This will be the first in a series of preview's in which I will be attempting to assume how one would review the season to come for the various teams of the SEC West.
It is highly unlikely that all my predictions will be correct, but I am almost certain that, based on knowledge, fact, and the laws of probability that at least some will be correct.
It was a great season to be involved with the Razorback nation, and Lord knows we had our fair shares of ups and downs. The season started with a violent display of offense against a less than stellar Tennessee Tech squad. The defense appeared to show vast improvement from last year although in hindsight that assumption was premature.
After another behind the woodshed beat down of ULM everyone was high on the Hog and Ryan Mallett was on everyone’s Heisman Trophy list. The optimism was high when the Razorbacks stormed between the hedges, but after the dust had cleared the faults in the defense where all too clear. The Hogs let one slip away in a 35-24 loss to an improved Georgia squad.
The Alabama game gave Ryan Mallett reasons to rethink his decision to forgo the draft after being helped off the field in the second quarter. Luckily he only suffered a bruised shoulder, but the damage was done as Arkansas lost 31-14.
After two consecutive SEC loses the Hogs were in much need of a bye week and with all the folks off the bandwagon it could not have come at a better time. When Arkansas stepped on the field against Texas A&M they dispelled any misconceptions about their desire to win. Arkansas wins 56-12.
The biggest test of the season for two rising programs came on the eve of Oct. 16 and after the dust had settled Arkansas was in prime position to head to Orlando. The Razorbacks won a barn-burner in last minute fashion 45-43.
The Ole Miss woes continued as the Razorbacks showed their dominance over the rebels in a lopsided 38-10 victory. After the game it was clear that one program in the SEC west was rising and one was fading fast.
Vanderbilt was the usual sacrificial lamb that they have been in years past keeping the game tied until kickoff. The Razorbacks set a new SEC passing record exceeding 600 yards in their 53-21 win.
The South Carolina game exposed two things 1) Arkansas still does not have a defense. And 2) South Carolina still has not discovered an offense. The hogs pull off an ugly one in overtime 20-13.
UTEP has officially refused to play any team with ties the old Big 8 conference after losing 77-10 to the Razorbacks in a game that was over when it was scheduled. Ryan Mallett crept back into Heisman discussions however throwing for 5 touchdowns in the most lopsided victory all year.
This game was the end all be all of the college football season as both programs came in with intentions of playing in Orlando and at worst Atlanta. It was well worth the hype as this game was a display of two of the best offenses in the SEC. Arkansas had the lead late in game but a missed field goal gave the Bulldogs a fighting chance. On a 3rd and goal play from the 2 yard line Miss St. finally missed Dixon as they fumbled with 20 seconds left. Arkansas wins 35-31 in spectacular fashion.
LSU fans apparently had forgotten the Lswhoo chants but where quickly reminded when the Tigers went down 21 points in the first quarter. LSU's offense still could not get on track as they committed 13 penalties and 4 turnovers. Arkansas wins easily 35-6 and raises the golden boot in triumph.
It had been quite some Time since the Hogs had played a warm weather bowl game, but they did not disappoint as they won the Capitol One bowl 28-21 and laid claim to 11 win season. This will only add fuel to the fire of speculation as to how high these Hogs can go next year. Until then SOOOOOWEE and go Hogs!!!