Sunday, September 4, 2011

Conference Hokey-Pokey™: Arkansas?

You could say the current round of Conference Hokey-Pokey is just the second act of what the Arkansas Razorbacks started 21 years ago:

Arkansas goes to SEC (New York Times, August 2, 1990)
Arkansas jumped to the Southeastern Conference today, severing its 76-year ties to the troubled Southwest Conference and possibly starting a restructuring of college football leagues.

''The fans told us, in every way possible, that we ought to go,'' said the school chancellor, Dan Ferritor, after the university's board of trustees unanimously approved the move.

''We're not really leaving, not tearing down,'' he said. ''What we are doing is building for the future of the University of Arkansas.''

Could Arkansas be the tipping point once again in causing an avalanche of conference realignment?

If some people in the Big 12 get their wish, and Arkansas "returns to the fold" with its former SWC partners toward creating a stronger Big 12, that could indeed be the case.

Then again, why would they?

In football, Arkansas has been to the SEC Championship Game only 3 times since its inception in 1992, losing all three times. They have won just a single basketball championship.

Could it be they might rather compete in the Big 12?

I doubt it.

But what we care about here at is baseball. And the Razorbacks have done quite well in Baseball over the years.

  • Arkansas has set an impressive pace in the past 12 years, achieving an average RPI ranking ( of 22nd.
    2011 13th
    2010 8th
    2009 5th
    2008 29th
    2007 17th
    2006 16th
    2005 16th
    2004 8th
    2003 29th
    2002 24th
    2001 48th
    2000 66th
  • Arkansas went to the College World Series in 2004 and 2009, going 0-2 in '04 and finished in 3rd place overall in '09. They have been to the NCAA Regionals 10 years in a row from 2002 through 2011, and advanced to a Super Regional 4 times.

  • Needless to say, the Razorbacks' consistent success, and the geographical and marketplace addition to the Big 12 footprint would make them a real plus for Big 12 Baseball. But it's really unlikely to happen.

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