Now that the first month of the football season is mercifully behind us, it seemed like a good time to turn the floor over to one of our favorite commenters, the illustrious J. Hawg 3, for his analysis of the carnage so far. In this two part series, J. Hawg revisits the preseason conventional wisdom about the Razorbacks to see where the experts were right and where they were horribly wrong. So, sit down, get comfortable, remove any sharp objects from the room and read on (and stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow):
As we near the midway point in this, the Dark Season of Distress, I decided to go back and revisit all the conventional wisdoms that I and most of my cohorts adopted going into this year. Here they are, My Hogs, Right or Wrong:
1. Under Bobby Petrino, Casey Dick will become a more effective quarterback. WRONG. (And when I say "wrong," think of Dom DeLuise screaming it in "Blazing Saddles.") Though he showed early signs of playing with more confidence, under duress he's the same guy who cannot progress through reads, and sometimes throws to his imaginary friend in the flat. Frankly, his performance has been a bigger disappointment than the government’s regulatory oversight of the financial markets. Only one other quarterback in the league has underperformed as badly, that being the Vols' Jonathon Crompton, and he's heading for the bench. Look for Casey to be there by the Auburn game. I mean, those two pick-sixes against Bama were possibly the worst throws made anywhere in the country at any point this season. Vol fans may disagree.
2. It is going to be a tough year, and it will look like a Chinese Fire Drill the first few games. RIGHT. So right it hurts. Holy cow, these guys look terrible. We got fooled by the first two games, in which it at least looked like we could move the ball when we absolutely had to. The last two games have proved us to be inept on offense against competition that requires us to block, and a gaping sieve akin to the Egyptian army in the Sinai on defense. We look dazed and confused on both sides of the ball.
3. But Petrino will have them playing better by the end of the season. UH, MAYBE. Okay, so there have been flashes. For a couple of series against a very good Alabama defense, we actually moved the ball. And that 4th and 1 TD call was brilliant. But face it, when your season highlight is moving the ball a little bit on the wrong side of a blowout, you have a long, long way to go.
4. Our offensive and defensive lines will be the strength of the team. WRONG. I have no explanation for this. The O-line should be blowing people off the line. We’re savvy, experienced, have a Remington Award-winning center. Sure, the Black Hole that is Terence Cody was a load. But explain the total disintegration against Texas. What was that, like seven sacks? In one game? Are you kidding? And the defensive has been, well, abysmal. (See Egyptian tank comparison above.) The worst performance I have ever seen by a Razorback team in forty years. Now, our D line was not really that good to begin with, but they should have been tolerable. More and more, it looks like the last-second hiring of Willy Robinson was a gigantic mistake. Even with this lack of talent, even Reggie Herring would have them doing, um, something. Even if it was just catching spit as he cussed them out. Or blitzing every down. And remember who Petrino hired but then lost to the Ol' Ball Coach? Ellis Johnson. Guess who has the Number One defense in the NCAA right now . . . .
5. Sure, that's a brutal stretch in the middle of the season, but the Hogs are going to sneak up and beat one of those teams. Maybe two. UH, NOT BLOODY LIKELY. The leading contenders were Alabama (not) and Auburn, with Texas thrown in for historical/hysterical delusions of grandeur purposes. Okay, we still have a chance against Auburn, which is running some sort of offense derived from Medieval chain mail formations. I mean 3-2? Against Mississippi State? For real? Followed by a 14-12 thrashing of the Vols. If we let Auburn hang 30 plus on us, then the season is officially over. We have a chance only because Arkansas seems to have some magic spell over Auburn. Or maybe that was HDN. As for Florida, well diggity, they are gonna be pumped and mad and looking to put us on the wrong side of a 63-21 whupping. Which, coincidentally, is my prediction for Saturday's game. There is some hope, albeit not based in reality, that we will find a way to exploit the Florida D-backs. I guess that's why I think we might actually score 21 points. But let's see, how did we do against a good running QB last week? Hence the 63.