September the 1st is just about two months away, and with baseball over, we are right in the doldrums of the college sports calendar. This time of year is always a challenge for the college football blogger when it comes to content. The SEC media days and the beginning of fall practice will give us some wind to blow us forward, but they aren't here yet. However, don't despair good blog reader, for I think I have some opinions, thoughts, suggestions, ideas, and maybe a nutty observation or two to fill up some of the void that we are experiencing. Let's see what is in the tank, shall we?
* Here is a thought I had when the Hogs lost their second game to South Carolina and had another one of those close but no cigar moments. Are our sports teams nearly as fierce as our mascot looks? In a big game situation, is anybody really afraid of the Hogs? Might a smiling hog on the side of our helmets (think Porky Pig) be more apropos for us? Or maybe a logo of a nice Razorback in coat and tie helping a little old lady across the street? The killer instinct, you would think by the look of our mascot we would have more of one. But too often, right when we have someone where we want them, we help them up from the mat.
* With the above said, I think you have to credit Razorback teams through the years for being tough in the sense that you rarely see them give up. Fighting back when down is something they are indeed good at. But I would rather see more of the go out there and take care of business to begin with mentality than what we typically see. I think if we saw more of it, we would have fewer close but no cigar moments.
* A four team seated playoff is coming in 2014. All the more reason for the Hogs to try to get a national championship in this year. For chances are that in the near future at least 50 percent of that four team playoff is going to be made up of teams from the SEC. And they'll likely seed them on the same side of the bracket just to prevent another LSU vs. Alabama type situation for the national title. In 2012, if the Hogs win the SEC, they aren't likely to face another SEC team for the title. How would you like to have to beat LSU or Alabama twice to get a Sears trophy? That will be a more likely scenario than it is now starting in 2014.
* Uniforms, as predicted, I was in the minority (but not by a great measure) in not being all jacked up about the new Nike uniforms. A type of uniform change that I think would be neat would be to put the old Razorback helmet logo that first appeared in 1964 on the helmet for a game that honors the national championship '64 squad.
* Arkansassports360.com is doing a nice series on what the college football magazines are saying about the Hogs. I encourage you to go over there and check that out. It could save you some time at the magazine rack at Wal Mart or your grocery store, haha.
* I haven't seen it myself, but I heard that Hooten's has Arkansas State featured on their cover. Must be a nasty rumor, for the magazine cover on their website has Tyler Wilson on it. I just checked. Can anybody clarify?
* Harvey Updyke's trial has been delayed. Remember, he is the guy accused of poisoning Auburn's trees. I can't see how they are going to get a jury in Alabama that doesn't already have an opinion on this. They might have to send his case to The Hague, haha. But should the taxpayers of Alabama have to pay for him to sit in a jail if convicted? I agree with Clay Travis on this one. This is a case for creative punishment. Travis suggested making Updyke hand out Auburn programs at all of their home games. Or put him on the clean up crew at Toomer's Corner. I like both of those ideas better than taxpayers paying for a prison sentence.
* Got a nice Razorback string backpack as a groom's gift last weekend when I was in my brother's wedding. The night before the wedding I wore it on the top of my head for the hope that it came with baseball rallying powers, but alas, no it does not. I could have completely put it over my head and still have called a better game than ump Costello, however.
* As happy as we were about the wedding, this sadly will be the first football season without my father there to gently make fun of us for how we put so much into the outcome of Razorback football games. After forty plus years of smoking, my father lost his battle with esophageal cancer earlier this month. Though we didn't get to see the game together, I am so glad I was on the phone with him for the last moments of the Cotton Bowl. He joked at how the Hogs could still manage to screw it up. But they didn't. And the man who took me to my first Razorback game went out with a victory for his last Razorback game. He was 2-0 in Razorback bowl games he attended with us. My mother has always been the bigger fan, but my father's absence is going to be certainly missed. Rare is there a Razorback fan who is a fan alone. Family and friends are as much a part of the experience as the Hog on the helmet. There's going to be a hole in the upcoming season, for sure.
* Related to the last comment, as I've observed in my "Notes From the North Endzone" series, too many Razorback fans can be seen with a cigarette between their lips before games. Arkansas rates as one of the states with the highest number of adult smokers. I am not even for sure if we can say thank goodness for Mississippi on this one. I know you didn't come on here to read a lecture about the dangers of smoking. But I can tell you that with the way the Hogs have historically played in big games, none of us need life shortening habits if we want to live to see our Hogs win it all, right?
* Toughest Game: Obvious, Alabama. Second Toughest: I want to say on the road vs. South Carolina. If our run defense is playing as well as it played in the Cotton Bowl, then maybe not as tough. But the last time we were there, the game with us was not as important as their upcoming game with Florida, so their intensity was not as high, I suspect. That probably won't be the case this year. Maybe we can get our baseball team to jack-up the football team before the game?
* ULM, can we please just go out there and beat the sh_t out of those guys from the get-go? I did not like how they hung around in the Bobby Petrino era. Yeah, we always beat them, but how about we play dominate football from the start for a change.
* Rutgers. I wonder how many fans from New Jersey will show up in Fayetteville? One wonders also what the Rutgers alumni base must be like in Arkansas? Do they go to alumi meetings in a Mini-Cooper and all sit at one booth? haha. I don't know. But I could be under-estimating them some, for Northwest Arkansas, what with Wal Mart and all the businesses with branch offices there because of Wal Mart, might have a few more Rutgers grads than one might expect.
* As much as I am going to miss seeing the Hogs play LSU in Little Rock, I have to admit that I am looking forward to seeing a change in opposing uniform in the form of Ole Miss in October. I bet those people who profit off signs pulled by planes are pissed that Nutt is no longer Ole Miss's coach, for I imagine they would have gotten a contract. But who is going to pay for a sign making fun of Hugh Freeze? I don't think so.
* Are there any Razorback fans who work for the National Security Agency? NSA, the ease-droppers that can listen to any phone conversation in the world. If there are any and you are reading this, are you going to listen to Paul's and Bobby Petrino's calls the night before the Alabama game? One has to imagine that they are going to talk to one another, right? Aren't we all hoping that they do? I am!
The tank is now as dry as the air outside, so I am going to conclude here and wish you a cool evening wherever you are if you are reading from within the continental United States, which is presently set on bake. As I know you are, I too am looking forward to those crisp fall evenings that signal college football season in its prime. Day by day, they are getting closer!