Brought to you again this week courtesy of Bob Marley, Tito's Vodka, and grapes so sour that Gary Pinkel wouldn't touch them. Well. He'd at least hesitate before pouring himself a jumbo of my feelings about the unadulterated horseshit that was the review booth at Faurot Field on Friday afternoon.
Nevermind the extremely tight game that was called against Arkansas. Nevermind the blatant holds committed by the Mizzou offensive line that went unflagged all afternoon. Those go with playing on the road, for better or worse. What is inexcusable is that the ground rules for overturning a call on the field are well established, and can be rattled off by rote by any half-assed fan sitting on his couch.
Indisputable video evidence, right? That is what's needed. It's required to overturn a call. Was Mauk's arm moving forward? Down? Forward because Flowers had hit it? Back, and to the left? BACK... and to the left??? Whatever it was doing, it damn sure wasn't indisputable. Did Collins recover his fumble? Certainly appeared he had his arm around it while lying on the ground. The whistle had already blown. The Mizzou player certainly didn't "immediately recover" the fumble as is required in that type of situation, AS ALEX COLLINS' ARM IS CLEARLY AROUND THE FOOTBALL.
So, yeah. You're damned right, sour grapes. But we might as well talk a little about the rest of the game, too. Let's dive in. I vote we go old school Companion and rattle off a few footballish thoughts with general disdain for any semblance of organization or formatting. Agreed? Agreed.
This game was A&M redux, complete with a brilliantly timed fake punt executed masterfully by Sam Irwin-Hill. First half with all the makings of a blowout, offense can't deliver the decisive blow when the opportunity presents itself, offense stagnates, defense weakens and finally breaks after far too long without any support whatsoever from the offense.
After an entire season of being the most visible member (and therefore the biggest target for scorn) of the much-maligned receiving corps, Keon Hatcher has made tremendous touchdown receptions in back-to-back games. Incredible effort to find the end zone in the second quarter. He should be much more effective next season as a slot receiver with KJ Hill and JoJo Robinson giving him some breathing room.
There were more missed tackles today than there were over probably the last three games combined, but you won't catch me saying one cross word about the defense. They were marooned out there, and still put up one hell of a performance. They played well enough for Arkansas to win that game. Same as with every game this season with the exceptions of Auburn and Georgia. Seriously considering adding a double-consonant to my name as an homage. Robb Smith is a football coach, David Bazzell. You gotta put him in the Broyles!
Williams and Collins are going to be so beastly should they ever get to run against a defense that doesn't sell out to stop them. They go out and do their thing every week without getting the numbers they deserve because they are running into an endless wall of defenders, so I was very happy to see Collins join Williams in the 1000 Yard Club on Friday. Yes, ball security has been an issue at times this season, but Arkansas is going to a bowl game because of its defense and those two running backs. Period.
After the game, Williams tweeted an apology to the fans saying that he was too loose with the ball, and Collins promptly tweeted him to share some of the blame Williams was placing on himself. Indicative of the attitude of this duo, and this team, and this season, and a major reason why a .500 squad may be one of my most favorite Razorback teams ever.
Finally... let's talk about Brandon Allen and Jim Chaney. And Bert. And whoever else was responsible for trotting BA out there play after play in the fourth quarter when he was CLEARLY incapable of executing. I give Allen all of the credit in the world for gritting it out, and I don't look at any of his play today as an indictment on his ability as he was obviously injured, but here's the thing: I saw Tyler Wilson get his brains beat in for game after game during the 2012 season, and it didn't make it suck any less.
You're the coach, Jim. You're the coach, Bert. Don't leave it up to the player. Don't make them tap out. Regardless of what his lips were saying, Brandon Allen was begging with his eyes to be taken out of that game. He couldn't go, and he knew it. Mizzou knew it. Everyone watching on television knew it. How in the hell could you two not see it? How could you wait until he's writhing on the ground to warm up Austin Allen? How could you leave him in after watching him writhe on the ground the next play? And the next? AFTER BEING GIFTED A FIRST DOWN (due to your injured quarterback getting hammered once more) and getting a second chance to get Austin out there with a fresh set of downs, how could you STILL LEAVE BRANDON ALLEN IN THE GAME???
It was bullshit. It was inexcusable. It wasn't safe for BA, and it damn sure wasn't our best chance to win.
Man, what a way to end the regular season. You see what I did there, mentioning the end of the regular season? THAT'S BECAUSE WE ARE GOING TO A BOWL GAME. THAT'S RIGHT. AFTER THREE YEARS AND AFTER SUFFERING THROUGH A MOTORCYCLE WRECK AND JOHN L. SMITH AND ULM AND "SMILE" AND LOSING TO RUTGERS TWICE AND JOHNNY FOOTBALL ACTUALLY MAKING A VIDEO GAME OUT OF OUR DEFENSE AND GIVING UP 104 CONSECUTIVE POINTS AND LOSING 17 CONSECUTIVE SEC GAMES, ARKANSAS IS BACK IN A BOWL GAME.
Shreveport? Memphis? Birmingham? Who cares? We weren't supposed to be there this year. Not with this team. Not with that schedule. And yet here we are. Led by Bert. Ahead of schedule. I've never had so much fun watching a 6-6 team.
I'll see y'all in a few weeks.
Trent Wooldridge will be that guy with enough bourbon. He loves the S-E-C chant and honks because he hates Texas. He puts honey on his pizza, demands aisle seats, and sees quitting golf as more of a hobby than actually playing golf. Follow @twooldridge and track his quest to transform his four-year-old into a southpaw ace in the bigs.