For those of us who love college football, the long wait is about to end. Beginning next week it’s wall to wall until the end of the year. Gameday, tailgating, Saturday get togethers. It’s all right around the corner, and in our part of the world it gets no better.
This Razorback team has worked hard in the preseason. This coaching staff has put an indelible mark on this group, and we will see the foundation unveiled in one week. The opener will be a stern test right out of the gate. Louisiana returns 17 starters from a team that won nine games. They are full of confidence, and this is the game they’ve had circled for some time.
Much has been made of the new 2014 SEC schedule, and rightly so. It is very different to be sure. The moving of the LSU game was the headliner, but opening with a conference road game may have, in reality, been the most significant change. It will be the earliest Arkansas has ever played an SEC game, and the first time they’ve played an SEC game to start the season. The tone will be set right away.
Over time, the Hogs series with Missouri will become a heated one. Make no mistake, Mizzou WANTS Arkansas as a rival. They need a replacement for Kansas the same we still clamor for some team to replace Texas. It sure felt like a rivalry in basketball when Mike Anderson returned to Columbia last winter. That will happen in football and the other sports as well.
Earlier this week, Bret Bielema announced the team has chosen Kiero Small, Travis Swanson, Chris Smith and Robert Thomas to be the captains this season. The four become the core of this team, and the ones who will lead on and off the field. These guys have seen it all in their time here, and they’ve earned the title.
Classes begin on the UA campus Monday, and a new school year begins. And the college football season is less than a week away. Here’s to new beginnings.