FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas' ranking in Monday's AP poll really doesn't mean a whole lot in August.
The reality is unless you're in the top four at the end of the season that's chosen by a committee of folks, where you stand doesn't matter at all.
Except when it comes to money.
It's all part of a rather disorganized mess that is college sports tolerated simply because it keeps fans engaged.
That doesn't mean we're talking about fans of any particular school. Television networks want everybody's fans talking about every team playing ... Razorback fans keeping up with it just for the ol' home team are simply a bonus.
The Hogs were ranked No. 19 in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 Poll, which was released Monday morning.
Arkansas is one of six SEC teams ranked in the AP’s preseason poll, along with No. 1 Alabama, No. 3 Georgia, No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 20 Kentucky and No. 21 Ole Miss.
The Hogs are ranked in both major preseason polls. Arkansas checked in at No. 23 in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll, which was released one week ago.
Hogs coach Sam Pittman probably just said it's nice or something and will deal with it. He knows it means nothing when they line up in the opener.
Arkansas kicks off the season at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, against No. 23 Cincinnati on ESPN and Fubo.tv.
In the SEC it means absolutely nothing and will likely just make the target on the Hogs' back a little larger each week.
Pittman would probably rather avoid giving anyone a single bit of ammunition. He's just focused on having a team that meets the escalating expectations of a fan base always wanting more.
Considering the schedule in front of them has multiple land mines they know about, — plus a couple that will be unexpected — exceeding those expectations is a tall order.
They have the No. 1 team in the poll (Alabama, of course) and the Texas Aggies on there at No. 6 as well on the schedule for this season.
Ole Miss is ranked 21st and the opener will be against the No. 23 Bearcats.
Sam knows that.
The fans will figure it out.
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