Arkansas National Bank is picking up the tab to bring this premium article to HI members and non-members alike. We appreciate ANB's support of the SOH series and encourage our NWA hog fans to visit one of their 9 banking locations. ANB is a proud sponsor of the SOH series, hogwired.com, and Razorback athletics.
State of the Hogs:
I've studied the bowl pairings, or the possible bowl pairings, as they stand on Monday, and it all makes sense to me. It is as it should be, for this season, anyway.
Having said that, it doesn't really seem fair on the surface for an Arkansas team that will be playing for the SEC Championship in Atlanta on Saturday to end up in Nashville at the Music City Bowl. But, it might be about right based on what has happened this season.
What you must remember, what goes around, comes around. Arkansas got the best of it twice with trips to the Cotton Bowl when it was 7-4. There were other teams that could have been selected for that bowl game ahead of Arkansas with better records, but didn't get that trip because the Hogs were closer and would bring more fans.
That's what has happened with the Florida Citrus and the Capital One bowls. They've gone with teams that are better geographical fits than the Hogs. I understand that.
For those that question my logic, just remember that it is always about money, and nothing else, when you are talking about bowl selections. The bowl committees want what is best for their bowls and their cities, and if they pick a team for any other reason, then they will soon be off that committee.
Arkansas could be sitting in a better position if it was ranked higher than No. 22, or it had been ranked for much of the season. That would have been the case had the Hogs beaten Troy State, Louisiana-Lafayette and Mississippi State in a more convincing fashion, or had it beaten Tennessee earlier this year when it had the chance.
Had the Hogs beaten Tennessee and Kentucky, then they would be looking at a top 10 ranking. In that case, there would be plenty of bowls wanting the Hogs.
It's not unfair to ask the Hogs to earn their bowl trip this weekend in the SEC Championship game. It's not unfair at all. Afterall, it's all about money, and it should not surprise anyone that the Hogs don't have the sex appeal of some others that have been sitting in the top 25 all season.
Some are angry because of this situation. I'm not. I underdstand it, and, to be honest, expected it.
If the team is angry, then it can fix it. The Hogs have that opportunity Saturday in the Georgia Dome. And, if they can't fix it, then they have only themselves to blame.