The USA TODAY Sports Coaches' Poll is out and the Arkansas Razorbacks were slotted in the No. 10 spot. At first glance this looked like a mistake considering that the Razorbacks finished the 2011 season as the No. 5 team in the college football rankings.
Arkansas is coming into this season with an improved defense and a high-power offense that includes returning quarterback Tyler Wilson. Despite the scandal that rocked the football program in the offseason, the Hogs are poised to be a major player in the SEC this season, yet when votes were tallied the Razorbacks received just 948 points.
Alabama, LSU and Oregon deserved the higher ranking as they finished the year in the top-ten and are considered some of the best teams in the country. However, putting the Razorbacks below teams like Georgia, Michigan, and South Carolina is a bit of a head-scratcher.
The Razorbacks were underrated in this preseason poll and if ranked properly they could have been as high as No. 6. The disrespect in the polls could be a positive for this team.
The Hogs could use the poor ranking as motivation headed into the season. The team already has an “us against the world mentality” and this ranking would solidify that feeling.
This also allows the Hogs room to move. Barring a monumental upset, the Razorbacks will be at least No. 10 in the polls when they host Alabama on September 15th. The Razorbacks have circled the Alabama game on the schedule and if they are able to win, it would be very impressive. The win would allow the team to propel up the rankings, shining a positive light on the program.
Right now it looks as if the Razorbacks have been overlooked in the preseason poll, but it could be a blessing in disguise as this team is ready to show the college football world they deserve a spot at the top among the best teams in the country.
James Brown is a B/R featured columnist and can be followed on Twitter. Feel free to contact James at firstname.lastname@example.org. He also is a contributor at Bookie Blitz, a sports picks website and the official blog of the World Series of Handicapping.