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Arkansas preview: Hogs lack the horses to hang with Bama

Arkansas preview: Hogs lack the horses to hang with Bama

Texas A&M had enough raw talent, moxie and sense of duty and loyalty to the head coach to make life interesting for Alabama last week.

Arkansas does not. Or, at least, it shouldn’t.

There’s not an easy way to talk about mismatches that occur within the borders of the conference without sounding condescending, but a cursory look at where certain teams fall in the five-year rolling average for recruiting rankings tells the story. In Texas A&M’s case, the Aggies have been in the top third of SEC classes most of those years. For Arkansas, getting out of the bottom third even one out of five times has be

Previews 2017: Arkansas, Auburn and LSU

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Previews 2017: Arkansas, Auburn and LSU

Arkansas coach Brett Bielema’s job is in some degree of peril at the moment, and this is not the time to be undergoing another rebuilding effort… Auburn will ride one of the best defenses in the nation as far as the ride will go…LSU’s Ed Orgeron can recruit better than any SEC coach not named Nick Saban, so if he can hang on a couple of years until he gets some key pieces, this might actually work out.

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Arkansas wrap-up: Composure in short supply as Bama piles up the points

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Arkansas wrap-up: Composure in short supply as Bama piles up the points

Alabama’s offense did a solid job against Arkansas, but not a superlative one. Any turnover total greater than zero is too many, and Alabama recorded three of them. But true freshman QB Jalen Hurts continued his ascension to stardom, and the Crimson Tide put together a solid running game even without Joshua Jacobs, who suffered some kind of hand or elbow injury early in the first quarter.

But defensively, Alabama lost its composure, and as a result, Arkansas QB Austin Allen played pitch-and-catch with his receivers despite spending as much time picking himself off the ground as he did actually throwing the football.

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Arkansas preview: Hogs will be tough out, as usual

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Arkansas preview: Hogs will be tough out, as usual

When Arkansas hired Bret Bielema away from Wisconsin, there was but one question regarding his ability to take Arkansas to the ranks of contender in the SEC West: Could he recruit at a level high enough to make the jump?

The answer, so far, has been no.

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Previews 2016: Arkansas, Auburn and LSU

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Previews 2016: Arkansas, Auburn and LSU

Arkansas has become a more dangerous team under Bret Bielema’s watch…Auburn may be winding down the Gus Malzahn era…This could be Miles’ swan song…

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Rating the 2016 SEC recruiting classes

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Rating the 2016 SEC recruiting classes

The addition of Jamar King at the last moment brought Alabama up to a rating of “Excellent” in the “Needs Filled” category; otherwise, it would have been hard to rank the Crimson Tide No. 1 in the country overall over Florida State. Alabama, over the past few years, has finished with at least one position group’s worth of signees somewhere to be called best-in-class; in 2016, Alabama did it for at least one position group and maybe as many as three. Alabama got the nation’s best linebacker haul, picking up three 10.0-rated prospects on Signing Day: Ben Davis, Lyndell Wilson and Terrell Hall. But Alabama also was in the running for best OL class, headed by Jonah Williams

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Arkansas recap: Hogs too limited to capitalize on Bama mistakes

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Arkansas recap: Hogs too limited to capitalize on Bama mistakes

Alabama football games are rarely defined by one quarter, but the Crimson Tide’s 27-14 win over Arkansas was almost entirely about the fourth quarter plus 1:39 of the third.

And it never should have come to that.

The Crimson Tide spun wheels for most of Saturday’s game against Arkansas, victimized by spotty offensive line play, inconsistent quarterback play and playcalling that often veered into the realm of the obtuse. But the best defensive line in college football – perhaps the best defensive front seven – and a secondary that continues to improve every week kept Arkansas from really doing anything about it.

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Arkansas preview: Razorbacks may not have the horses to win this one

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Arkansas preview: Razorbacks may not have the horses to win this one

It is easy to dismiss Arkansas as “Georgia Lite” given the Razorbacks’ offensive tendencies, but Arkansas has frequently been a tough out for Alabama. So much so, in fact, that Alabama needs to avoid falling into the trap posed by this direct-from-central-casting “trap game.”

In 2014, Arkansas took Alabama to the wire before the Crimson Tide eventually won, 14-13. It was the game that the Alabama coaches used to eventually define the 2014 squad, and it also marked the last game QB Blake Sims really struggled to get through. In 2015, Alabama gets the Hogs a week after rolling around like a bunch of hogs in the Georgia mud. Fortunately for Alabama, the fourth quarter of its win over Georgia was little more than a mutual slap-fest, as prescribed by the stunningly poor weather conditions.

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Previews 2015: Arkansas Razorbacks

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Previews 2015: Arkansas Razorbacks

Bret Bielema’s second-year success was as important for his future as it was Arkansas’. Bielema led Arkansas to a 6-6 record and then a dominating bowl win over old Southwest Conference rival Texas, giving some credence to the idea that old-school football might still have a place in the SEC. Arkansas will be boring, but probably effective. The offense is one of the most experienced in the SEC, but the defense, which overachieved in 2014, was gutted by the graduation cycle.

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Arkansas Wrap-Up: Nice to get a win, but Bama has issues

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Arkansas Wrap-Up: Nice to get a win, but Bama has issues

It is the height of irony that the principal reason for Alabama scoring more points than Arkansas Saturday came as a result of a special teams play on the part of the Crimson Tide.

A’Shawn Robinson and Jonathan Allen have been crushing opponents’ field goal and extra-point formations all season long. And, for the second consecutive week, one of those plays gave Alabama the opportunity to win.

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