Yes, we really picked Arkansas to go to College World Series

Arkansas football rules the world of Razorbacks sports. So, with your bacon, have some Hogs for Breakfast and get caught up. It’s SEC Country’s weekday column and roundup on all things Arkansas … especially Arkansas football. Opinion, numbers, inane babble and more! And now with ironic exclamation points! There is no place like it on the web.

Boy, howdy, y’all know what season it is? Baseball season, baby. The greatest NCAA sport at the University of Arkansas gets underway this week. The Diamond Hogs host Bucknell starting Friday afternoon at Baum Stadium. Weather pending, of course, and the forecast, right now, looks like “wintry mix.”

Still, there are two other games in the set for Arkansas fans to get out to the park and see the national top 10 Razorbacks.

Now, if this sounds like a public relations slant, pardon me. In a way it is. A public relations slant for the sport of college baseball, though, not for the U of A. From an objective journalist standpoint, I always tell people the best two teams to cover are ones who are great (i.e. potential national champions) or who are terrible (i.e. those who fire their coach because they’re so bad). The teams in the middle are the worst. Boring.

Arkansas football fell into the latter camp. It was a fun season for us unaffiliated. Arkansas baseball, however, well, that’s completely the other extreme.

The official SEC Country Arkansas stance on where we think the Diamond Hogs will land came out Sunday afternoon. A little post-church reading and you saw we — specifically, I — have Arkansas making it all the way to the College World Series.

I do not use it to jest. You know that by now. Not an Arkansas fan. Not an Arkansas hater. Direct and honest as possible. These Diamond Hogs are the real deal. This is Arkansas’ best chance at a national championship in 20 years in any of the three major sports.

Enjoy the ride. Here we go.

MORE: Sign up here to get this roundup in your inbox Monday through Friday

Arkansas football landed whale

Sue me, I watched Boiler Room over the weekend. But it’s a valid term for Dorian Gerald. He’s the top junior college defensive end in the country and he chose Arkansas over several others Friday night.

Gerald immediately projects to be the Razorbacks’ starter at defensive end opposite McTelvin Agim. If he’s close to fulfilling expectations, Gerald brings stability and playmaking to a front line that badly needs it. The question is why he picked Arkansas over other more successful programs.

First thing that jumps out at me is playing time. Arkansas is an SEC school with modest recent success. The Razorbacks aren’t a perpetual bottom-feeder, but they did struggle last season. That means snaps are up for grabs. Plus, consider Trey Flowers and Deatrich Wise. Those two are former Arkansas defensive ends and they just played in a Super Bowl together. As starters, no less.

Our Trent Shadid digs more than superficially, as I did here, in his piece Sunday.

Arkansas basketball heading to homestretch

The Razorbacks’ win over Vanderbilt on Saturday was helpful and all, but there is only one more game on the schedule for Arkansas against an inferior team. Ole Miss on Thursday won’t be a walkover considering it’s in Oxford, but Arkansas is the better team.

After that, however, things get rough and in a hurry. Texas A&M, Kentucky, Alabama, Auburn and Missouri. Those are the final five games of the season. All five teams are projected to make the NCAA Tournament. Arkansas is, too, but as a lower seed than every single one of those opponents.

CBS Sports updated its bracketology Sunday. It has Arkansas as a No. 11 seed. That’s somewhere between fifth to last to eighth to last when it comes to safety of the spot. Tenuous.

Let’s put it on you. Does Arkansas make the NCAA Tournament when it’s all said and done in 2018?

ICYMI

Tweets and the like

• Ladies and gentlemen, your 2017-18 SEC hockey champions, the Arkansas Razorbacks. By the way, if you live locally and are interested, head out to the Jones Center to watch the Hogs or, if you have a youngster, put them in the sport. (Yes, this is another PSA; only this time for the greatest sport on Earth, not just at Arkansas).

• T.J. Holmes, for those who don’t know, is a Razorbacks man, an Arkansas man. Interesting.

Skip Breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important.  Catch up with previous versions here.

The post Yes, we really picked Arkansas to go to College World Series appeared first on SEC Country.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.

X