careers into double-digit years, too. Willie Roaf followed soon after them.
And although only Martin was a Razorbacks player, all them are strongly associated with the state of Arkansas. Proof that you can leave and still be a Hog for life.
Yee-Haw! Today in Arkansas
One of the best stand-up comedians of all time, Steve Martin, used to do a bit with a toy arrow appearing to go through his skull.
That’s part of the gag. Always has been. The idea of an arrow through someone’s head in this day and age — even in the 1970s — was absurd.
Was. Was absurd.
A man in Chester was shot in the head with an arrow by another man after an alleged altercation. Details are sketchy, but this piece from KFSM 5 News alone is worth a double take.
Deputies said around midnight on Monday (May 22) they found a 41-year-old Raymond Holson in his home on Front Street in Chester. Sheriff Ron Brown said Holson had been shot in the head with an arrow from a bow or crossbow in front of a home on McCaslin Branch Road, and then he drove himself home.
Can you imagine? You’re shot in the head with an arrow and have the wherewithal to drive yourself home. Don’t bother going to the hospital or urgent care. ‘Tis but a flesh wound.
Skip Breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here.