Razorbacks On Parade

Arkansas arrives at SEC Media Days on Wednesday, but nevertheless were a topic of conversation on Tuesday as the three-day event opened up at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala.

HOOVER, Ala. – Arkansas wasn't on hand for The Opening of the SEC Media Days Tuesday, but there were not an afterthought.

Indeed several coaches either brought up the Razorbacks or were asked about them.

Such as South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier, who was asked if there would be extra incentive during his team's Arkansas week seeing as his team has lost three straight to the Razorbacks.

The Gamecocks' schedule has an open date before they host Arkansas on Nov. 10th and has a non-conference game after that this season instead of Spurrier's old Florida program.

"You think I make out the scheduling?" Spurrier said with a smile. "If I made out the schedule, Georgia would be playing LSU and we would be playing Ole Miss. We don't make out the schedule. We're not complaining about that.

"No, Arkansas, they have played well against us," Spurrier added. "Auburn's played well against us. Amazingly we have lost seven games in the last two years, and five of them are to Arkansas and Auburn. They've had our number.

"…We do recognize they have kicked our tails, so has Auburn," Spurrier continued. "We've been pretty good against the other guys, but those two have had our number."

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Spurrier has now been at South Carolina for eight years after a wildly successful run at Florida.

The keys to his teams have usually been great quarterbacks and he feels like he has a very good one this season in Connor Shaw.

But he also really likes Arkansas' Tyler Wilson and some others that the league has to offer this season.

"The Arkansas quarterback I know is very good," Spurrier said. "Tyler Wilson is an excellent passer. He's very good. The Alabama quarterback (A.J. McCarron) certainly looked good in that final game there."

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Arkansas has traditionally played LSU on its last regular season date, but there has been a lot of speculation that Razorback will now be facing Missouri at the end of the season and LSU will be taking on Texas A&M.

Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel said he thinks that the Razorbacks and Tigers could become a great rivalry.

"I'm sure it will hopefully develop into a big rivalry, a historic one as time goes on," Pinkel said. "You kind of have to earn that as it goes. I've got great respect for Arkansas."

Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin said he expects the same with LSU.

"Hopefully, as we become more competitive on the football field, it becomes one of those games that people look forward to," Sumlin said.

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Sumlin also touched on Arkansas' series with A&M that has been played at the Dallas Cowboys' stadium the past three seasons.

That was when the two teams were non-conference foes.

"When it was a Big 12/SEC game, a neutral field is one thing," Sumlin said. "Now you have a league game and a division game, so I am sure that most universities, most guys would want it home and home. For us, I think that would be the case.

"I enjoy playing in Jerry's World as the next guy, but I would rather it be a home-and-home deal," Sumlin said.

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Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin has earned respect quickly in this league, but he wants more after a 6-7 mark that included a bowl game in his first season.

"We're dropping the anchor," Franklin said. "We're not backing up. We're drawing the line in the sand, and we're ready to go. When you get ready to play Vanderbilt, you better get ready to fight."

Franklin noted that was the case even though the Commodores are playing catch up in the SEC.

"We're probably 60 years behind in a lot of areas," Franklin said. "Facilities. Recruiting. Perception. Training and educating our fan base. It's everything."

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Arkansas will join Mississippi State, Florida, Kentucky, Auburn and LSU as the six teams featured on Wednesday.

The Razorbacks will be represented by head coach John L. Smith and players Wilson, Knile Davis and Tenarius Wright.


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