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Hog Farmer Calls Hogs
June 25, 2013 10:05 AM   Subscribe

On the last day of August, Arkansas will kick off against Louisiana-Lafayette, and Bielema will step to the sideline for the first time in this new conference. Hog calls will echo above and around him. The stadium will rumble with Week 1's blind optimism. The temperature will be warmer, the athletes faster, and the expectations higher. There will be more tailgaters, sundresses, and reporters. For now, on this practice field, every rep is geared toward preparing for that moment, when Bielema will begin to answer the question of just what the hell he's doing down here.Via Grantland.
posted by Atreides (13 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

as someone who has family with razorback ankle tattoos, it's almost jarring to hear the hogs spoken of as a middle of the pack sort of team. 'round these parts razorbacks are almost bigger than wal-mart and religion.

"There's a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of great fans everywhere you go in college football. But here it's taken to another level. Everywhere you go, it feels like every single person is on Red Bull. Every room is fever-pitched."

yeah - that.

this was a fantastic article that i might have missed otherwise. thanks for posting it.
posted by nadawi at 10:22 AM on June 25, 2013

Speaking in my role as Designated Badger: they're welcome to him.

Good fucking riddance.
posted by Madamina at 10:24 AM on June 25, 2013 [2 favorites]

This article was clearly not written by someone within the SEC sphere of influence. Middle of the pack? Pffft!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:24 AM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

i mean, if you average in that failed season from last year, i guess, maybe in a short sighted way they're middle of the pack - but no one expects a mistresses motorcycle crash and a 20k gift cover up.
posted by nadawi at 10:26 AM on June 25, 2013

Middle of the SEC pack is probably fair to say. Middle of the I-A pack, though, probably not.
posted by box at 10:35 AM on June 25, 2013

Middle of the SEC pack is probably fair to say.
posted by box
Location: Little Rock, AR


I kid, I kid. Honestly, it probably is fair. I'm from Alabama, college football is the one and only subject I ever get to be a smug jackass about.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:41 AM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

They're 19-21 in the SEC over the last 5 seasons. Although they placed second in the six-team SEC West in 2010, they were 5th last year and 3rd or 4th the other three years. Middle-of-the-pack seems accurate.
posted by 0 at 10:45 AM on June 25, 2013

So the guy with the Hawkeye tattoo on his calf who coached as a Badger will now lead the Razorbacks to never winning an SEC Championship. Yawnsville. Dude is a lunkhead. Somewhere Matt Besser has his head in his hands.
posted by basicchannel at 11:14 AM on June 25, 2013

Speaking in my role as Designated Badger: they're welcome to him.

Good fucking riddance.

Yeah, fuck that guy and his three straight Rose Bowls.
posted by Etrigan at 11:19 AM on June 25, 2013

Winning a bowl you have a tie-in to when it's the Big10 vs. Pac10/12 is... well... not what she used to be.
posted by basicchannel at 11:22 AM on June 25, 2013

Meh - saw somewhere he's pressing to slow down no-huddle offenses with the rule book.

Can't beat'em on the field, beat'em in the meeting room.
posted by JPD at 11:27 AM on June 25, 2013

Three straight Rose Bowls without one win. As a Spartan fan, it burns more than a little to see Wisconsin go three years in a row when State really deserved to make the game at least once in the same span. Not to mention beating Bucky 3 out of 4 times in the process. I say, if you're going to go and just lose when you get there, christ, let someone else have a shot next time. Were I a Badger fan, I'd know that they made the trips to Pasadena by the skin of their teeth, despite having a lot of talent on the field. They dropped some games they really should have won. And (again, were I a Badger fan) I'd be right pissed that three straight trips to the Rose Bowl earned not one win.

Plus as a Spartan fan I also understand the anger at a coach jumping ship for another job when things seem to be going well (cough Saban cough).

So yeah, fuck that guy, and his three straight Rose Bowls.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:39 AM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have to give credit to Mr. SEC for posting a link to the story, or I would have missed it as well.

While it hurts to say, I would call Arkansas a middle tier team in the SEC (over the past decade or so), though middling is rather harsh. The article, and surprisingly Doc Harper, failed to mention the '64 National Championship. During the 1960s, particularly, Arkansas had a dominant program with some success in the 70's, too. The Houston Nutt era was a roller coaster of success and despair. It's kind of crazy, as well, when you start connecting the lines among coaches and how many will someway stretch back to Arkansas (Pete Carroll, Lou Holtz, etc..etc...National Championship coaches).

I don't think the team lost a lot of talent between this year and last, so the greatest hurdles will be learning the new systems and finding the groove. I'm feeling good about Bielema, even saying his name correctly more often than not, and excited about the staff he put together. He definitely cares more about defense than Petrino, who saw Defense as a means to just keep the other team from scoring a little less than one's own offense.

Arkansas' fate in final rankings will really depend on how well Ole Miss, Miss State and Auburn perform this year.

I like that Bielema, by all appearances, has really bought into being the head coach of the Razorbacks. Enthusiasm is contagious.

Can't beat'em on the field, beat'em in the meeting room.

Him and Nick Saban, both. It's not a case of new coach wanting to reduce competition in his new league, it's a case of different coaches who disagree on the new direction the game is taking. I'm in the "learn to beat 'em on the field" rather than with the rule book side, myself, so I hope there's no success in this area.
posted by Atreides at 11:46 AM on June 25, 2013

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