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2010 Hypewatch: Phil Steele is High on the Hogs

As part of our ongoing efforts to monitor the level of hype surrounding the Razorbacks' 2010 football prospects, we've assigned our team of interns to track every single word written on the internet (not just about the Hogs...we mean all the words).

Because of the enormity of this task they sometimes run a few days behind, and in fact just brought to my attention Tuesday's post on the Slophouse blog about Phil Steele's take on Arkansas' chances next season.

Phil Steele, of course, is a bona fide college football expert who's notable in these parts for having been one of the only people besides Beck Campbell to predict a strong showing from the Hogs in 2006. Steele's Arkansas preview was available online only for a limited time (it's down now, but you can buy his magazine starting on June 8), but here are a few of the highlights:

* He calls Ryan Mallett a clear frontrunner for the Heisman (for the record, we agree).

* On the subject of running backs, he says to "look for improved numbers from a very talented backfield." Disappointingly, his coverage of Expats favorite Van Stumon in this section is very limited.

* He rates our receivers as the best group in the NCAA (again, we agree).

* He forecasts improvement in both the offensive and defensive lines, as well as the secondary.

* In terms of team predictions, he adds fuel to the hype fire by calling the Hogs a "legit SEC West contender" and notes that two of his nine sets of statistical models call for Arkansas to win 12 games.

Verdict: Is it September yet?