Q. Our First question is from Eddy Lynn who says: Winning is great. Being highly ranked is great but with our schedule can we sustain this with Catalon and Slusher gone?

A. Slusher is back. Sam Pittman is hoping to play him this week. Catalon, that’s a big loss. I do think having Latavious Brini back there will really help. Here’s a guy that started 11 games for Georgia last year, the national champions. You don’t do that unless you can play at a high level. His only issue is learning Arkansas system but he gives Catalon a lot of credit for helping him when he arrived back in January.

South Carolina may have had a lot of yards through the air but they only had one passing touchdown and Spence Rattler’s QB rating in that game was just over 50 so he didn’t exactly tear Arkansas’ secondary up. Long story short, I think those guys will be fine.

Q. AlabamaHog says: The HOGS are up to #10. What would be your ranking of the Hogs?

A. I think that’s about right. The fans would probably like to see them even higher but I’m remembering last year when they got up to number 8 after starting 4-0 and beating A&M and Texas. We all know what happened after that when they went to Georgia. So 10th is good. With their schedule there will be opportunities to move into the top 5 if they keep winning.

Q. Twinky275 says: Last football season, I made a bold prediction on ask Mike – (11-1) Maybe I was a season early. I believe they will do it this year.
With what we have seen from games 1 & 2 – what’s your prediction for the season.
Also. Any good stories with you and the gamecocks.-

A. I’m not into predictions. I think you may be a little optimistic with predicting 11 wins this season but I thought nine was too many at the start of the 2021 season. So I’m the wrong person to ask. I’m terrible with predictions which is probably why I don’t like to make them.

South Carolina stories? Arkansas’s first ever SEC game was at Williams Bryce Stadium. I was shocked when I saw it for the first time. It’s nowhere near the South Carolina campus. On one side they have about five asphalt parking lots. On the other side is a railroad yard where they have old passenger cars parked on side tracks. The fans tailgate in those cars and many get highly intoxicated and completely annoying. It’s worse than Baton Rouge.

Q. Hogdogger asks: Could you explain the new block below the waist rule? I know Catalon was called for it in the first quarter against Cincinnati. How exactly does it work when NCAA makes a new rule. Do they send an email out to all the teams when a change is made?

A. The new rule is designed to simplify what was a very complicated rule that it replaced. It’s pretty simple. Blocking below the waist is only allowed by linemen and stationary backs INSIDE the tackle box. Outside the tackle box blocking it’s not allowed by anyone.

This rule change has also been described as a player safety measure. The hope is it will cut down on knee injuries.

Yes, when a new rule is approved all college coaches and administrators are notified.

Q. Arnold Ziffel wants to know: How did Dwight McGlothern get the nickname “Nudie”?

A. As of the time we recorded Ask Mike, the nickname remains a big mystery. We reached out to the football program and have not heard back so far.

Q. trumike22 asks: Do players entering the portal after august get to save their semester or lose it?

A. If they transfer after the season has started they cannot transfer to another school and play that season. If they have a redshirt available they won’t loose that year of eligibility. If not they will.

Q. Michael Ratliff wants to know: If the SEC has a 9-game conference schedule with three permanent opponents, who will be the three permanent opponents for Arkansas?

A. Nobody knows right now. I’m assuming that the SEC will ask for input from the member schools as to what three schools they would want as as a permanent opponent but it might be difficult to accommodate every school.

So it’s likely it will be a joint decision between each school and the SEC office. The factors taken into consideration will probably be rivalry games and geography. An an example, Arkansas might want Texas. The SEC might say okay but you have to take Missouri and Oklahoma. Arkansas says that’s a deal.

But the fans also might be in for some surprises. Like when A&M entered the SEC and Hogs fan suddenly learned that Missouri was their Thanksgiving week opponent, not LSU.

Honestly it’s not as big of a deal as some think because there’s probably going to be so many crossover games that even if Texas is not a permanent opponent for Arkansas, they will probably play every three seasons or so.

Q. With Bobby Petrino is coming back do you have any good stories about how unique Petrino ran his practices?

I heard there was friction between Petrino and his DC because Bobby favored the offense.

A. The only friction was when Petrino was trying to install a special package of plays for an upcoming game and the defense would blow up some of the plays. He would yell stuff at Willy Robinson, the defensive coordinator. Robinson would be clearly miffed but I never saw them get into it. It was obvious when you watched practice they the priority was the offense, not the defense. Petrino believed that whatever problems the defense had in a game he could overcome it with his offense and honestly he usually did.

Q. Continuing with the Bobby Petrino theme this week…
Alex4Hogs88 says: It should be interesting if the student section gets hold of a ton of neck braces like they keep talking about. That is definitely the ultimate troll job.

A. First of all that’s a rumor. I was told that the athletic department doesn’t know anything about it. I find it hard to believe students would be able to wear that stuff into the stadium. I cannot imagine Sam Pittman approving it. He’s not into gigging opponents. If it does somehow happen Petrino will probably smile and act like he’s going along with the joke but inside he’d be mad as hell. Could something like that backfire on Arkansas? I’d say probably not. Arkansas will still win the game but again if Pittman knows about I would think he wouldn’t approve. Maybe I’m wrong.

Q. With regard to last week’s discussion about the ever increasing number of commercials and commercial breaks in college football to create more TV revenue….

…..alex4hogs88 says: Could they not keep a permanent sponsor for each segment on the television screen at all times? The most popular sport in the world (soccer) does this during their World Cups and there are no commercial breaks.

A. Soccer is a continuous action sport completely different from football. The solution you mentioned is probably the only way that can work for soccer. I can’t image soccer fans not going bonkers if the TV people cut away for a five minute load of commercials eight or nine times in a match. The coaches and players would be raising hell too.

Face it. All these commercial breaks actually give football players time to rest. So the coaches like it and it helps pay the bills. It’s not going to get better. It’s going to get worse.

Q. Marty Byrde’s proxy asks: Would you agree that Coach Pittman is the best fit we’ve had here as our football coach since coach Broyles? I’d submit his sincerity and humility are traits Arkansans really appreciate and treasure. Oh and he’s a pretty darn good coach as well.

A. I would agree totally. When Arkansas moved to the SEC and the glory days of the 60’s and 70’s looked like they were gone forever, I used to say on TV and on radio that someday the right coach will come along and when it happens everything is in place to make Arkansas a national power in football. You’ve got the fans. You’ve got the facilities. You’ve got a beautiful campus. You’ve got a good AD. It’s happening and it’s going to make all those miserable years of John L. Smith, Bielema and Morris all worth it. I really think Arkansas fan will appreciate success more because they paid their dues of going through all that and never giving up hope.

Q. Lake City hog on Hogville wants to know: Were the officials in our game just plain atrocious or not?

A. It wasn’t a very good day for that crew but honestly I’ve seen worse. Refs are a lot like players. They have good games, average games and bad games. I don’t think the vast majority of them are biased. They’re human. They make mistakes.

Coaches provide feedback to the SEC office about the officiating crews. My guess is Sam Pittman didn’t give those guys an A.

Q. Hogapalooza asks: What did you see differently in our d-line and o-line to get the push we had on both sides of the ball? Did we have a lot of rotation on either?

A. They changed a few things but nothing major. I think the big difference was that South Carolina’s D-Line wasn’t as physical as Cincinnati’s D-Line. I think Sam Pittman looked at the 200 yards rushing that Georgia St put up on South Carolina and said, We’re gonna run on those boys a lot.

And they did.

Q. Referring to helmet to helmet contact on K.J Jefferson that resulted in a targeting call that was reversed in the South Carolina game Pigfeat asks:

If that wasn’t targeting against K.J., then what is?

A. The targeting rule has been modified mainly because of complaints that it was changing the way you play football.

So now a player has to be in what’s called a defenseless position for targeting to be called.
Jefferson was running forward with the ball. He was not in a defenseless position. Also the contact now has to be with the head down and with the crown of the helmet to constitute targeting. If you looked at the replays contact on Jefferson was mostly on the upper side of the helmet. A little bit of the crown was involved but apparently not enough to constitute targeting.

Q. Mousetown says: I saw your Twitter comment about it being almost a perfect weekend with Texas, Texas A&M, Missouri, and Central Florida all losing. That’s a odd combination. Is there anything they all have in common that made you enjoy seeing them lose?

A. All three have coaches that I don’t like. Jimbo Fisher is overrated and is an incredible excuse maker. He also pops off too much. The guy talks like he’s won multiple national championships

Steve Sarkisian is a hype artist much like Chad Morris. Instead of left lane hammer down his big line is, “all gas, no brakes.” What did he say after the game? “We didn’t lose, we just ran out of time.” Wow that’s original.

Dinkywitz runs his mouth too much and makes snarky comments. He talks like Missouri is a powerhouse.

Gus hurt Arkansas program twice. Once when he was the offensive coordinator. There was nothing but turmoil that year.

The second time he did it was after Bret Bielema was fired. Malzahn dropped hints through friends that he would take the Arkansas job. Actually he used that job opening to get a big offer from Arkansas and the same offer from Auburn to stay. Then he recommended Chad Morris for the job.

Now he’s playing football next to Disneyworld and hyping that up. He also is moving UCF to the Big 12. That’s fine but the expectations by his fan base will go up and the question is, can he win the Big 12? It will be easier with Texas and OU gone but Oklahoma State is getting ready to dominate that conference, not UCF.

Q. TL Slaten asks: Have you seen the video of last week’s midnight yell practice at Texas A&M. Totally embarrassing for the Aggies. School officials need to ban that whole thing.

A. I’ve seen it. Totally embarrassing for the school. There’s funny and not funny when it comes to gigging an opponent. This was over the top and not funny. Calling your opponents a bunch of dumb hillbillies is bad even for students.