Counting Down The Days

US PRESSWIRE

The football season is dragging on with little to look forward to. Here are a few days to mark on you calendar.

I'm a little ashamed to admit it, but I'm ready for this season - this long, dreadful season - to be done already.

Don't get me wrong, I'll miss seeing Tyler in the pocket, but I won't miss wincing every time a linebacker flies in untouched to plant him on the turf.

I'll miss seeing Cobi set records on a seemingly weekly basis, but I won't miss seeing opposing quarterbacks do the same.

I'll miss Dennis, Gragg, and maybe Knile, but I won't miss John L., Haynes, and probably Paul.

Sometime during the third quarter last weekend, as we sweated through a 19-15 win over a team that UAB scored 42 points against, I turned the page on my mental calendar. Oh, I'll still be there this Saturday, parked in front of the TV, hoping we find a way to score the upset, but the next three games won't be the highlights of my Razorback-related schedule.

Thankfully, there's plenty more to take their place.

Let the countdown begin...

1 MORE DAY UNTIL:

Basketball season opener

Friday vs. Sam Houston State

Hope may be in short supply for the football Hogs, but exhibition, schmexhibition, Mike Anderson's bunch has looked good in its two preseason warm-ups.

When they tip-off the real games Friday night, they'll be doing it without star sophomore B.J. Young, who's been suspended for a violation of team rules. But the Hogs fared just fine without him in a 111-45 dismantling of LeMoyne-Owen on Monday.

Unlike last year, the hoop Hogs have depth this season. Especially exciting are the exploits of the freshmen. They may not have the pedigree of next year's class, which is currently ranked in the country's top 10, but from what little we've seen of them so far, they seem to fit Anderson's system.

Through two exhibitions, the newcomers have put up the following numbers

Anthlon Bell, G: 14 ppg, 6/10 3-pointers

Michael Qualls, SF: 12.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3 apg, and about 4 dunks per game

Jacorey Williams, PF: 10.5 ppg, 7 rpg

Dee Wagner, PG: 7.5 ppg, 3.5 apg

Add in junior transfer Coty Clarke's 9.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per exhibition game, and suddenly the Hogs have a bench.

It'll be interesting to see how the young'uns hold up in their first season of college ball, but there appears to be talent there.

2 MORE DAYS UNTIL:

South Carolina game

Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C.

The Gamecocks have never given the Hogs much to be afraid of; they've never beaten an Arkansas team that finished the season with a winning record. Look for that trend to continue Saturday - not because Arkansas is going to win, because we'll almost certainly not finish the season over .500.

The Gamecocks lost ugly to Florida due to an avalanche of turnovers and special teams gaffes, and got edged in a close game against LSU, but this might be the most talented team Spurrier's had at South Carolina. The defense is loaded, especially up front, and while Connor Shaw may not be an NFL-caliber QB, he's smart and capable, and especially accurate with the kind of short throws that the Hogs have had so much trouble with this season.

Even as an Arkansas fan, it was heartbreaking to Marcus Lattimore sobbing into a towel as he was carted off following another catastrophic knee injury. But don't pity the Gamecocks. It will take Arkansas' best game of the season to pull off the upset on Saturday.

15 MORE DAYS UNTIL:

LSU game

Nov. 23

After watching the Bayou Bengals go toe-to-toe with Alabama on Saturday, it's doubtful any Hog fan is looking for to this year's tussle after Thanksgiving.

But the LSU game brings a close to this never-ending season, and whether the Hogs find their way to a bowl game or not, this is when the search for a new head coach enters its final stage.

Rumors will be wild, plane-tracking threads will be rampant on message boards and most of us will be powerless to resist any of it.

90 MORE DAYS UNTIL:

Signing Day

Feb. 6

This year's final recruiting push should be fraught with storylines. The current staff has done an admirable job of cobbling together a better class than most would've expected given their lame-duck status and the way the 2012 season has unfolded. Can the new guy keep them together? It will be our first chance to evaluate the new head Hog.

129 MORE DAYS UNTIL:

Selection Sunday

March 17

I'm not saying, I'm just saying.

...AND 296 MORE DAYS UNTIL:

2013 season opener vs. UL-Lafayette

Aug. 31

Hope springs anew.

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