Breaking Down Arkansas's Ranking in the AP College Football Poll
The AP poll is released and the Arkansas Razorbacks received a No. 10 ranking. The preseason poll is always a topic of conversation around the water cooler as fans argue where their team should be ranked.
If there is one word to describe the Razorbacks placement in the polls, that word would be “perfect.”
One of the upsides to being ranked No. 10 is that it alleviates any perceived pressure on this football team.
Teams like USC, Alabama and LSU are all ranked in the upper tier of the polls and will have the pressure of wearing a target on their back for every game.
The Razorbacks finished last year with a higher ranking, so they are not overwhelmed by this number. If anything, they may feel a bit disrespected.
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The Razorbacks have had a very difficult offseason. Controversy, coaching changes and player dismissals have highlighted a rocky road for this team.
That kind of adversity has brought this team together. Leaders have emerged and this team has bonded, forming a solid front that is ready to take to the field.
These players are ready to believe that they are No. 1 in the country. Being ranked lower than four other SEC teams should provide enough motivation to jump-start the season for the Razorbacks.
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The Razorbacks have a chance to move up the polls in Week 1. The Michigan vs. Alabama game will be an interesting one for the Razorbacks.
If Michigan wins, the Hogs are happy because it helps them in pursuit of an SEC title.
If Alabama wins, Michigan will undoubtedly drop down the polls and open up a move to at least No. 9 for the Razorbacks.
Regardless of the outcome, the Razorbacks are sitting pretty at the No. 10 spot.
Destiny in Control
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The No. 10 ranking allows the Razorbacks to have a better control of their destiny.
The voting system is obviously flawed. To keep politics out of the system, the Razorbacks must win.
The Razorbacks don’t play the Crimson Tide until September, but they are already eyeing that matchup. If the Razorbacks take down the Tide, they will be beating a top-ranked team in the country.
The schedule will also allow the Hogs to take on LSU and South Carolina, two teams above Arkansas in the current polls.
Some believe the Hogs are ready to win the SEC this year, and this schedule will allow them to remove any doubt by season's end.
Does It Really Matter?
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It is the preseason and the teams have yet to take the field.
In order to get the most important spot in the rankings, teams have to win games. When the season is over, no one will care where a team was ranked in the preseason poll. They will only care where they finished.
For the Arkansas Razorbacks, starting at No. 10 is irrelevant. It is where they finish that matters. Right now, being ranked at No. 10 is perfect.
James Brown is a B/R featured columnist and can be followed on Twitter. Feel free to contact James at firstname.lastname@example.org.