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This is the Way the Season Ends, Not With a Bang but a Whimper

Well, fellow Hog fans, it's hard to believe, but we're only a few short days away from the end of the 2008 football season. It's been a season of change...more about looking to the future than competing in the present. And it's certainly been a T.S. Eliotseason of exciting finishes, although I suspect when we look back on it we'll remember the missed opportunities against Kentucky, Ole Miss and Mississippi State more than our stands against Auburn or Tulsa.

Of course, you're probably wondering what Nobel Prize-winning poet and rabid Razorback football fan T.S. Eliot would say about the season. Given that we're shuffling quietly into the twilight rather than going out with our typical humiliating bowl loss, he might twist his classic "The Hollow Men" to say something like this:

This is the way the season ends
This is the way the season ends
This is the way the season ends
Not with a bang but a whimper

How are we ending with a whimper, you ask? That story won't be fully written until we play LSU on Friday, but here are a few thoughts:

* back-to-back depressing losses to South Carolina and Mississippi State

* offensive savior Michael Smith sitting out for the LSU game with a hamstring injury

* for that matter, LSU's own troubles of late have taken a bit of the usual luster off the battle in War Memorial

* reports that a group of players - most of them seniors - haven't bought into Petrino's ways and have been more or less sabotaging things from within for awhile now. (Perhaps not-so-coincidentally, DT Ernest Mitchell and DE Antwain Robinson didn't travel to Starkville for the game last weekend.)

* Casey Dick ending his up & down Hog career by being benched in favor of his brother. Forget T.S. Eliot...that's almost Shakespearean. We'll have a more thorough look at the Casey Dick era next week.