Better Know an Opponent: Arkansas Razorbacks

Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE

LSU renews its rivalry with its northern neighbor.

Ever since Arkansas joined the SEC two decades ago, the powers that be have tried to force an LSU-Arkansas football rivalry down our throats. And while there is enmity between the two programs, it is no more than any other SEC opponent. The Hogs rank distantly behind Alabama and Auburn on the teams we really despise.

But baseball? LSU fans have taken to hating Arkansas like a duck to water. There's a different feel to our hatred of Arkansas than our hatred of State. There's an undercurrent of respect for the Bulldogs, as they were the original big dogs on the SEC baseball block. Our rivalry grew out of thinking that if you're going to be the best, you have to beat the best. Arkansas? No, I just hate their guts. No need to pretend I respect them at all. I don't. I just hate them.

Arkansas Razorbacks

Record: 24-10 (8-4), 2nd in SEC West
RS/RA: 189/83
RPI: 49
ISR: 24

I have no idea how a team that lost a series to Ole Miss swept South Carolina. The Razorbacks are allowing 2.3 runs a game, which I'm sure will get a brought up a lot this weekend.

Ancient Logo:

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via content.sportslogos.net

Is it me or is that logo like a million times better than their current one?

Notable Alumni:

Donna Axum (Miss America 1964)

Charles Portis (author, True Grit)

Pat Summerall (former kicker for New York Giants)

William Dillard (founder of Dillard's department stores)

William Harrison (doctor who has performed over 20,000 abortions)

Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys)

Jimmy Johnson (former employee of Jerry Jones)

Lance Alworth (San Diego Chargers)

John Daly (winner of British Open)

Cliff Lee (Philadelphia Phillies)

Maurice Britt (Medal of Honor recipient in WWII)

J. William Fulbright (creator of scholarship)

Pretentious Music Video:

The theme of this weekend is hate. Good old-fashioned, uncomplicated hate. I hate Arkansas and I sincerely hope they hate us right back. So, in the spirit of this weekend, I present to you a message to all Arkansas fans. Lily Allen's F@$% You.


Starter:

RHP Barrett Astin (2-1, 2.31 ERA, 39.0 IP, 28/9 K/BB)

RHP Ryne Stanek (3-2, 1.90 ERA, 42.2 IP, 38/16 K/BB)

LHP Randall Fant (2-1, 1.71 ERA, 31.2 IP, 27/3 K/BB)

Yeah, so there's that. You don't allow under two and half runs per game without having some outstanding pitchers in your rotation. The Razorback trio has been predictably incredible, though Fant was a bit of a midseason find for the third starter spot, and Astin moved from the pen to the rotation. But as you can see from their records despite those miniscule ERA's, Arkansas has problems getting these guys the run support they need or getting real deep into games. Arkansas does not hesitate to go the pen, which is deep and reliable.

Sluggers:

RF Tyler Spoon 336/397/445

LF Matt Vinson 328/406/440

SS Brian Anderson 320/432/459

Draw lots of walks, put the ball in play, and run like mad. As far as offensive strategies go, it's not a bad one. It dates back to the origins of the game, and we can't expect people from Arkansas to evolve too quickly. The Hogs have only hit 14 homers in 34 games, but last time I made fun of a team's lack of power, they hit two homers in a game. But Arkansas likes to put pressure on pitching staffs by getting guys on base and then advancing the runners however they can. Yeah, the Hogs are pretty bunt-tastic, but they also are incredible efficient base stealers. So while they lack a big hulking bat in the middle of the lineup, they do have a pretty solid top to bottom lineup. But this is not a team that can overcome a huge deficit, they need the pitching staff to keep things close while they claw out a run here and there. Then, somehow, they've beaten you 4-2 or 3-1.

Tiger Bait?

Last week, I was cautioning how tough it was to get a sweep on the road so it is completely unrealistic to expect one, especially against a real good team. Well, I think Kentucky is a better team than Arkansas, and as we know, LSU beat the snot out of the Cats. That should mean we do the same against Arkansas, right? Well, of course not, but a man can dream. LSU is playing great baseball right now and it would be foolish to pick against the Tigers doing anything they want to. And I really hate Arkansas, maybe I mentioned that. Asking for another sweep is probably a bit much, but the Tigers can put a stranglehold on the division by taking two out of three.

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