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Hog Hodge Podge: 8/23/10

• A Troubled Two Decades. Jim Harris of AS360 uses the Hogs' highest preseason AP ranking since 1990
to review the program's often rocky performance over the past 20 years. It's a great - albeit sometimes depressing - read. It's crazy to think that Jack Crowe's first team, which would lose seven straight games en route to a 3-8 record, entered that 1990 season ranked No. 14 in the AP poll.

Multi-Talented. Tight end D.J. Williams and linebacker Matt Marshall are not only superior athletes - they can also crank out a halfway decent version of Bill Wither's classic "Lean on Me." Might D.J. be trying to send a message to Mr. Mallett? Our in-house psychotherapists are pondering that very question.

• Cheesy. Our pal Jerry Hinnen of the War Blog Eagle has focused his razor-sharp wit on this year's Razorbacks-Auburn match-up as part of his "2010 Cheese Puff Preview" series. Sample passage:

What happened the last time these teams met: Chris Todd and the rest of the Auburn offense walked over to coordinator Gus Malzahn.

"We’re ready, coach," Todd said, with several nodding heads behind him. "It’s time to get this game started. We’re psyched. We’re pumped. Those guys aren’t going to know what hit them. We can’t wait to get on that field. LET’S DO THIS!"

"Great, Chris," Malzahn said. "You know it’s the second quarter already, right? We’re down three scores."

• Tough Year. In Nolan Richardson's recently completed first year as the coach of the WNBA's Tulsa Shock, the team finished with a ghastly 6-28 record. But the former Hog coach, who by all accounts inherited a mess of a franchise, says he isn't about to walk away from the job.

And the WNBA's bean counters have good reason to be thankful that Nolan will be rollin' at least for a little while longer. As Brandon Marcello of WholeHogSports and The Slophouse blog points out:

[W]hile the Shock had the lowest attendance for home games in the league, there was some drawing power for the franchise. Maybe it’s Richardson’s name and notoriety or the fast-paced playing style, but the Shock drew an average of 8,595 on the road, according to WomensBasketballOnline.com. That’s the highest attendance average for a team on the road.

• Eyewitness Report. TipsterHog of The Razorbloggers attended Saturday's football practice and filed this dispatch.