[I'm pretty proud of that title, by the by]
Well, apparently the 8-1 Arkansas Razorbacks are starting to enjoy the fruits of being a contender in the SEC. A national ranking bordering on the top 10 in many polls (and let me just say some of these kids in the top 10 don't have a chance in the SEC, Louisville we loved to have ya), but in what will most assuredly be an All-American Season, sophomore running back Darren "McFast" McFadden, one half of "Thunder and Lightning" (the worst tandem knick name I've heard since The Masters of Disaster, Avalanche and Earthquake ) has begun to climb the national Heisman Hype polls. Fox News, reeling from Tuesday no doubt, currently ranks him as #8 and rising, but there's a long road ahead.
Sitting on top and probably out of reach barring the unthinkable in the next two weeks is Ohio State QB Troy Smith, who doesn't look invincible, but I'd put him on my Fantasy Football team right now, even if he isn't in the league. For some reason, Brady Quinn is still in the picture though I think Notre Dame has gotten lucky more often than rallied around Quinn's brilliant play. Mike Hart, RB for Michigan, who is a BAD MAN, and Colt McCoy, QB from Texas surely deserve to be higher on the list, but that old Notre Dame fame is boosting Quinn. RB's from Rutgers, West Virginia and Cal round out the rest of the contenders in front of the Arkansas native and they are all good backs. Interestingly, right behind McFadden is another standout QB from the University of Hawaii. I don't know what they do over there in paradise, but they know how to make a QB, who was that kid that set the national passing record a few years ago?
So what does all this mean for McFadden, the Hogs and more importantly the individual Hog Fan, like Mr. Ricky? Well, it means McFadden, bad toe and all, has reached the upper echelon of backs in the NCAA and will continue to be scouted by the NFL, probably meaning we get to hold onto him for one more year, maybe two if some serious National Championship debate starts around the program. I doubt we'll see Felix Jones taking any type of a back seat with the success of the running game, but it would be interesting to know if McFadden were the one and only back out there what his stats could have been. Probably, they would be less stellar, he would have reinjured the toe, we might be 6-3. For the program, it means another bright star for recruiting the type of talent Broyles has been trying to lure to Ozarks for as long as I can remember (and had little success with). With the state of the Offensive Line, I'm sure the running game and the continued recruitment of the kind of guys that make that happen will be an important goal in the off-season.
But most importantly, it's more fodder for Hog Fans on message boards to taunt and be taunted by our SEC advisarries. That's right, take that Florida. Way to go Bama. Auburn, in your face! It means we have yet another ridiculous debate to start on talk radio. "If the Sun is in retrograde and Saturn is crossing through Mars' second house and that lost Manitee in Memphis (I'm not making that up) floats back down to the Gulf, then maybe, just maybe, McFadden wins the Heisman." People, I want this to happen, not as much as I want us to be #1 in all the polls, but still I guy can dream. A state can dream. But please, don't be the bag that calls up and says we're the greatest team in the nation and McFadden is the best RB to ever play the game, of all time, etc. Let's just enjoy not getting the crap kicked out us in the SEC for once and striking fear in the hearts of the old guard.
And don't forget this Saturday, your Arkansas Razorbacks get down and dirty in the squared circle with the Tennessee Volunteers at 6PM on ESPN2. ESPN Gameday will also be broadcasting from Fayetteville all day, which is pretty spectacular, I wish I could go and hold up a sign that read "Really Supportive Sign for a college I don't go to". I hope the Vols volunteer for a loss to the Hoggies.
Confidentially harboring dillusions of BCS Bowl - Mr. Ricky