The Hogs have a 4th Year QB who was a 4-Star and has been tutored by Enos through two springs.
The Hogs return 2 top SEC OLs and a successful TE in Sprinkle.
The Hogs return the starting DL, the starting LB group and most of the defensive secondary.
The Hogs return its best WR group in half a decade.
The Hogs have a bruising six year RB.
The Hogs will feature the top HS RB from the state of Texas.
The Hogs won 5 SEC games last year, including 4 road victories, including wins over highly regarded LSU and Tennessee.
Because we didn’t live up to the hype last year, starting out the season ranked and floundered early. But just like the year before we come on late in the season, but the early losses took their toll.
The skepticism is warranted, we just need to start the season in similar fashion the way we end them.
They need to beat TAM, Miss State and not lose the one game a year that they are the favorite or not blow a lead in fourth quarter.
Truth is they are now at the point of beginning to recruit to needs and develop the talent and depth to compete with the SEC , particularly the West. Coach and whole staff has had to take a crash course on how to compete in the SEC.
We need to make a move this year that will equate into positive press and a ‘feeling’ that we are on the verge of something big. All of that to get better talent on campus. I like what the coaches have done as far as bringing in depth. But, not sure we have enough talent to get us to the SECCG. Nutt, for example had some special talent like Jones and McFadden that carried the load. But, the depth was not there. IMO, half of our recruiting classes or at the very latest 10 recruits need to be a **** or higher if we seriously want to compete in the SEC. To do all of that, we need a fast start so we get some positive press out of the gate.
Because - especially to the outside world - there are big questions in terms of experience, the talent level, the offensive line, the quarterback (especially LBs and CBs), the defense, the running game and the kicking game (except punting).
I could see them being picked from anywhere from fourth to sixth depending on where you fall on many of those questions
Look at what other teams have coming back. We have NO game experienced QB. Our OL took a big hit. We lost Alex & Jonathan @ RB. We have not restocked the shelves when it comes to recruiting. We have a coach that thinks he can “coach up” instead of just getting the best players to begin with!..
…of our running game which we depend on tremendously.
Our offensive line had the fewest sacks last year in the SEC not because they were great pass blockers but because teams focused first on our running game and pass rushing, unless a clear passing down, was an after thought. Now, only two starters return and they may be playing new positions. If the running game struggles and we become a pass first team, our passing game will be far less effective no matter how many receivers we have back. They don’t expect our replacements (line, QB, running backs and even TE) to be as good as the ones we lost from last year on offense.
The only HUNH passing offense we even slowed down last year was Missouri and they were falling apart offensively when we played them. We played well against running teams like LSU and Bama but not well at all versus passing teams. Having a lot of people back from a bad defense doesn’t impress objective observers. We are hoping Robb Smith will work another miracle like he did in the first season as the Hog coordinator. Outsiders will believe that will happen when they see it.
We have started three straight seasons weak although we got stronger in each as the season went on. Now we have a tough LaTech team first and TCU (predicted to be in the top ten and second in the B12) second on the schedule They doubt a CBB Arkansas team can start the season strong.
We have Ole Miss, LSU, Bama, and Florida’s total attention on us now and all four are expected to be extremely good next year. We, not so much. We play Auburn (who we barely beat last year) and MissState (who we haven’t beaten in the CBB era) at their places. CBB has never beaten Ta&m.
We Hog fans are hoping that our rookie offensive linemen and transfers will be really good immediately in their first SEC seasons. We hope Whaley will be the next Alex Collins and Rawleigh+Kody will be the next Jonathan Williams and we will have a strong running game. We hope Wise, Ledbetter, and Greenlaw will be the second coming of Flowers, Spaight, and Philon and our secondary will suddenly play much smarter and faster than it did last year. We hope our pathetic kicking game will get up to average in the SEC. We are also hoping that CBB will finally solve the weak start problem and we will be able to go to Fort Worth and beat a top ten team. That could all happen but you can see how outside observers might doubt it.
I think you might need to take off the “keepin it real” glasses. We were a botched FG from finishing 2nd in the SECW. McElroy says we could win 10.
Spears said we have been best team in SEC in November the last 2 years. He also said we are never talked about as having the talent of Bama, LSU and OM but all we do is go out and beat them or give them all they want.
Finebaum–who rarely lauds Arkansas–also had good things to say.
So, if all 3 of the analysts on the SECN media days coverage feel that way, I think it is reasonable to expect the rest of the media will think more highly of the Hogs than you.
I respectfully take issue with this somewhat pessimistic summation. I’m not aware of ANY SEC team which is fielding a loaded roster of three year starting veterans at every position. Virtually every team has some question marks in regard to replacement plug ins.
Austin Allen is not a totally green, untried freshman. We lost two RBs to the NFL, but we have both quality remaining backs AND some high caliber incoming freshmen. Our WR corps is more flush with talent than I can recall in recent history. Our defense is deeper both numerically and quality wise than it has been in recent years. Our OL personnel assessment does prompt some cause for concern in regard to veteran experience, but the cupboard is hardly bare.
Elite, high profile schools always draw the preponderance of “five star” talent. That’s the way the cookie crumbles. Arkansas has historically been obliged to settle for “three star” and “two star” “leftovers”. That reality necessitates Arkansas and others having to “coach up” the available talent in a grooming process incorporating late bloomers.
I claim no basis upon which to render an expert prognosis pertinent to the coming Fall campaign (we are blessed to have a number of such astute professionals on this superlative board), - - - - - but I like our chances.
Austin Allen is ready to start at quarterback. The group of running backs is deep and talented. The receivers and tight ends are deep and talented. The offensive line has good anchors and will come together.
The defense has emphasized more speed/quickness in training this year, and it has moved players around to put them in position to use their speed/quickness. The line is deeper and more talented, the linebackers are deeper and more talented. The secondary is playing with better technique and has more depth and experience.
It’s reasonable to expect the Razorbacks to have a certain ceiling, because they do not have superior talent at all positions. But to claim “we have not restocked the shelves” and the other nonsense is mealy-mouthed ranting.
The QB talent at LSU has not been the problem. It’s been the head coach not putting that talent in a position to be successful. The Hat will rely on Leonard Fournette this year. He isn’t going to beat Alabama or Arkansas with just a running game. He lives in the past and I’m not sure he will ever allow his OC to call a balanced offensive game.
Our Razorbacks have a history of great teams followed by rebuilding seasons that feel like a 3rd world dentist chair experence
(My apologies to DMD friends)
This year I hoping to see that Ciach Bret demonstrates the difference between team building (aka HDN era) and program building where you see strategic sync of recruiting, leadership, offensive/defensive philosophy merged into a culture that promotes Winning and excellence
I think we have that now
Still - I expect a 7 win season this year and what I truly am happy about - # 8 win at a bowl game
Next year - I expect 2017 to be the breakout year
Now I won’t complain if that breakout season happens this year - but honestly with all the loss of production talent esply QB - I’m trying hard to moderate my expectations
As a emotive Razorback fan - that’s hard for me to do
So why not expect 6 wins! Which really is more reasonable in a year like this
Well - Dang - I believe in Ciach Bret system and - It’s Arkansas -
Arkansas punches above its weight and is better pound for pound than say - Bama- LSU or Florida
If Arkansas had the pools of talent those teams have - Arkansas would be a Mount Rushmore level football program
But hey - I admit - In prejudice and Arkansas is better than - ‘‘Any One Else’’ in College Football - pound for pound
We had a terrible pass defense last year and return everyone is not a great thing unless they were all freshman and needed a year to grow up.
Our 4th year QB has no meaningful experience in games.
Lost 3 OLM with no 4/5 star kids with experience to replace them.
DL pass rush was not great last year and they return.
But mostly because we are in the SECW and usually near the bottom of our side of the conference in recruiting so where else should they put us until CBB and our beloved Hogs start winning 10 or more games.
I and most die heart Hog fans think we will do much better than the National Media but they go much more on past results while we go with our heart.