Arkansas baseball being ‘terrible’ on road is fake news
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.
Truth is a fickle beast in sports. Most only want to hear it when it reflects positively on their team. If it’s negative, better to sweep it under the rug. Or, at least, find some alternative talking point to distract.
Fake news, sports. Fake news.
Certainly, it’s that way with the Arkansas baseball team this year. There are beauteous truths and ugly ones with the Diamond Hogs. Arkansas’ season, as a whole, has been exceptional. The Razorbacks had an all-time great season at Baum Stadium, the best home record ever there. They’re top 2 or 3 in the nation in strength of schedule and RPI. They won a share of the title in the SEC West, the best division in college baseball.
Then there are the negatives. Arkansas’ record on the road is poor. Not poor compared to its home record. It’s bad regardless. Dave Van Horn’s team is 7-14 away from Baum Stadium. They didn’t win an SEC series on the road, going 0-5.
Both paragraphs are true. Both have caveats. The air is let out of the first paragraph’s balloon by the second. The over-the-moon crowd can be brought to Earth simply by bringing up the road difficulties. Those who gripe about Arkansas’ road difficulties have a counter from the uplifting crowd about how good Arkansas is overall.
The question is which is closer to the truth. Actually, the question is whether the answer to that question even matters.
Arkansas baseball doesn’t exist in a vacuum. To say the Diamond Hogs are going to have a rough week in Hoover, Ala., starting in a couple of days, simply because they were bad on the road all year is disingenuous. Why were they bad? How bad were they? Bad against everyone? Bad against good teams? Bad against bad teams?
Eight of Arkansas’ 14 losses on the road came by 1 run. Eight. Another four of the remaining six losses came by 2 runs. That means, of all 14 losses, Arkansas was only out of the game twice. They aren’t a team getting drilled when they go out on the road. They’re a team about 3 hits away from being the No. 1 team in the nation. Turn a 1-run loss at Florida, at Ole Miss and Georgia into 1-run wins and not a soul is doubting Arkansas’ credibility.
Instead, Arkansas finds itself in the position of insecurity. Maybe they need a win this week, or two, to make a top-8 national seed. Maybe they have already locked it up. Or maybe, this is baseball and the wildest game in the world will reveal when it’s time.
Have fun this week.
Arkansas gets yet another quarterback of the future
Mississippi prep quarterback K.J. Jefferson, Class of 2019, pledged his commitment to Chad Morris’ Arkansas football team Friday afternoon.
It seems a good get. Jefferson is a dual-threat quarterback who held offers from Georgia, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas A&M and several others. Impressive, definitely.
It also means when Jefferson arrives, Arkansas could have six scholarship quarterbacks on its roster. Ty Storey, Cole Kelley and Daulton Hyatt are already at the school. Connor Noland and John Stephen Jones, Class of 2018, are set to arrive in the coming weeks.
Alas, there is only one football. Someone is going to transfer at some point before Jefferson arrives. Six scholarship quarterbacks is excessive. Competition will weed out someone, maybe far before Jefferson arrives. But with Morris already locking in three quarterbacks in his six months on the job, it’s clear where he wants this program to go.
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- Arkansas softball is off to the super regionals for the first time in school history. Courtney Deifel’s bunch went 3-0 at Bogle Park to win the Fayetteville Regional. Arkansas gets a trip just across the state line to Oklahoma. The Sooners have won the last two national championships.
- Speaking of Noland, the Greenwood High right-hander pitched his Bulldogs to a state baseball championship Saturday. He isn’t only playing football for Morris next year, but he’s arguably even more touted on the mound and will throw for Van Horn, too.
- Arkansas’ punt return game has been brutal. Will it change under Morris? Not likely.
Tweets and the like
What a year.
— Arkansas Razorbacks (@ArkRazorbacks) May 20, 2018
KJ Jefferson is happy to be a future Arkansas football player.
— KJ Jefferson (@KJ_Jefferson2) May 18, 2018
Skip breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here.