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Andy Hodges

Starting season 2-2 shouldn’t be that big of hill for Razorback fans

Derek Ruscin (Ruscin & Zach) on ESPN Arkansas isn’t the only one thinking this Hogs’ team can really start this season with a 2-2 record.



Apparently, things have fallen so far with Arkansas football a lot of the fan base considers a 2-2 start to this all-SEC scheduled season of games something impossible.

That notion is often fed by some that have stopped making excuses for the failures of past problems and is now somehow unable (or unwilling) the last three seasons showed a record not indicative of the talent level.

Now that level probably wasn’t going to challenge for a division title but it should have been in a bowl game of some type … all three seasons. I really don’t care what the recruiting numbers showed.

Derek Ruscin (Ruscin & Zach) on ESPN Arkansas said Thursday afternoon he’s going out there on a limb the Razorbacks will start the season 2-2.

He’s not out there alone.

The Hogs can beat both Mississippi schools this year. They shouldn’t have lost to Ole Miss the last two years. They had talent close enough to make it a game against Mississippi State all three years.

By the end of 2016, the Hogs haven’t had a coach they had much confidence in and the last two years they were expressing disgust off the record with the guy in charge.

For the last two seasons at quarterback, the most important position to have consistency, it’s been a revolving door in Fayetteville. It was run like a high school program for two seasons.

Arkansas brought in some really good players the last couple of seasons that was actually coached DOWN.

Alabama’s Bear Bryant explained it best in the early 1970’s when he explained coaching as taking his 85% players, having them trained and coached to play 10% over that ability and they were going to beat those 95% players in the fourth quarter playing 10% below their ability every time.

Coaches say it’s about the players, which is mostly true. What they don’t say is winning games is getting those players to want to do things they normally don’t want to do. Very few players are going to play up to 100% of their ability without coaching and motivation.

Rakeem Boyd’s comment at the Zoom press conference Wednesday was one line I haven’t heard before in Fayetteville.

“They push us to limits this team didn’t know it could go to,” he said about the coaches on this staff.

There’s been one coach a couple of years ago that kept talking about the team “being close” and having to “strain” more to complete plays. He couldn’t get that last bit out of them.

The staff the last two years started off confused and got more dazed with every passing day.

What happened last year has no bearing on this year other than the fact some really, really, talented players were redshirted and Sam Pittman with a new staff and an apparently totally different approach.

The players seem to be reacting differently. You can never really know about these things until you see a game but the way they react to the coaches is different.

In the limited press conferences they appear to actually believe what they’re saying.

Nobody really thought they believed what they said the last few years.

The talent is there. They have a quarterback that’s taken a team from four wins one season to 10 the next when nobody was giving them a shot, either.

The Hogs won’t go that far. Not playing the most difficult schedule in the country.

But they will half of their first four games.

On believing that, Ruscin is not by himself.


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