Since the University of Arkansas' 2018 football schedule was announced, this week's opponent, Tulsa, was considered a win.
Also considered wins were Eastern Illinois, Colorado State, North Texas and for many, Ole Miss. So the thought process was after this Saturday's win, the Razorbacks would need only one more victory to become bowl eligible.
No need to go into the painful details, but the Hogs' defense disappeared in the fourth quarter of the Colorado State and Ole Miss games, giving up 17 and 13 points, respectively, while the offense got shut out after building leads of 27-9 over the Rams and 33-24 over the Rebels.
North Texas led 34-10 at half and coasted home.
So like Tulsa, the Razorbacks haven't won a game since their season opener. The Golden (with only one winning season in the previous five, a downgrade to silver might be in order) Hurricane beat the University of Central Arkansas after scoring two touchdowns in the final nine minutes, 38-27.
Tulsa has been competitive in most of its losses, most notably a 28-21 loss to No. 7 Texas and last week's 25-24 loss to No. 21 South Florida. The Golden Hurricane gave up 15 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to break the hearts of their fans. Starting quarterback Luke Skipper missed the game because of a back injury.
So maybe it is a good thing the Razorbacks aren't ranked. No one from the team down to the fans should be looking ahead to Vanderbilt.
The Golden Hurricane have a balanced offense with 1,033 yards passing and 1,254 running. They have four receivers who have caught at least 18 passes (three have 19 catches), and they won't be in awe.
That's about the sum of what is known about a team that has been close to turning the corner.
It is in a nice city and is a private school known for academics. It is a top 50 research school and has slightly more than 4,000 students. It is a little pricey, right at $60,000 per year.
Nolan Richardson coached the basketball team to some of its greatest success, and Mike Anderson, Arkansas' head basketball coach, is a Tulsa graduate.
Paul Harvey graduated from there, as did Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon, who apparently started work at Wal-Mart when he was in high school. Anne Jansen Broadwater (think KTHV-11 and Little Rock Touchdown Club) is a proud graduate.
The school probably doesn't claim Steve Cox, who grew up in Charleston, Arkansas, and transferred from Tulsa after two years as one of the country's leading punters. He went to Arkansas, where he became an All-American kicker before playing eight seasons in the NFL as a punter, kickoff and long field goal specialist.
He was part of the Washington Redskins Super Bowl XXII championship team. He was a world-class kicker, and is now a successful businessman in Jonesboro and on the UA board of trustees.
Oh, and Chad Morris' first college job was as offensive coordinator for the Golden Hurricane.
Anyway, Tulsa is almost as much of a question mark as Arkansas' quarterback situation.
Maybe the overused HIPAA law prevents the UA from giving significant details on Ty Storey's injury situation, but he seems very doubtful for this Saturday even if he begs to play, which he probably will.
Some college coaches don't want to share any information with the fans, which doesn't make sense, but it is sort of a trend right now to keep everyone guessing.
The Razorbacks should be talented enough to win, but they are not talented or deep enough to take anyone lightly.
Sports on 10/17/2018
Print Headline: UA cannot take struggling Tulsa lightly