Arkansas athletics/courtesy
Coach Mike Anderson doesn't have Dusty Hannahs to bank on for the basketball team any longer.

Far too early to tell Arkansas basketball’s NCAA Tournament realities

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.

One of the most annoying clauses in sports is, “If the season ended today …”

Most all of us are guilty of having said it at some point. Myself included. Immediately after, I regret it because probably never in the history of that utterance has the rest of the clause finished with the season actually ending on that day. Therefore, in reality, it means nothing. The season didn’t end that day.

But, boy, it’s still a fun game, isn’t it? The phrase, at a fundamental level, is the reason we have opinion columns and projections and talking heads shows. For whatever reason, what’s happening in the future is more interesting than what’s happening today.

All that is written to say this:

It’s impossible to tell if Arkansas is an NCAA Tournament team.

There. Said. Not going to make a lot of people happy. But it’s factual.

“If the season ended today,” then, yes, absolutely. The Razorbacks are a solid “in” for the Big Dance. They have two high-profile wins — over Tennessee and Oklahoma; they have a strong strength of schedule to take some of the pain out of the losses; and they are, simply put, quite talented.

They also have played mediocre basketball since Christmas, face an increasingly difficult road (especially starting in two weeks) and haven’t established themselves so clearly as a high-quality team that Arkansas is a lock. And that’s not the “well, no one is a lock because any team can lose all of a sudden.” No, Arkansas isn’t a lock right now even in the stretched sense. The Hogs look about like a .500 basketball team in SEC play this season, based off previous results.

Is that going to be enough?

Arkansas offensive coordinator Joe Craddock’s story is wild

Middle Tennessee State quarterback.

High school football assistant coach.

Clemson graduate assistant.

SMU offensive coordinator.

Arkansas offensive coordinator.

Not exactly the most common route to big-time coaching there. But it’s Joe Craddock’s. What is maybe even more shocking is that Craddock is only 32. His boss, Arkansas coach Chad Morris, has a somewhat similar path to where he is, but Craddock is 18 years his junior and toiled at levels Morris hasn’t seen in at least a generation.

Great story Monday from our Trent Shadid about Craddock’s circuitous road.

ICYMI

  • Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium will soon have metal detectors, it appears. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has a report that says bids are moving forward for those companies that want the job of (probably being) official metal detector of Razorbacks athletics.
  • We wrote a few days ago that Brandon Martin was our pick for breakout player at wideout this season for Arkansas. Over at 247Sports, Andrew Hutchinson wrote how the Razorbacks are looking for both more speed and more size at the spot. Bodes well for the massive Martin.
  • John Mincey’s de-commitment from Arkansas’ recruiting class was a bit of a sting. Shadid wrote that the Razorbacks are seeking a backup plan now.

Tweets and the like

• Arkansas football’s uniforms are up for some sort of internet prize. The official Hogs account is pushing you to vote on them.

• The basketball team was busy Monday morning. Kudos.

• It snowed like crazy in the farthest northern stretches of the state on Monday. Makes this seem super far away. But, my goodness, I hope it hurries.

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