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Hog Hodge Podge: 9/23/10

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Perhaps you've heard: The Hogs are playing Alabama this weekend in Fayetteville. Well, the "series of tubes" that is the Internet is all ablaze with discussion and analysis of the game, and our staff of child laborers has been busy compiling some links of note. Let's see what they have found:

• Some Things to Ponder. Sports Ilustrated's George Schroeder concludes his excellent analysis of the Hogs' defensive performance so far by breaking out his killer Socrates impersonation and asking the following questions:

You want to know if Mallett can win the Heisman? If Arkansas is a serious SEC or BCS contender?

Answer this question: Can his teammates tackle?

• Is Mallett Ready for Alabama? Speaking of questions, Tony Barnhart poses that very one at his oh-so-humbly named blog, Mr. College Football.

• A Path Somewhat Taken. Mark Lericos, sports director of the 40/29 ABC affiliate in Northwest Arkansas, chronicles the similar paths that Bobby Petrino and Nick Saban have taken to Saturday's game:

Yes, Saban has accomplished more and is clearly the best coach in the country, but Petrino is not far behind. He took a Louisville program to a BCS game and has Arkansas quickly into position to compete for an SEC Championship. For Hog fans, Saturday doesn't just mark one of the most exciting games in program history. It runs deeper than that.

• Through the Past, Darkly. AS360's Jim Harris looks at big games past and compares some of the Hogs' current conference colleagues to their old rivals in the SWC. In the course of doing so, he drops this observation:

Alabama is Texas. Consider that both good and bad. Don’t think Texas has any edge in arrogance over an Alabama fan.

In fact, this matchup between Arkansas and Alabama on Saturday seems akin to many of those Arkansas-Texas games of the past. Arkansans just haven’t had a chance to build up quite as much hatred for ’Bama as they had all those years for Texas.

• Causes for Concern. Derek Jenkins of The Arkansas Times (who posts here every so often under the moniker of "aboynamedsooie") discusses what bothered him about the Hogs' performance against Georgia and has this to say about the Bama game:

No matter how well the Razorback defense plays, Mallett and company will find themselves needing to outscore that explosive offense. Things like field position and tempo matter more than balance and time of possession in a race. Once the pistol fires, a stalled running game may have to get left behind.

Boo! Clay Travis of Fanhouse says it will be the Crimson Tide by three.