Tusk to Tail: It’s so bad some are pinning our hopes on the next total eclipse

by Tusk to Tail (tusktotailgate@gmail.com) 618 views 

A sizable contingent of Tusk to Tail folks are heading to Auburn for Saturday’s match between the Hogs and the Tigers. The group is certain the Malzahn-Morris matchup will see the Gus bus unload more than 50 points on the Hogs. There is a fine line between loyalty and lunacy.

THE QUESTION
Do you believe Razorback Football Coach Chad Morris will ever win 10 or more games in a season coaching at Arkansas?

Mark Wagner: Since the inception of the program, the Razorbacks have only had nine seasons where they won 10 or more games. So that’s one 10-win season every 13.7 years on average. The coaches we had accomplish this feat were:
Broyles – 1964, 1968, 1975 (in 19 seasons)
Holtz – 1977, 1979 (in 7 seasons)
Hatfield – 1985, 1988, 1989 (in 6 seasons)
Nutt – 2006 (in 10 seasons)
Petrino – 2010, 2011 (in 4 seasons)

So, is Coach Morris as good as any of the above? I definitely think he is, and given time and support to get his system in; the Hogs will win 10 or more under him. Hunter Yurachek may be the most prophetic AD we’ve had when he sent a text to Coach Morris at last December’s SEC Championship game that read “Houston 2024.” In 2024, the College Football Championship will be in Houston, It will be 13 years since our previous 10-win season (so right about average), and it’s also the year of America’s next total eclipse. It’s a can’t miss!

John Scott: I do not think Coach Chad Morris will win 10 games in a season at Arkansas. It would take a Herculean turn-around to reach a winning record in the next two seasons. Year three’s roster still will only include sophomores and freshmen Morris recruiting products, so topping .500 in year 3 still seems a stretch. I could see the seat being so hot by year four, that if he is able to turn in 6 or 7 wins, Morris might begin looking for the exit ramp. And any progress would likely make him a candidate to bolt for calmer pastures and a fresh new contract based on promise — not actual results. I just don’t see Morris developing a left lane hammer down program at Arkansas that will compete in the SEC West. Then again, we also saw where the Son of a Hog farmer’s much lauded smashmouth plan ended up. I’ve said it before, I’m afraid a 7-5 average over any decade is about the ceiling at Arkansas, no matter the lane of traffic.

THE GAMES
• Arkansas @ #9 Auburn
Craig May: Recruit. Recruit. Recruit. Auburn 55, Arkansas 10

Dale Cullins: This Hogs team is probably the worst I’ve seen in 44 years of watching Arkansas football games. Even with Nutt and some of those 4 and 8 teams, there was some fight and some pride in the team. Not seeing that so far this year. Gus will take it easy on his friend Morris in the 3rd quarter but by that time, it will be Auburn 59, Hogs 10.

Todd Rudisill: Have the wheels already fallen off this season with two shocking losses to Colorado State and North Texas? If they haven’t already, they are about to. We’ve got Auburn, A&M, and Bama on tap over the next three weeks. It’s not a question if the Hogs are going to lose, but can they even score? The Auburn D-Line is one of the best in the country. It doesn’t matter who plays quarterback for Arkansas if the offensive line gives them no time. Storey will start, but it may be a merry go round of quarterbacks again with this Auburn D-line teeing off on each of them. We can only hope Malzahn is in a great mood since Arkansas helped him get a giant pay raise last year. If so, maybe he will call off the dogs and only score 50 on us. Auburn 52-6.

• Florida @ Tennessee
Craig May: Twenty years ago, this was a must watch game in the SEC. Now outside the two fan bases, no one really cares. Florida has won 12 of the last 13 games against the Vols. Florida has trouble putting teams away, but the defense will slow the Vols down enough for Florida to win. Another frustrating loss for the Vols. Florida 24, Tennessee 17.

• Nebraska @ #19 Michigan
Joshua Harris: Michigan actually put up significant points the last two games and looks to be the heavy favorite in this game. Nebraska lost their first two, and it looks like they are in a similar rebuilding mode as Arkansas. Michigan will win, so if you want to make it interesting you probably will need to bet on it.

• #17 TCU @ Texas
Mark Wagner: TCU has beaten Texas the last four times they have played. The big question will be whether the win over the Trojans is a big enough turning point for the Longhorns to build on and rise back to prominence in the Big 12. I think the answer is yes. Things are lining up nicely for the Horns. They had a big win at USC, and now they are back home. TCU hasn’t truly beaten any good team this year, while Texas was able to do it on the road. Vegas is making the Horns a 3-point underdog, but I think this game will be a measuring stick that will show how good a team Texas is, and just how good a coach Tom Herman is. This will be one that I will be watching up until I head into Jordan Hare stadium. Horns by 3 in a thriller. Texas 24, TCU 21

Joshua Harris: TCU disappointed me last week after getting my hopes up early in the game. Texas flopped in their first game, but came back to win their last two, beating a ranked USC team last week. While I hate Texas, last week’s performance makes this an interesting game. TCU has won the last 4 games, so the Longhorns will be motivated while playing at home. I will pick Texas, while pulling for TCU.

• #7 Stanford @ #20 Oregon
John Scott: In this scribe’s view, a football scholarship to the Harvard of the West is the ultimate prize. More so than Alabama, or Clemson, or THE Ohio State. While Brooks Ellis loved the Helmet and actually made it to the NFL, the present value of his NFL earnings will likely pale vs. Stanford grads down the road. Stanford has beaten USC, San Diego State, and UC-Davis (they play football?), but not resoundingly. Oregon has dismantled 2/3 of the Hogs’ 2019 non-conference schedule, whipping Portland State 62-14 and San Jose State 35-22. This is West Coast football at its finest. Green grass, sunshine, sparkling uniforms, and fans with an average of 7 years of higher education, and that’s not how long it took them to get through undergrad. I have to go with the home Ducks. Quack, quack! Oregon 37, Stanford 24.

• #22 Texas A&M @ # 1 Alabama
Dale Cullins: Jimbo has been able to corral some of the talent in College Station, and so far, seems to have them playing better early. That is something Sumlin could never do without a Heisman-winning QB. However, it won’t be enough in T-town. Saban has a well-oiled machine this season and honestly, I don’t see them losing a game. Bama 44, Aggies 17.

Todd Rudisill: A&M really showed some great potential when they took Clemson to the gun and lost a nail-biter. I think the Aggies can cause a little drama early, but then Tua and the explosive Bama offense turn it on and don’t let up. Tua has yet to throw an interception this season. The most fun thing to watch in this one will be to see if Bama can score 50 for the fourth game in a row. Think they come up a tad short, but roll 49-17.
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Editor’s note: Welcome to the seventh season of Tusk to Tail – the sport of tailgating as organized, performed and perfected by a group of Hog fans who have been tailgating together sober and otherwise for more than a decade. Tusk to Tail is managed by Talk Business & Politics and sponsored by the River Valley Smile Center … because it’s another dang rebuilding year and you’re gonna need a good smile to get through the season. The diehards may also be followed on their Facebook page. Or follow the crew on Twitter and Instagram, all @TuskToTail.

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