Sunday, July 09, 2006

Dog Days Dragging On

It's early July and all I can think about is September. "Cautiously optimistic" is how I'm looking at the upcoming Hog Football season. Many reasons are in front of me that make me want to be excited, but as I've posted previously, there are many unanswered questions that could be the downfall of this season. Most of the "experts" have the Hogs finishing anywhere from 3rd to 5th in the SEC West. Who knows? All I know is that it's early July, I'm bored with NASCAR for some reason, baseball is just too slow and it seems like September is a lifetime away. But then again come October, I may be wishing for Summer so I can stop suffering every Saturday.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Is the Glass Really Half-full

As everyone knows, I spend a lot of time on Razorback message boards looking for any type of news/rumors/whatever will hold my interest. (It's July, there's nothing going on) As I'm looking at woopig and hogville, I'm noticing many posters are writing that this year could be a 10 win season including a win over the mighty USC Trojans; hey, I'm all for it, but I think there's a better chance of me getting a 200% raise on my current salary than the Hogs winning 10 games this season. There are too many unknowns about the upcoming season. Granted, the Hogs bring back the most starters of any team in the SEC, (19) and this past recruiting class was one of the best of at least the past 15 years. However, the Hogs have NO proven QB-you've got Robert Johnson, who lost the starting job half way thru the '05 season to true Freshman Casey Dick. Dick performed pretty well considering his circumstances, but he was injured in spring ball and is still not taking part in the un-supervised passing drills. That leaves Mustain...While I think Mustain is the future of Razorback Football, you can't throw him to the lions, or the Trojans in his first collegiate game ever.

Unknown #2 is arguably the most talked about new offensive coordinator in Hog football history. I don't know much about Gus Malzahn, except he's won everywhere he's been, including Hughes(who has sucked since he left). The man may be a football genius, but he has yet to see one down of action as a D-1 OC. Now, genius or not, it's a heck of a jump from Springdale High to SEC Saturdays. I hope he proves me wrong early into the USC game.

Now, don't take this the wrong way, I'm not predicting doom and gloom for a 3rd straight season, but there's not enough Budweiser in St. Louis to make me believe the Hogs will win 10 this year...But if they do, you better believe that my glass will be more than half full and making a toast to the Hogs!

More to come as time passes and septa. 2 gets closer.

Friday, June 16, 2006

2006 The Year of the Questions

Seeing that we are inside 3 months from kickoff of the '06 Razorback Football season, I think it's time to start talking about what to expect this year from Houston's "New Look" Hogs. Expectations are surprisingly high coming off back to back losing seasons...but the staff changes and the signing of the Springdale 4 are responsible for this sudden resurgence of hope.
With every new season comes new questions and here are a few that will give all of us Hog fans something to talk, analyze, and argue over until September 2.

1. Will Gus Malzahn have 100% control of playcalling and the offense in general?
Answer: Not 100%, maybe 85...maybe 90, but I still think we will see some calls of the much beloved "Smoke Draw" on 3rd and forever. (aka-Nutt will have veto power over Gus' plays)

2. Who will be the QB...Mustain, Dick, Johnson?
Answer: Dick will start the USC game unless Mustain comes out of two-a-days with the big "S" on his chest.

3. Which defense will show up...the Defense which gave up 70 to the Trojans last year or the defense that held LSU in check for 60 minutes?
Answer: I'm not sure anyone knows at this point.

4. Will Darren McFadden break Madre Hill's single season rushing record of 1,387 yards?
Answer: Yes, but not in 2006.

Ok, there is your homework assignment until the Trojans come to town on Labor Day Weekend.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Long Time Comin'

Let me start by saying that I realize it's been nearly two months since my last post...but in those two months, I've been a very busy man. See, I've recently become a father and that is taking 99.9% of my time now

.FYI-the .1% is work...yeah, I guess I'm the corporate yes man.

So since our last episode, here's a cliff notes of what has transpired:

Heath's Hogs went dancing, but got sent home by Bucknell...(Bucknell, really...well at least they're D-1)
Spring Football has come and gone with a less than advertised showing of the new "Malzahnized" offense in the Red/White game on ESPNU...complete with green jerseys telling the team who they can't tackle...
The St. Louis Cardinals opened a new Busch Stadium...
The Diamond Hogs got hot, then cold, then hot, then cold...
and finally the NBA began the never-ending playoffs.

Outside of that, changing diapers, and 2am feedings, there's not much going on....but it is May and seeing that baseball is my least favorite of the "Big 4" (note: Hockey is not in my list, the other sport is NASCAR) there's just not much to comment on right now.

Except for the lingering question of "Will Gus actually have full control of the offense, or is he just a scapegoat for Houston when things go sour on offense?" I think I'll let this one linger a while longer...after all, it is only May.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Dust Off the Dancin' Shoes

For the first time since the Nolan era, the Hogs are back in the big show. Don't get me wrong, I'm not ready to hang another banner in Bud Walton Arena just yet, but man it's nice to be back on the road to steps.
It's no secret that Coach Heath was on the verge of losing his job until the "streak". I think with this appearance in the dance, Heath will have a few more years as the Head Hog.

As far as the opponent in the first round, Bucknell...well I honestly don't know much about them other than they went 14-0 in conference play and return all 5 starters from a team that knocked out #3 seeded Kansas last year. However, the fact that this is the first NCAA appearance for the Hogs since the '01 season added to the fact that they will be playing in Dallas(aka Barnhill/Bud Walton South) gives the good guys an edge. This one will be close for most of the game, but Hogs will pull away down the stretch.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Oh My! The Difference a Couple of Weeks Can Make

February 16, 2006...The Arkansas Razorbacks were coming off what many consider the worst loss in the past 20 years and there were many unanswered questions; How did they lose to Mississippi? Would they make the N.I.T? Would Stan Heath be back next season? Then something happened. After losing 5 games by a total of 11 points, the Hogs came through in crunch time and pulled off a major upset over #7 ranked Florida. The glimmer of hope that was remaining in the die-hard fans got a little brighter.
Then in front of a national audience on ESPN, the Hogs overcame an 18 point second half deficit to beat Alabama in the final seconds by 2. The flame of hope grows brighter.
Saturday, February 25th. the Hogs are facing another top 10 team, this time on the road, where the Hogs have a dismal record. Here's the extinguisher for that flame of hope. Not so fast...the Hogs yet again overcome a double digit deficit in the second half to upset the #10 ranked Vols on their home floor. That small flame of hope just got another log thrown on it.
See, Hope is a dangerous thing. It can freeze you out if you give it too much credit, or it can burn you if you don't give it enough. Barring a complete meltdown in the final two games of the regular season, it looks as if the Hope for the Hogs may just get soaked in gasoline right before March Madness commences.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

2 in a row

It's something I firmly believed the 05-06 Razorback basketball team lacked...until the past two games. After making a comeback and upsetting #7 Florida over the weekend, I began to think "Maybe, just maybe this team has heart." After overcoming an 18 point deficit in the second half last night against Alabama, this team has almost erased the doubts in my head. The ultimate test will come on Saturday when the Hogs go on the road to Knoxville, where they never play well. We'll see which Razorback team shows up...the new purpose-filled, close game winners or the pretender Wizard of Oz tinman wannabes.