FAYETTEVILLE - SEPTEMBER 25: Ryan Mallett #15 of the Arkansas Razorbacks passes the ball against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on September 25 2010 in Fayetteville Arkansas. Alabama won 24-20. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
On Monday I boldly stated that I was done writing about the Alabama game, but apparently others didn't get the memo. So, in the interest of sharing the best Razorback-related content out here, here are three excellent recent posts analyzing what happened on Saturday and what it means for the rest of the season. If Ryan Mallett can watch tape of the game for two straight days, you can definitely read 'em all...it's therapeutic.
1. The RazorBloggers put the game under their microscope and came up with some very interesting observations about the role of the blitz in the Hogs' running game woes, the lack of offensive diversity and areas where Mallett needs to improve. They also took a look at the big picture...here's a key quote:
The Tide’s "Been There, Done That, Got the T-shirt" experience level was simply too much for the Hogs. The Razorback program under Bobby Petrino doesn’t have the experience level yet to play to the level of Alabama. The fact remains that most teams have to knock at the door a couple of times before they’re able to break through.
2. Chris Bahn looks back and delivers a tough love message:
Contrary to what is being written and said on talk radio, losing a 13-point lead and getting outscored 17-0 in the final 16 minutes of the game isn’t "hanging with" the best program in college football. That’s called "squandering an opportunity,"
However, he goes on to point out that, unlike past heartbreakers, this loss comes early enough in the year for the Hogs to rebound and still put together an excellent season (winning eight in a row isn't out of the question, Bahn says). His final thought: "How will 2010 be remembered? Will it go down as another blown opportunity or will it be something else, something better?"
3. Blogger Year2 from Team Speed Kills breaks down the game as an impartial 3rd party observer and comes up with some interesting conclusions about both the Hogs and the Tide. His final conclusion:
Arkansas is for real when it's not sabotaging itself. The defense is far better this year; it may give up some yards, but it can seriously tighten up when it needs to. The offense is nigh unstoppable when it's on, and the array of skill position players that Mallett has is the envy of just about anyone else.
In the end, there's no getting around the fact that the Razorbacks had the #1 Crimson Tide "by the throat", as Mallett put it, and let a historic win slip away against a tougher, more experienced team. Although the Hogs do seem to have earned some weird measure of national respect by their overall performance, that's very small consolation for what could have - or should have - been.
But, as Bahn notes, the season is still very young. Granted, there are many tough teams yet to play, but none of our upcoming opponents equals the Tide, and the Hogs certainly have the potential to beat anyone. The story of the 2010 Razorbacks has yet to be written...if they learn from this game and continue to improve, it could still have a very happy ending for Hog fans everywhere.