Kickoff Trough

I hope everyone enjoys their long weekend! Here’s some stories to send us into the weekend…

Patrick Beverly is close to signing a pro contract to play overseas and has signed an agent (he’s gone officially). Earnest Mitchell feels 90% back from his knee surgery. Someone tore down the goalposts at Razorback Stadium last week (they’ve been repaired). Nathan Dick is officially your backup for this weekend. The Expats have a Q&A with AS360’s Jim Harris up. Need to know more about Western Illinois? Look Here or Here. The Coach’s Show will be named…”Inside Razorback Football with Bobby Petrino“. Speaking of TV the UA-ULM game in Little Rock will be available via Pay-Per-View for $34.99 in Arkansas and Louisana (it might be on ESPN Gameplan outside those states). When you see a successful forward pass know you’re not dreaming.

Lots of predictions are up…Expats, Razorbloggers, Hog Blog, Slophouse, and College Football News.

And Finally for those headed to the game…there is a spoiler below the fold…
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Prediction Time

So, I guess It would be a disservice If I didn’t give my loyal readers a prediction for the up coming season. So, without further ado…

Game 1
Arkansas-40 Western Illinois-28
Arkansas comes out of the gate with something to prove.

Game 2
Arkansas-42 Louisiana-Monroe-21
The hogs won’t lose in the Rock.

I’ll stop while the record is a winning one…The rest is after the Jump
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Friday Trough

The Hogs are extending their contract with War Memorial Stadium another 2 years till 2016. The University responded to a FOIA request with an admission of 6 self-reported secondary NCAA rules violations in the basketball program involving Text messaging, improper contact with recruits, and an improper official visit. The football team is in game week mode. Freshman QB Tyler Wilson is competing for the backup QB spot. ESPN’s Chris Low visited Fayetteville and logs a couple of reports. Hog WR Marques Wade was fined and ordered to complete 16 hours of community service after he pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and careless driving. Former Hog Freddie Fairchild has been sentenced to 120 days in the county jail after he pleaded guilty to beating his girlfriend and detaining her against her will. Hog Golfer Andrew Landry was defeated in the round of 16 at the US Amateur Championship. Former Hog Veronica Campbell-Brown brought home her second gold medal in the 200 meters for Jamaica. The Razorbloggers have their Preseason Poll posted. The Hog fanbase is ranked the 5th most obnoxious in the SEC by the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Finally the Expats have a Q&A up with Hog beat reporter Tom Murphy.

Mid-Week Trough

Two-a-Days are over. Point Guard Courtney Fortson was cleared to play by the NCAA. Former Hog & New Orleans Hornets guard Jannero Pargo has signed a 1 year $4 Million deal to play with Moscow Dynamo. Former Hog Shawn Andrews has finally showed up at Philadelphia Eagles Camp. Former Track Hog Wallace Spearmon was disqualified after finishing 3rd for running out of his lane. Tyson Gay failed to make the 100m Final in Beijing. In other Olympic news Veronica Campbell-Brown & Alistair Cragg qualified for the finals in their respective events. Is Mustain a bust for the Trojans? The Expats sum up Patrick Beverly’s situation nicely. They’ve also been chosen to participate in the SEC Power Poll (congrats) and have their preseason Coaches Poll up. Arkansas is still 6th as the Fulmer Cup gets close to naming it’s champion. The boys at the Morning News’ Hog Blog have unleashed a redesign. ESPN’s Chris Low is in Fayetteville to cover the Hogs during his tour of the conference.

Thursday Trough

KATV has sold the Media Rights (ARSN) to the Arkansas Razorbacks to ISP Sports. The deal guarantees the UA Athletics Dept. $73 Million over the next ten years. KATV is the exclusive “Flagship Station” for the next ten years. ISP sports will also be taking over the Website and Gameday Program duties for the University.

The Razorbloggers have their Practice Impressions up. Freshman RB De’Anthony Curtis has a sprained knee and could be out two weeks. Kicker Alex Tejada is looking to come back from a dislocated kneecap he suffered at the beginning of summer workouts.

Whole Hog Sports has launched a podcast…the the WholeHogCast. The Expats point to an article matching SEC coaches to Bond Villains. They also mention so pro hogs…DMac is still blogging, Felix Jones continues to impress, Peyton Hillis looks to make the Broncos, Marcus Monk dropped a pass late for the Bears. Speaking of pros…Steven Hill is working out with the Portland Trail Blazers. Matt Jones plead not guilty Monday to his drug charges. And finally, the Little Rock Touchdown Club has announced their guest lineup.

FTB:Fan Predictions From Way Down on the Redneck Riviera

This Week From the Bench…

The last time that I attended media days for the Arkansas Razorbacks was in 1999. I have spent that week ever since going to the Gulf of Mexico, and in particular Orange Beach, Ala., to get the thoughts of opposing fans from around the SEC. Sure SEC media days has its own poll of how the experts think everyone is going to do, but if you have met many in the media including myself, you know their predictions are no more valid than your own except that it ends up in print.

Hawgsports.com

Saturday Trough

I didn’t have time to update the Slobberin’ story to a full Trough so I’ve got some news to share…

Patrick Beverly won’t be playing for the Hogs this season. Reports say it involves to academics.

Brandon Lampkin, a reserve defensive tackle, was taken to a hospital by ambulance after a neck injury during Friday’s practice, the first with pads this season. He was released Friday night and is in good condition. His Football status is unknown at this time. QB Ryan Mallett is profiled by the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. SI has the Hogs ranked 69th out of 119 FBS schools (via Expats). The Hogs are lumped in with “The Dregs” in an AOL Fanhouse preview. AOL Fanhouse also recaps the 07 SEC season and called Houston Nutt the biggest fraud. Auburn and Arkansas are joining the Spread revolution in the SEC. I didn’t link to this earlier this week but here’s the razorblogger wrapup of Media Day.

Veronica Campbell-Brown became the first Razorback in history to be chose to carry their country’s flag at the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games (She carried Jamaica’s Flag). Former Hog Mitch Mustain got a break when USC starting QB Mark Sanchez injured his kneecap and will probably miss the season opener at Virginia. Mustain will compete for the starting spot against Aaron Corp for the start.

Darren McFadden had 48 yards on 12 carries during Oakland’s win over San Francisco last night. Marcus Monk had a catch for 14 yards in his debut for the Chicago Bears on Thursday. Vickiel Vaughn signed a deal with the Denver Broncos. Matt Jones was formally charged with possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) Friday. The amount of cocaine he allegedly had with him could have opened him up to a charge of possesion with intent to deliver.

Finally, two fun links for you. I stumbled across this site that has some great Razorback desktop wallpapers…Razorhack.org (for the wallpaper use this link). Most of you have probably see this already but, “Can you pass the Darren McFadden Test?” after the jump…

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The Arrested Again Trough

Former Hog Freddie Fairchild was arrested again for marajuna possession and fleeing. Players reported for fall camp yesterday…practice begins today. College Football News has alot of SEC coverage up. Here’s their SEC game by game predictions (Ark 6-6), All-SEC team, Unit Rankings, SEC team capsules, and overall season preview. ESPN says the Hogs are hated by Louisville and Clemson.

John Pelphrey got a raise and an extension. Matt Jones continues to shine since his arrest. The razorbloggers put up some razorbits. The official UA podcast launched. FSN has a UA football preview special airing in August (Check Local Listings). Arkansasrazorbacks.com continues their Olympic Spotlights of current and former hogs with track and field’s Veronica Campbell-Brown, Amy Yoder Begley, Tyson Gay, and swimmer Yi Ting Siow.

Monday Trough

SEC Media Days were last week…The Hogs were picked dead lastJonathan Luigs was voted ALL-SEC first team…WR Marques Wade was arrested for DUI…1994 Championship Hoops Team member Elmer Martin has been sentenced to 15 years on drug charges…Matt Jones talks to the media about his Arrest…Arkansasrazorbacks.com Launched…The Football Media Guide is out…Razorbloggers got a new design too…The Expats are singing the Memphis BluesHog Helmets are nice to look at…The Razorbloggers have their predictions up…a funny anecdote about Felix Jones’ game winning 2 point conversion against LSU.

FTB:Hogs in Hunt for Sec West Title

This Week From The Bench:

For the first time since 2003, the Razorback football team will start the season 2-0. I promise.

Hopefully, this small burst of momentum will propel the Hogs on to a winning season as the fans look to Bobby Petrino as the savior to right all those wrongs of the Houston Nutt era. In many ways, this season stacks up very similarly to that 2003 schedule when the Hogs beat Texas and Alabama in back-to-back weeks on the road. I still question if any other team in the history of college football has done the same thing.

Hawgsports.com

White Powdery Substance Trough

As most of you probably know, former Arkansas QB and current Jacksonville Jaguar Wide Receiver Matt Jones was arrested on a count of Felony possession of a controlled substance (Cocaine) this Morning. Not as widely mentioned is that he was arrested with former Hog tight end Jared Hicks. The Razorbloggers/Slophouse/TMN’s Hog Blog have it covered. LB Wendel Davis was arrested on June 28th. He was arrested after an altercation at a stop light with a person he has a history with.

I’ve reported previously that the University is merging the Men’s and Women’s Athletic Departments. The first sign of that is the merging of the UA’s athletic websites, Hogwired and Ladybacks.com, into ArkansasRazorbacks.com. It opens on July 21st. KATV is looking at the 16 most memorable moments since the Hogs joined the SEC…Here are the Expats’ choices.

Levan Patsatsia is going to transfer from the Hog Hoop squad. Patrick Beverley impressed King LeBron James and New Orleans’s Chris Paul in a pickup game.Former Hog Darian Townes has made the Sacramento Kings Summer League Team. Some Diamond Hogs are heating up Summer Leagues. Tyson Gay has a mild muscle strain in his leg. He pulled up lame in a quarterfinal heat for the 200 meters at the US Olympic Trials. He was the defending world champ in the event. Felix Jones and Darren McFadden have been ranked as two of the best NFL running backs.

College Football News says the SEC Title Game hurts the SEC. Here’s CFN’s 46 reasons to love SEC Football. Here’s a take from a SEC Gal In California. Here’s three sets of SEC football predictions. The Razorbloggers are looking at the new NCAA football rules.

UPDATE: I forgot to link to a couple of Expat stories…Their Hodge Podge mentions Marcus Monk-Competitive Eater, Houston Nutt’s wrong number, and SEC home court advantage…a must read! Also in non-Hog news…Fort Smith & Texarkana add to the “Embarrassing Arkansas Moments” File courtesy of Borat.

FTB:Too Many Unknowns to Predict Petrino’s First Season

This Week From The Bench…

Usually at about this time during the summer, I provide my preseason prediction for Razorback football in a game-by-game scenario. But I am reluctant right now to do such a thing because I want to wait at least until the freshmen have participated in practice this August.

Why am I waiting? There is too much that is unknown. We still have to see if the power spread as envisioned by new coach Bobby Petrino will succeed in the SEC against those tough defenses. If it does not this season, my guess is that the previous coach and athletic director are going to gloat with a look of “I told you so.”

Hawgsports.com

The Trough

I’ve been killer busy at work and since there hasn’t been much happening, this blog tends to fall to the wayside. But here are a few stories I’ve looked at the past week or so…

Razorbloggers:Razorbits (the boys throwing to Felix). Felix gets his rookie card. Matt Jones on the hot seat and Brett Goode is out in JAX. John Pelphrey talked to reporters recently. He also is planning a tourney at BWA and likes Snoop Dogg. D-mac picked his jersey #. Here’s a Petrino Q & A. If your in a barroom brawl pick a Hog for a wingman. Finally, the Sporting News is pulling for Casey Dick.

Big Weekend Trough

I’ve got some catching up to do since I was on a business trip to NWA this week. Although that trip did allow me to catch the first of the two game set against N. Colorado at Baum Tuesday. I have some mediocre pictures from my point and shoot I’ll be posting at my flickr account that I’ll link to in a post this weekend. On to the news…

Don’t forget that EAS Razorfest and the Spring Red-White game are tomorrow. The NFL Draft is also this weekend. Here is a look at all the hogs most likely to be drafted…I’ll get back to McFadden in a moment.

Hog LB Freddie Fairchild pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of third degree battery and second degree false imprisonment stemming from an arrest earlier this month. Here’s the final practice wrapups from the Razorbloggers…4/17, 4/18, 4/19, 4/22, 4/24. Here’s a good article on Defensive Coordinator Willy Robinson and outtakes from the article touching on his major off-season knee surgery.

Since I last did a trough the Diamond Hogs have been on somewhat of a hot streak, winning 5 out of their last 6. First they bounced back over the loss to ORU with a 9-1 win over Alcorn St.. They then won their second consecutive SEC series against then #30 Tennessee…UA 5-UT 4, UA 5- UT 4, UT 7-UA 6. They then took both games of a two game set midweek against Northern Colorado…UA 9- UNCo 2, and UA 7-UNCo 1. I Just want to take a sec and say that the daily spring practice and the post game wrap ups that the Razorbloggers do are fantastic. Those posts are a somewhat thankless job and I just wanted to point out the great work they do. Thanks again.

While I was gone I also missed the Patrick Beverley “I’m Leaving” mania. Beverley apparently updated the status on his facebook.com page to “I’m Leaving”. During last weekend’s Real Deal on the Hill Beverley also told reporters that he had “No Comment” on the reports. Rumors started swirling that he was headed to USF, reuniting with former Head Hog Stan Heath. Finally, during an interview with a Tampa Bay paper, Beverley’s Mom stated he was staying at Arkansas (She apparently talked him out of it).

Speaking of Mothers…Darren McFadden’s Mom had some choice comments regarding her son playing in either New York, for the Jets, or Oakland. In the article in the LA Times an Arkansas Coach is quoted as saying D-Mac will be bringing the whole family to where ever he’s drafted. One thing he won’t be bringing to NYC is a Dress for the Draft. He’s also been in talks with the Patriots and talks about his most recent ESPN the Magazine photo shoot. The expats also mention his honest and open policy about his family and past.

And Finally…

Sophomores Michelle Stout and Casey Jo Magee became the first Lady Razorbacks gymnasts to earn All-America honors Thursday, leading 11th-ranked Arkansas to a fifth-place finish in Session 1 of the NCAA Championships

The “Vote Big Red” Trough

The Diamond Hogs start up play this Friday with a series against Wichita St. and the local media are starting to do their season forecasts/previews…Razorbloggers, The Morning News, and the Slophouse. Junior third baseman Logan Forsythe was named to USA Baseball’s pre-season Golden Spikes Award Watch List on Tuesday. Here’s the Diamond Hog Promotion Schedule. The Hoop Hogs Lose to Division Leader Mississippi St. 80-74…But their RPI is still high. Assistant Coach Rob Evans talked with the LR Tip-Off Club. AD Jeff Long is in talks with Nolan Richardson to Honor the ’94 National Championship Team next year on the 15th Anniversary. ESPN’s Mel Kiper is against the Dallas Cowboys trading up to get Darren McFadden. Mitch Mustain is trying to work his way off of USC’s Scout Team.

And Finally, As far as Video Games go I own only a Nintendo Wii. No XBox360 or PS3. The game that I’ve been waiting for has finally been announced for Wii…NCAA FOOTBALL 2009! To commemorate the event EA is allowing the public to vote (once per day) on a college mascot to place on the cover of NCAA Football for Wii. Voting will be thru March 14th. Vote for Big Red!