This Razorback football season can’t end quick enough.
I never thought I’d utter those words, but that’s exactly how I feel about this excruciating season.
When there is nothing better to talk about than two players being suspended for the final game of the year because they couldn’t keep themselves from flirting with members of the Mississippi State dance squad, then it’s time for the season to be put down as mercifully as possible.
Next up for the Razorbacks
Opponent: at Missouri
When: 1:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23
Where: Memorial Stadium, Columbia
However, I doubt that the Missouri Tigers, winners of their last three games, will have anything like mercy on their minds when they host the Razorbacks at 1:30 p.m. Friday at Columbia, Mo. on CBS.
The Tigers (7-4, 4-4 SEC) are on a roll, and the Hogs (2-8, 0-7 SEC) are a snowball rolling downhill, gathering speed for a mighty crash into a 10-loss and a no-win SEC season.
If Arkansas fans are not talking about safety Kam Curl and cornerback Ryan Pulley’s suspensions, they are debating whether this is the worst Razorback team in history.
Neither discussion is all that interesting to me. I don’t want to be in the business of rating worst teams in the history of any program, particularly my alma mater’s, but this has been a stinker. To me 1990, 2012, 2013, and last year would also be in the conversation for worst Razorback seasons I’ve experienced.
As for the suspensions, I back the head coach. Chad Morris has to be able to discipline the players as he sees fit, and if he believes that putting his foot down hard is the best response by and for the program, I think the fans should support him.
That said, do I think what Curl and Pulley did had any bearing on the Razorbacks’ 52-6 loss to Mississippi State?
No, not really.
But in a season like this one and occurring before a game in which the Razorbacks were whipped in every fashion imaginable, it wasn’t a good look. It was undisciplined and selfish. It was just more ammunition for frustrated fans to fire against the head coach, his staff, and the players.
It was unnecessary and non-beneficial to the team, and it put Morris between a rock and hard place.
I think Arkansas defensive coordinator John Chavis put it best on Monday when he said, “I’m not questioning the players’ character, but their actions created a bad perception. Our head coach has handled it, and I’m behind him 100 percent.”
If Missouri quarterback Drew Lock weren’t already licking his lips to sling passes against the Hogs’ defense, he knows it’s going to be the much easier without half the Hogs’ starting secondary on the field. The Tigers are averaging 275.6 yards passing per game. Lock’s probably eying a 300-yard performance to close out the regular season.
It appears a pair of freshmen will be starting in Pulley and Curl’s positions. True freshman Joseph Foucha likely will start in Curl’s safety spot, with red-shirt freshman Montaric Brown taking over at Pulley’s cornerback spot.
It’s going to be interesting to see how the Razorbacks react on Friday. The Hogs have played hard through most of the SEC season, but arguably their two worst performances in conference play have been in two of their last three games. Arkansas had no quit in them against LSU, but truly stunk up the field in the game before against Vanderbilt and the game after against Mississippi State.
One hopes the Razorbacks will at least make the game interesting enough to cut through tryptophan haze left over from Thanksgiving Day’s turkey consumption.
It would be nice to have a good memory of the season to give us some hope for next year. That would be enough to carry many of us through the long offseason.
If not that, it’d be nice for the Razorbacks not to get embarrassed again. We’ve had plenty of that already.