SEC Country file photo
Arkansas offensive lineman Frank Ragnow has played in his final game with the Razorbacks.

The ridiculous tale of the Arkansas offensive line

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.

Frank Ragnow’s loss damaging

Eight different men have started on Arkansas’ offensive line this season. The group has given up 59 sacks in the last 20 games, including 24 sacks in seven games in 2017. One of those allowed resulted in an injury to the SEC’s best returning passer this season, Austin Allen.

It’s been a hard go for Kurt Anderson’s bunch. Now it’s about to get harder.

Anderson and left guard Hjalte Froholdt were the representatives from the offensive line made available Tuesday night. They knew they were going to be asked — over and over — about the loss of All-American Frank Ragnow.

Ragnow and Froholdt were the only two players who started every game on the line this season. After suffering a high-ankle sprain against Auburn on Saturday, Ragnow is now out for the season. Those numbers from the first paragraph aren’t likely to get any better with that news.

Froholdt and Anderson were positive Tuesday night, though. They see it as an opportunity to grow and overcome, even if almost everyone else sees it as yet another nail in the coffin of Arkansas’ season.

Would a Bret Bielema ouster as coach change recruiting?

There was also a splash of good news for the future of the Razorbacks football team on Tuesday.

Junior college defensive lineman Emmit Gooden re-affirmed his commitment to the Razorbacks. He is, per our Trent Shadid, the player in the Class of 2018 who is most likely to make an immediate impact upon arrival in Fayetteville.

Gooden will be coming in at a position of need, too. One of the reasons Arkansas shifted to a 3-4 defense this year was because of a lack of depth along the defensive line. It’s shown, too, as the Razorbacks are dead last in the SEC in tackles-for-loss this year.

ICYMI

  • The best man among Arkansas media on the Razorbacks beat with stats is 247Sports’ Andrew Hutchinson. Despite offensive linemen not collecting many traditional stats, Hutch finds a way to quantify Ragnow’s impact in his career at Arkansas.
  • Good grades for Razorbacks athletes are nice and all, but wins and losses are more important writes Wally Hall.
  • Arkansas wide receiver Jonathan Nance looked like the team’s No. 1 option out wide earlier this season. Lately, though, things haven’t worked that way. Jimmy Carter writes about it.
  • Former Arkansas tight end Jason Peters never did much of that in the NFL. Instead, he’s become an All-Pro offensive lineman. Arguably, Peters is the best modern former-Hogs player to play in the NFL. Maybe ever. That’s part of why it’s tough for fans to hear Peters tore up his knee and will miss the rest of the season with the Eagles.

Tweets and the like

A lot of times those of us in the media like to pretend we are in tight with the people we cover. We aren’t. Not usually. But every single one of us on the Arkansas beat will tell you we think the world of Ragnow. The man has had a tough year. Best of luck, Frank.

Former Arkansas running back Alex Collins is having a breakout season in the NFL. When he was in Fayetteville, he was a fan favorite. He’s a personable guy … mostly. One thing is for certain, Collins is an unusual personality. Mostly in great ways. This is an example.

This is the sport Arkansas fans should be most excited about. The Diamond Hogs are the captains of the Big Three sports at the U of A and this year should be no different. Impressive history. Promising future.

In the battle between former Hogs in the World Series, Logan Forsythe’s team leads Dallas Keuchel’s 1-0.

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