Bought Phil Steele's magazine Tuesday..................

…at Walmart in Hope on the way to Dallas and it had the Texass cover not the SEC cover intended for Arkansas buyers. Spit. The articles are the same, but Ragnow was featured on the SEC cover (they show them all on the back) so I would rather have that one.

One interesting detail noticed so far is Phil has Froholdte projected as 2nd team All SEC. He has Austin as 4th team All SEC behind Bama’s, MissState’s, and Auburn’s QB’s. I think he will be proved wrong there but he is probably right that the top four QB’s in the SEC are all in the West. Damn this is a tough half of a conference, again.

He picked TCU to be #3 in the Big12. I think he did the same last year so he is definitely not always right. He says we will finish 7-5. Hope we pleasantly surprise folks instead. Go Hogs.

[quote=“Hogmodo”]
…at Walmart in Hope on the way to Dallas and it had the Texass cover not the SEC cover intended for Arkansas buyers. Spit. The articles are the same, but Ragnow was featured on the SEC cover (they show them all on the back) so I would rather have that one.

One interesting detail noticed so far is Phil has Froholdte projected as 2nd team All SEC. He has Austin as 4th team All SEC behind Bama’s, MissState’s, and Auburn’s QB’s. I think he will be proved wrong there but he is probably right that the top four QB’s in the SEC are all in the West. Damn this is a tough half of a conference, again.

He picked TCU to be #3 in the Big12. I think he did the same last year so he is definitely not always right. He says we will finish 7-5. Hope we pleasantly surprise folks instead. Go Hogs.
[/quote]\

I respect Phil more so than any others in the biz. He’s more right than wrong. I’ve always thought Froholdt had a chance to be a special OL as he matured in the position.

Again, the national people see most of their predictions based off of the last two games. There’s no way the D is worse than last year. I see a good jump to a top 50 plus D and the offense being good to very good. I say 8-4, but I can see more wins.

Amazing the perception for everyone, including our own fans (myself included), is so molded by the 2nd halves of Mizzou and Va Tech. If we just could have held them off like the Miss State game the vibe would be so much better. Easy to forget that the Bulldogs actually did more scoring than either the Tigers or Hokies in the 2nd half, but we maintained our working margin because we kept on scoring ourselves. Just needed a couple of scores after halftime in both the last 2 games, and we would have been remembering a 9-4 record. Still wouldn’t have erased the other 4 losses, but the last 2 were wins that we just let get away.

[quote=“RichardDavenport”]

Those last two games affected everyone’s attitude about our prospects. I’m still dumbfounded by the way they played out. Had we won them everyone would be talking about us winning 9 or 10 this year. As it is, most of us are thinking 6 to 8 wins at best. But you raise a good point about the D. It’s got to be better. I’d feel better had Williams stayed healthy, but maybe the RB transfering from USC will provide the depth we need to keep up there. I also hope the OL will be a bit better. Maybe we can surprise everyone & get 8 or 9 wins. Do that & win a bowl & we’ll all feel the program has taken a big step forward.

We have a SR Quarterback and that is BIG in the SEC West.

I feel certain the Defense can’t get worse, so we should see a marked improvement.

The Oline is where it all starts and it should be much much better. AA was very good with a mediocre Oline last year, so just think what he can do with time to go through his progressions against SEC defenses.

Lots of people talk about the second half collapses, but don’t mention La tech’s missed FG or a blocked FG by skipper or that’s a loss to TCU

I think those wins even out the last two losses.

7-5 or 8-4 is little difference imho unless we are finally at a point in time that we should have been going into year three–all be it two years later. 4-5 losses needs some clarity on how and when we are competitive for SEC championships.

While I appreciate the belief that the defense will be better this year (and it should given how bad it was last year), I would caution that things can get worse not always better and if the offense does not build on the past two years , then it is highly likely that we take a big set back this year. I will feel better when we are at a point in time that I do not have to question if we can beat TAM, Mizzo, MSU or any of the rent a win schools.

A little less talk and a great deal more of the walk would make a lot of the fan base feel better.

Close wins balance out close losses, but almost every football team has both. The two losses we suffered at the end of the season aren’t in the same category. It’s the way we lost them by blowing big half-time leads. MU should never have been close. They were terrible. I didn’t go into the bowl expecting to beat VT. Had we lost by the exact same score but done it by essentially trading touchdowns throughout the game, I don’t think I’d have been nearly as upset. When you dominate 24-0 in the first half you simply ought to win. To blow big leads two games in a row is much more disheartening.

You’re right about balancing out, but probably most of us overlook the LaTech and TCU games as being two games where we trying to break in a new quarterback with questions on the O-line and uncertainty with Raleigh Williams trying to come back and be the lead back. Don’t think anybody expected the issues on defense to be as bad as it was. We were fortunate with LaTech missing a field goal, but we dominated TCU until the Frogs put up a great fourth-quarter comeback (a precursor of things to come). Still, I don’t put their blocked field goal by Skipper the same as the missed LaTech field goal. Great players do great things to get great wins.

Ill just be excited if they can beat an overrated Texas AM program…for the last 5 years

Yes!

I’ll get excited when we have beaten TCU and A&M this year.

Otherwise, same ole, same ole.

I suspect it better happen this year as it is likely there will be a new coach in College Station next fall.

EXACTLY!!! Thats all Im screaming! Last year in camp the D was going to be our strength, talk about a total misjudgement of what was being seen in fall camp! I know we had some injuries but come on, depth was bragged on a little for the 1st time in years too! Guess all im saying is I personally am done with the kool-aid !!! I will know by the Florida A&M game alone at the possibilities of how good we can become, I hope they start strong and keep getting coached stronger and talk more the next week of where they have to get better and not rehash the great plays of the last game into tuesday and wednesday each week, one of my beliefs in our in season letdowns that have appeared each year! Take the Saben approach and say yep we won by 30 but look at everything we did wrong!!! Hey it works folks, just ask the Bamma fans!!!

I agree SoArk and think that the 2nd half collapses in the last 2 games were more telling of the problems on that team last year. After a whole season, the Defense still could not adjust after halftime, the defensive players had no confidence in RS, and the offense couldn’t do anything since the Oline was mediocre. AA wasn’t confident of protection after the beating and cheap shots at Auburn, so he didn’t perform as well either. I have confidence the Oline will be much better and that means the Offense is MUCH better. If the offense is better and chewing up yards and clock, the defense is protected and much more than last year. I feel that the defense will be better than last year’s abysmal defense. My whole theory of improved TEAM performance is based on the offense being much better and more consistent at running the ball against the upper tier SEC teams.

Good points. It’s also worth pointing out that LaTech had a very good team last year. They weren’t the usual “rent-a-win” team. TCU wasn’t a powerhouse compared to some of their previous few seasons, but we did outplay them & deserved the win.

It seems to be the fans’ nature to second guess close losses more than appreciate close wins, but those last two losses were just devastating.