Arkansas athletics/courtesy
Arkansas freshman center Daniel Gafford is a star already.

Weekend leaves Arkansas as hyped as it’s been in years

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.

I am not a slave to the moment. In fact, I try to remove myself from the chains of recency as much as I can. I’m never one to say, “Greatest game I have ever seen!”

But I can say, in the four years I have been covering Arkansas sports, I don’t remember a weekend Razorbacks Nation was this pumped up.

It began Thursday with the introduction of new football coach Chad Morris. Things could not have gone better for Morris or the university as far as the presser went. The video the athletic department released, too, of Morris introducing himself to his players, that was catnip for a majority of Arkansas’ fan base. So, when he and Hunter Yurachek, the recently hired athletic director, led their first public Hog Call on Saturday night at the basketball game, the place responded.

Toss in, too, that the Razorbacks were handling 14th-ranked Minnesota when Morris and Yurachek took center court, and it was even bigger. About 90 minutes later, those basketball Hogs were celebrating a win against a nationally ranked opponent. A dominant win at that.

Sure, there have been major moments in the last four years that have been spectacular. They are more, by my admittedly leaky memory, more one-off moments, though. The 2014 win against LSU when everyone rushed Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium field, that was huge. But that was a one-off moment. Michael Qualls’ tip-in dunk to beat Kentucky, also huge, also one-off.

A pitch-perfect press conference from a new coach that very much is an “Arkansas Man,” combined with a resurgent and potentially special basketball team, that’s the stuff dreams are made of for Hogs fans.

Arkansas basketball is one of best 25 teams in nation

Speaking of those basketball Hogs, if you still haven’t seen them, what are you doing?

The glass half-empty crowd still came out, even after Arkansas beat Minnesota by 16 points Saturday night, and that blew my mind. Some people simply are unhappy unless the Razorbacks look like those mid-90s teams. Reminds me, too, that some people simply have it out for coach Mike Anderson.

Anderson has things clicking right now with Razorbacks basketball as well it has in about 20 years. This Arkansas team is good. The Hogs can be, on the right night, scary good. And, yes, for you Negative Nicks and Nancies out there, they are not perfect. They did lose by 26 points to Houston. Hate to break it to you, though, there are only a handful of undefeated teams left in the nation.

Duke just lost to Boston College.

Florida just lost to Loyola (Ill.).

Kansas just lost to Washington and Arizona State back to back.

Teams lose to teams they’re not supposed to lose to. It happens. The best of those teams come back from that and do what Arkansas did to Minnesota on Saturday. The next AP Top 25 Poll is released Monday.

ICYMI

Tweets and the like

• Yurachek has to be digging what he has seen so far.

• Give him one more season on The Hill and Daniel Gafford will be the most beloved Arkansas basketball player since Qualls. May even overtake him.

• Arkansas fans everywhere loved this moment over the weekend. Bobby Portis and Malik Monk are Arkansas natives. Only one went to the U of A. Guess which.

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