In a matter of hours on Saturday night, Arkansas fans went from wondering how high the Hogs would be ranked in the upcoming round of polls to fretting over the possibility of an 0-3 start in SEC play.
Considering tonight's game is in Oxford and Saturday's game is in Gainesville, the fretting would appear to be well-founded. Simply put, the Hogs have been brutal away from Bud Walton in recent years. In today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Bob Holt notes that Arkansas was 17-58 on the road – and 13-51 in conference road games - in the eight seasons before this one.
And in no place have they struggled more mightily than Ole Miss' Tad Smith Coliseum. After winning their first three conference road games against the Rebels, the Hogs are 2-12 in Oxford. And they've often been blown out - six of those losses have been by double digits. So yeah, Ole Miss may be injury depleted, but pardon us if we're not betting the mortgage on a Hog victory tonight. Still, if there's any team of the past decade or so capable of winning in Oxford, it would appear to be this one.
And if John Pelphrey is looking for a surefire way to notch a victory tonight, perhaps he should consider providing me with a ticket and transportation to the game. Arkansas is 3-0 at Ole Miss when I've attended the game. I witnessed victories in the '92, '93 and '96 seasons. My only clear memory of any of those games is of an absolutely vicious tomahawk slam that Darrell Hawkins threw down in the '93 game. But you know what they say about those early and mid-90s Hog-Rebel games: If you remember them, you weren't really there.
Other Hog hoop items of interest:
• Steve Megargee of Rivals.com has penned a glowing profile of Michael Washington. Says Megargee: "Washington's emergence into one of the SEC's top big men has helped make Arkansas one of the nation's biggest surprises ... His sudden leap to stardom ranks alongside Kentucky guard Jodie Meeks' emergence into the SEC's leading scorer as two of the nation's most unexpected developments this season."
• Speaking of Meeks, wow. Seriously - wow.
• It's never too early to start obsessing over where the Hogs may fit into the NCAA Tournament picture. As of this moment, they're in. Or at least that's the take of ESPN's Bracketology guru Joe Lunardi. He has the Hogs pegged as an 11 seed, slated to take on 6 seed BYU in Kansas City.