Let me preface this by saying I take time out of my day to make sure I stream Fox Sports' Joel Klatt's weekly appearances on The Ticket in Dallas and have grown to greatly respect not only his unique theme music, but his well-informed perspective.
That being said, I'm going to need to head to the field just north of my house with a giant snow shovel so I can scoop of plenty of the freshest cow manure in the pasture and ship it Klatt's way.
Klatt recently posted his "WAY-TOO-EARLY CFB 2022 top 10" on Twitter. As you can see below, he posted the usual suspects with one major exception – the Arkansas Razorbacks at No. 7.
There's no reason for Arkansas to occupy such a lofty spot at this point.
That's not to say the Razorbacks won't be good next year. However, the reality is Sam Pittman has massive holes to fill on defense and is an awkward plant by K.J. Jefferson away from the house completely falling down.
Add in a schedule that across the board is much tougher than last season, and the numbers just aren't there.
The fact the Top 10 includes all the usual suspects could hint as to why Arkansas seems to be randomly thrown in.
If you paint your house the same color as every other house in the neighborhood, no one says anything. Paint it bubble gum pink and yellow, and people start talking.
Klatt had to throw someone in there to get people up in arms as a conversation generator. Ole Miss wasn't going to generate a strong reaction after a 10-3 season.
Nope. It had to be a team with enough potential upside while still being viewed as the 10-year homecoming game the program had become to get people fired up.
Sure, there were a handful of Arkansas fans out there who were like "Yeah! Finally, some respect on our name!" But there were even more who remember what high expectations tend to do to this program.
The Razorbacks came into the season with a Top 10 ranking, fresh off a surprising Top 5 finish the season before.
Some early NFL draft projects had Tyler Wilson rated as the top quarterback on the board. The Hogs had a potential Coach of the Year candidate in Bobby Petrino.
What followed created the disarray that has haunted the program for a decade. Petrino ran his bike into a ditch while joyriding with his girlfriend and ran Razorback football into the ditch at the same time.
According to interviews Tyler Wilson has done over the years, John L. Smith devolved from a highly competent coach under Petrino to the man who encouraged us to "Smile!" over and over. The culture left almost immediately, and with it Wilson's love for the game.
Perhaps Klatt doesn't fully understand the psychological damage done to Arkansas fans since Petrino's joyride. Hog fans have come to feel it should be expected for something awful to happen any time things look pointed up.
Even when teams are at their best, there's always a dropped pop-up in foul territory waiting just around the corner to snatch everyone's dreams away.
One day Arkansas will build a consistent winner in football and Top 10 preseason rankings will be well-deserved. But until then, let's not build unreasonable expectations for sake of generating talk.
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