Today's Paper News Sports Features Business Opinion LEARNS Guide Newsletters Obits Games Archive Notices Core Values

OPINION | WALLY HALL: Crimson Tide will be gunning for Razorbacks

by Wally Hall | February 11, 2022 at 2:45 a.m.

Eric Musselman probably didn't let his Arkansas Razorbacks celebrate Tuesday night's 80-76 win over No. 1-ranked Auburn very long.

He knows winning at Alabama is difficult enough, but now the Hogs have a huge target on their backs.

Who does Alabama like to beat more than anyone at anything? Auburn.

The Crimson Tide have already lost to the Tigers twice this season, 81-77 and 100-81.

Auburn, of course, is still atop the SEC standings with a 10-1 conference record and 22-2 overall.

The Tide are tied for sixth at 5-6 and 15-9 overall.

To make it just a little tougher on Alabama, the roles were reversed a year ago when the Tide were burying threes from all over the floor and they swept their rivals.

Last season, the football powerhouse won the basketball regular season, SEC Tournament and made the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.

Plus, Alabama had a rare loss last season in Fayetteville, losing to the Hogs 81-66.

The Tide's last chance at any payback could be Saturday, when they host the Hogs at 11 a.m. on the SEC Network.

Of course, the Razorbacks welcome anything that came with the win over Auburn in front of a record crowd, including the $250,000 fine that came from the SEC when the fans stormed the court afterward.

For the second consecutive season, Musselman has brought excitement and respect to the Razorback program not seen since Nolan Richardson was the head coach.

In this nine-game win streak, he's been able to push all the right buttons at the right time, and there's no reason to believe he won't do it again Saturday.

It will help if the Tide continues to miss multiple three-pointers.

. . .

There is nothing special about this Super Bowl around my house.

If it were the Dallas Cowboys, the wife would be screaming from start to finish.

If it were the Kansas City Chiefs, there would be interest because of my friend Joe Kleine, who has become a superstar analyst on the SEC Network.

The New Orleans Saints would create a little interest, but Los Angeles and Cincinnati not so much. Maybe the commercials will be better this year.

Wonder how many will feature the Manning boys, Peyton and Eli, who are carving their names into the endorsement world?

It is really hard to pull for the Rams after what they did to the city of St. Louis, divorcing it after the city gave them everything they asked for and more.

So the choice, almost by default, will be underdog Cincinnati, which hopefully hasn't used up a 10-year quota of luck to get to the Super Bowl.

In the playoffs, the Bengals beat the Las Vegas Raiders 26-19, the Tennessee Titans 19-16 and Kansas City 27-24 in a game when the Chiefs fell apart late.

There is one note of interest for the Bengals, former Arkansas Razorback Brandon Allen is the backup quarterback, especially if he could come off the bench to win the game.

. . .

When the NCAA unveiled its own rankings, the NET, and declared it would be a part of the process for selecting the 68 team bracket there was excitement.

Well, it may be time to tweak the information used or give the computer a tuneup.

The SEC currently has six teams ranked high enough to be in March Madness.

The two obvious ones are Auburn, which is No. 9 in the NET rankings, and Kentucky, which is No. 5, although the Tigers did beat the Wildcats.

Arkansas is No. 31 and beat No. 16 LSU.

The Razorbacks can definitely help their ranking and tournament seeding -- if head-to-head competition matters -- because every game left on their schedule, except for Missouri and Florida, is against teams with better NET rankings.

Print Headline: Crimson Tide will be gunning for Razorbacks


Sponsor Content