Like It Is:

Arkansas, Georgia have a tough road ahead

By: Wally Hall
Published: Thursday, July 24, 2014
Alex Collins receives a hand off from QB Brandon Allen during their game against Mississippi State on Nov. 23, 2013 at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
Photo by Melissa Gerrits
Alex Collins receives a hand off from QB Brandon Allen during their game against Mississippi State on Nov. 23, 2013 at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.

It has become common knowledge that the Arkansas Razorbacks have one of the toughest schedules in the nation this season as they play 10 teams that were in bowls last year.

Those 10 teams posted a 7-3 bowl record, but two of the losses were by a touchdown or less.

Alabama, picked to win the SEC Western Division this season by members of the media; Georgia, picked to win the Eastern Division; and Auburn, picked to finish second in the West, were the only SEC teams to lose in a bowl last season.

It is debatable whether Arkansas or Georgia has the toughest overall schedule.

The Bulldogs get the edge here because they open the season hosting Clemson, which won the Orange Bowl, and then go to South Carolina, winner of the Capital One Bowl.

Georgia had a tough year with injuries and finished 8-5 last season, and the Bulldogs are going to have the chance to experience a rare road game to Little Rock.

The crowd at War Memorial Stadium used to be incredibly hostile, but scheduling has changed that the past two years. Still, it appears this will be the hardest ticket to get for Razorbacks fans this season.

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Arkansas State had 10 players named to the preseason All-Sun Belt Conference first or second teams by members of the media in New Orleans, and J.D. McKissic was a first-team receiver and kick returner.

The Red Wolves have a pretty tough schedule, too, as they go to Tennessee on the second weekend and then to Miami the third weekend.

The Sun Belt has become a scrappy midlevel conference that has shown it doesn't just take on the big boys for money but for a chance to win as well.

Of course, ASU has its fourth coach in four seasons and that's a lot of personnel changes, but so far it have more than survived and have played in the GoDaddy Bowl the past three seasons.

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Commissioner Bob Bowlsby stole the show on opening day of the Big 12 Conference's media days in Dallas when he warned that revenue is going up at a rate of 2.5 percent per year but expenses are increasing at a rate of 4 percent.

Not sure if he's looked at it closely, but some of that increase in expenses are coaches' salaries, which seem to have no ceiling.

Bowlsby said Olympic sports are in jeopardy of being cut from the budget.

He also said "cheating pays" and that the NCAA infractions committee hasn't met in almost a year.

Bowlsby didn't point a finger at any particular institution or conference.

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The deadline for entering the Pat Summerall Classic golf tournament at Chenal Country Club in Little Rock is 5 p.m. Friday.

The tournament, which is presented by Deltic Timber and will be played Monday, is a fundraiser for the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and will have 50 prizes that will be won on the course or through a drawing.

After the tournament, the players are invited to listen to former Arkansas Razorbacks Ken Hatfield, David Bazzel and Bruce James talk football at a reception hosted by Ray Tucker.

Each team will have a celebrity on it. Anyone interested can contact Zach Vint at (501) 663-4328 or (501) 838-1636 for more information.

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Judging by the emails received Wednesday, LSU's crowd in Death Valley has been loud enough to register as an earthquake on a seismograph on more than one occasion.

That would not be shocking news. The Tigers have some fans with really big mouths, but they are as loyal as any in the country.

Also, Florida Coach Will Muschamp played at Georgia, so at one time there were four head coaches in the SEC who had played college football for schools that are current members of the SEC.

Sports on 07/24/2014

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