Arkansas Athletics/Courtesy
Arkansas outfielder Dominic Fletcher has been lights out in SEC play.

OK, Arkansas baseball, now is the time, don’t blow it

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.

How to silence the haters

All season long, Arkansas baseball, I have been at your defense.

When they said “Same ol’ Hogs,” I said, “No, they’re different.”

When they said, “Can’t win on the road,” I said, “Few can.”

And when they said “Fire DVH!” I mostly just laughed at the idiocy.

Well, on those first two, it’s time to prove otherwise (you believe the third one and you’re still out of your gourd). See, Arkansas, if you make the College World Series, all will be forgiven with those naysayers. Won’t matter to them. They will even pretend they never disparaged you at all.

But, oh, if you don’t. If you don’t, if you fail, with those warts, all the I-told-you-so fodder will be levied. Like rockets off the bat of Heston Kjerstad. It will be reminiscent the 2015 football season. No one could be happy Arkansas won eight games that year, its best non-Bobby Petrino year since Darren McFadden was on campus. Instead, they moaned and groaned. Not happy about the 6-1 finish to the year, it was all complaining about the 2-4 start.

Nothing ever exists on just one plane or the other. But it’s pert near impossible to live in shades of gray when you’re a sports fan. Guess it’s the whole fanatic part of it. Logic goes out the window. It’s all woe or all glory. Reality is hard. Lots of sports fans use sports as an escape from reality, so they don’t want to apply real situations to their escape.

That’d be the truth, though. If Arkansas wins just one game of its three against Georgia in Athens, the lone victory should be good enough. The Diamond Hogs have been that stellar this year; so stellar they have not won a single SEC series on the road and are still a top-5 seed in most projected NCAA Tournament brackets. Considering Georgia is a top-8 seed in one and a top-16 in another, simply losing the series to the Bulldogs shouldn’t actually drop Arkansas a ton. It won’t be an embarrassing loss.

But if Arkansas is swept and if that sweep is enough to knock the Razorbacks out of the top 8 when it comes the NCAA Tournament, expect a lot of people like this.

What would a Chad Morris disappointment look like in Year 1?

To answer that question, we have to set a ground rule. Just like the section above, things do not exist in black-and-white. There is a disappointment, success and a measure in-between.

This is how it should be termed:

“Arkansas is too good, talent-wise, for another three-win year (Bret Bielema’s first-year total at Arkansas). That would definitely qualify as a disaster. Even a repeat of Bielema’s four-win season a year ago would be a major disappointment. Five wins are probably enough to satisfy and be termed as acceptable.”

Can the Razorbacks reach that? Can they be “acceptable?” Yeah. That’s why it’s labeled that way. Five wins is the threshold of decency in Morris’ first year.

MORE: Sign up here to get this roundup in your inbox Monday through Friday.

ICYMI

  • The best women’s golfer in the nation (her name is Maria Fassi, FYI) leads her second-ranked Arkansas team to Stillwater, Okla., for the NCAA Championships starting Friday. It’s the ninth time the program has made the championships in school history.
  • That same golf team, along with gymnastics and women’s tennis, was named the top-10 percent in its respective sport for academics when it comes to APR for 2016-17.
  • Arkansas men’s golf, have a day! The Hogs shot a combined 8-under par to rally and jump six spots to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Unreal. Check out the round below.

Tweets and the like

This isn’t a tweet, but the section is called “and the like,” too, so here is a shot of the men’s golf scorecard.

arkansas-arkansas golf

Lots of people love baby animals, so here is Arkansas’ newest baby animal.

Do the kids still know what the Jerry Springer Show is/was? Real question.

Baseball isn’t the only sport with a big weekend. Arkansas softball is ready to host the Fayetteville Regional.

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