Retro Razorbacks: Forty Minutes of Pel

Jimmy SmithCorrespondent IJanuary 7, 2009

Bud Walton Arena had a sense of excitement and enthusiasm that had not been felt since the mid-90s when Nolan Richardson unleashed his forty minutes of hell on sheepish SEC foes. 

Teams would go into Bud Walton Arena confident and feeling good, while leaving concerned and scared.  But that is old, since Nolan Richardson was fired in 2002 there has been mediocrity and a sense of failure around the Arkansas program that once called itself National Champion.

Razorback fans now have a feeling of nostalgia as a former Kentucky Wildcat by the name of John Pelphrey has made his Hawgs play with the old school ways that get the fans buzzing.  Forty minutes of hell?  More like forty minutes of Pel.

The Razorbacks are flying high as the top ten tandem from the Big XII conference, Oklahoma and Texas, have come into Bud Walton Arena and left with their tails between their legs, poor Blake Griffin and Damion James

Word of advice to future opponents.  Don't come into Bud Walton ranked.  Arkansas is 6-0 against the past six ranked opponents at home.  If you are ranked and happen to find yourself in Fayetteville, just expect a loss.

What is funny is the Razorbacks were picked by the media and coaches to finish sixth in the SEC Western Division in the pre-season, I am sure many of the experts and pundits would like to vote again.

As great as the wins for the Arkansas program were, how serious should the nation take this Arkansas team?  Looking at the non-conference schedule for the Razorbacks they defeated Texas and Oklahoma as their resume highlighting victories.  They also defeated Stephen F. Austin, giving Arkansas three victories over RPI top 100. 

Outside of those victories, the Arkansas have faced mediocre to poor teams.  Arkansas' only blemish was on the road at a tough Missouri Valley arena to Missouri State.

Sure, Arkansas has defeated two good teams in Oklahoma and Texas.  However, but games were at home.  The Razorbacks really do not have a true road test outside of Missouri State.  It will be very interesting when John Pelphrey takes his team to Ole Miss and Florida in back to back games next week.

Now the Razorbacks are in the rest of country's  eye shot as a potential contender this March.  Yes, contender.  Pelphrey does have talent with freshman guard Courtney Fortson and junior forward Michael Washington.

The Hawgs must now look at themselves in the mirror and realize the SEC will be gunning for them.  They must fight through the pressure and keep up the good play, otherwise the wins over Oklahoma and Texas will be for nothing.

Bruce Pearl, I see that your Vols are ranked.  Be aware that you do go to Bud Walton Arena, the Razorbacks are ready to unleash some Pel on you.