Arkansas Week: Initial Thoughts

The preseason is finally over: it’s finally Arkansas week.

Alabama has played Arkansas every year since the Hogs joined the SEC in 1992.  Overall, Alabama holds a 14-7 “on the field” record in the series.  (One win was later forfeited and one was later vacated).

This game tends to create a lot of anxiety for me.  I think it’s because this cause is usually an indicator of how Bama’s season is going to go.  Need proof?  Take a look at the Tide’s season record for for each of the losses:

  • 1995 – 8-3
  • 1997 – 4-7
  • 1998 – 7-5
  • 2000 – 3-8
  • 2003 – 4-9
  • 2004 – 6-6
  • 2006 – 6-7

If Alabama loses to Arkansas, usually it’s going to be an ugly season.

Also, most of these aren’t your run-of-the mill we’ll-get-em-next-year losses.  They are usually gut-wrenching, burn-the-couch, kick-the-dog fiascoes caused by uninspired play and horrendous officiating.  Need proof?

Take 1995, for example.  The Razorbacks, led by former Tider Danny Ford, had never beaten Bama. Twelve men on the field and a Barry Lunney bounce pass later, the Razorbacks leave Tuscaloosa with their first win in the series.

Or you could take 2003 as an example.  Mike Shula’s first team led the Hogs 31-10 in the second half.  Yes, 31-10.  The Hogs tied the game and forced overtime.  Alabama intercepted Matt Jones on Arkansas’ first OT possession to set up the win, but an excessive celebration penalty pushed the Tide back too far and Brian Bostick’s field goal attempt was wide left.  The Hogs won in the second OT.

Or you could take 2006.  Bama misses a chip shot field goal at the end of regulation, a chip shot field goal in overtime and an extra point in the second overtime and loses 24-23.

I need to stop here.  I’m getting physically ill…