Imagine the drama if Arkansas were to beat Auburn on Saturday
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Can you imagine the drama if Arkansas were to beat Auburn on Saturday?
Auburn fans would be livid, calling for coach Gus Malzahn’s job immediately. E. Me. D. Et. Lee. Arkansas fans would be less than thrilled, too, honestly, mostly thinking such a win would give Bret Bielema’s tenure at Arkansas a stay of execution.
The week’s worth of build-up, though, has never reached a boiling point. It’s been a strange week, less exciting than usual for a pair of teams that have played interesting games in both coaches’ time at their respective schools. Two years ago Arkansas needed four overtimes to win a classic. Last year Auburn trounced the Razorbacks 56-3.
It would be unfair to call it crickets this week, but we’re a long way from Bielema’s utterance of the sentence “Probably doesn’t need to be said in here how much I hate Auburn,” three seasons ago.
All that could change, though, with an Arkansas win Saturday.
No one is betting on it; instead, most are asking if Arkansas, with everything that’s gone wrong this season, could even do it.
But, oh, the possibilities if it happened.
Arkansas defense will ‘never forget’ last year’s beat down
Senior linebacker Dwayne Eugene said the defense uses the 56-3 loss and the 543 yards rushing Auburn racked up last year as motivation. Not huge motivation — because if Arkansas, in all its trouble, can’t get motivated for this week, bigger issues are at hand — but motivation nonetheless. The Razorbacks don’t want it happening again.
If it does, it hastens the team’s demise. Frustrations from the outside are already abounding about “quit.” Arkansas players and coaches try not to hear them. They’re a group that still, honestly, believes this team can make a bowl, win eight games.
And why not? Stranger things have happened (like a 56-3 beat down of a good team).
Arkansas basketball picked sixth in the SEC
Not to be the bearer of bad news, but if Arkansas finishes sixth in the SEC, history suggests the Razorbacks will be headed to the National Invitational Tournament.
Arkansas was tabbed for just that spot Wednesday when the league projections came out during SEC Media Day. Kentucky, Florida, Texas A&M, Alabama and Missouri were all picked in front of coach Mike Anderson’s bunch. The good news for Arkansas is that Anderson’s team has overachieved two of the last three seasons compared to where they were picked in the preseason.
The bad news is the SEC is stronger and Arkansas’ schedule is punishing.
The Razorbacks have high internal hopes, though, with guards Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon shunned by the league’s preseason All-SEC ballot.
- Bielema said Wednesday during the SEC coaches’ teleconference that starting quarterback Austin Allen is a definite possibility for going Saturday against Auburn. Allen was injured two weeks ago in Arkansas’ loss to South Carolina and did not dress against Alabama.
- As mentioned a bit above, this season is not yet lost for the Razorbacks. Trent Shadid and I talked about exactly that in our latest Sound Off segment.
- Shadid also took a look Wednesday at predicting Arkansas’ 2018 recruiting class on the defensive side of the ball.
- The punishment has been levied against former Arkansas and current Chicago Bulls player Bobby Portis. Portis was involved in a fight with teammate Nikola Mirotic earlier this week and now he’s going to miss some games because of it.
- Former Missouri coach Gary Pinkel was the guest at the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club on Wednesday. Andrew Hutchinson from 247Sports has some news on that.
Tweets and the like
Don’t put all your eggs in the Arkansas basketball, uh, basket. The best bet for a deep NCAA postseason run comes with the baseball team. The Diamond Hogs have a schedule that is preparing them for such a run, too.
— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogersD1) October 18, 2017
Anderson, Macon and Barford were the triumvirate that went to Nashville on Wednesday to represent Arkansas at Media Day.
— Razorback Basketball (@RazorbackMBB) October 18, 2017
Have you missed superfluous drone footage in Arkansas hype videos? Well, if you have, I have something sure to tickle your fancy. The best sport at Arkansas has an announcement to make, replete with gratuitous sky-travel shots.
New Era of Collegiate Relays#TrackCapitaloftheWorld April 27-28 2018
Mark Your 📆
— Razorback XC/TF (@RazorbackTF) October 18, 2017
Skip Breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here.