The Razorbacks began the season ranked No. 1. Oh, how the message boards lit up and the fan base was ecstatic with the promise of the 2013 season and another return to Omaha, Neb.
Fast-forward one month. The Diamond Hogs just returned from Surprise, Ariz., where they went 0-4 in the Coca-Cola Classic facing Gonzaga, Pacific and then-No. 25 Arizona State. The Hogs dropped to No. 19 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, and Arizona State rose to No. 21.
This – for many of those I follow on Twitter and Facebook – was quite upsetting. In fact, some of their posts bordered on the disillusioned attitudes they have toward the men’s basketball team.
To those fans I say, take a deep breath. It’s much too early in the season to get worried.
Yes, emotions and expectations were all over the place after the pre-season No. 1 ranking, but let’s look at some facts.
In each of the last four seasons, the Razorbacks had a four-game losing streak. During those four seasons, the Hogs went to a regional each of those seasons and to the College World Series for two of them.
Last season, the overall record for the Razorbacks was 46-22, with their record in the Southeastern Conference being barely above .500 at 16-14.
If the Razorbacks perform as they did last season, they will surely make up for this losing streak.
But let’s also remember Arkansas’ record in Arizona. The Razorbacks have gone 2-10 in the state since 2008. So, count this as an anomaly, or just say that the Sun Devils have their number.
It’s not like the Razorbacks didn’t have the offensive power. The Hogs averaged 8 hits in each game during the Classic; they just did not string those together into runs. Not to mention, the Hogs accumulated 10 errors during the weekend.
There were many factors that led to the Razorbacks’ losses last weekend, but that doesn’t have to be indicative of the way that the season will play out. Keep your head up, fans; midweek fluff games and SEC play are still ahead.
Kristen Coppola is the sports editor for the Arkansas Traveler. Her column appears every Thursday. Follow the sports section on Twitter @UATravSports.
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