Trent Shadid/SEC Country
Arkansas coach Chad Morris has his work cut out for him.

Arkansas No. 2 in the SEC in Year 3 of Chad Morris? Now that’s a reach

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.

It’s not unreasonable to think SEC Country will give me a massive raise and promotion next year. It’s not unreasonable to think the struggling Atlanta Hawks will win the NBA title next year. it’s also not unreasonable to think The Mummy will win Best Picture at the Academy Awards in March.

Only, see, it’s completely unreasonable to think all of those things.

That bit of saying the opposite must have been the effect Danny Sheridan sought over the weekend regarding Arkansas football. The oddsmaker joined Sports Talk with Bo Mattingly, ever the down-the-middle radio program, and proclaimed, “… not unreasonable to think that in 3-4 years, Morris will be No. 2 in the SEC.”

This is the same guy who said, “I think in the next five years, [Bret] Bielema will win the SEC title at Arkansas.”

Look, sunshine-pumping is a thing lots of local media types do. Radio is a medium in which guests are prominent and those guests often have a habit of saying ridiculous things. Usually it’s something ridiculously positive about the program closest to the market they’re in or visiting. Sheridan has been a regular on that show for almost a decade. So, yeah, that tells you something about the things he says to keep being re-invited.

That’s what’s happened here. It’s quite unreasonable to think Chad Morris, as great a coach as he may well turn out to be, will have Arkansas as the second-best team in the SEC in 2021. Of course, Sheridan didn’t say outright Morris would do that. The “not unreasonable” is a great hedge.

 

Let’s not be boasting about things like that so far down the road. In the meantime, instead of worrying about where the team is when it’ll have current ninth-graders on the roster, let’s focus on a team that won four games in 2017, eh?

Arkansas basketball HAD to beat Missouri

Turns out, the SEC is a cluster. Shocker, right?

Calling the conference “once-powerful” seems unstylish now, even. The SEC has been rather poor for a good 10-12 years now. The 2017 NCAA Tournament, however, saw impressive runs by league representatives and combined with the way most of the SEC recruited and what teams had returning, there was reason to believe 2017-18 was the return to the 1990s.

Not. Even. Close.

The bottom of the league has come up. Way up. It’s stronger in the cellar than maybe any other conference in college basketball. That has created a problem. The top and middle have not gotten that much better. So, instead of clears lines of demarcation, the SEC has an issue where teams 4-11 are cannibalizing each other. Eight teams in the middle, including Arkansas, are between 3-2 and 2-3.

That’s not a good sign for a league that has a bad national perception already. Obviously, it can be overcome; the conference isn’t even a third of the way through its season yet. But it’s a bad early trend. Going 1-1 every week, on average, does nobody any good when it comes to NCAA Tournament hopes.

To make the Big Dance, Arkansas needs to break free from that muck. The Razorbacks beat Missouri to pull within a game of .500 over the weekend, but by the time the SEC/Big 12 Challenge rolls around at the end of the month, the Razorbacks need to be above that mark to feel good about their chances.

ICYMI

  • Brian Wallace could be a star on Arkansas’ offensive line in 2018. It’s now or never for the man once considered the next Hogs great.
  • Morris and the Razorbacks have offered defensive lineman Caleb Okechukwu from Washington D.C. Definitely an uncommon recruiting ground for the university.
  • Arkansas women’s basketball is right on pace with the men. Coach Mike Neighbors’ team beat Auburn on Sunday to move to 2-3 in league play.
  • Arkansas gymnastics fell over the weekend to Kentucky, 196.950 to 196.525. The meet was Arkansas’ home opener in the SEC. The Razorbacks are the 11th-ranked team in the nation and Kentucky is No.6-ranked.

Tweets and the like

• Trey Flowers and Deatrich Wise are a crazy good 1-2 punch for the New England Patriots. Both are former Hogs, too.

• In fact, it was quite the weekend for a few former Razorbacks in the NFL. Not just Pats, either.

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