How bad will it get for Arkansas?
Loss to Bama could lead to a major drop-off for the Hogs, in 2012 and beyond
The Arkansas Razorbacks are in big trouble. They are in danger of going from preseason national championship contenders to a .500 team (or worse) in SEC play. Saturday's stunning breakdown to the 30-point underdog Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks put the Razorbacks' season on the brink of collapse and revealed cracks in Arkansas' program.
Not everybody views it this way. Many Razorbacks fans still believe Arkansas can bounce back from its humiliating loss the way Virginia Tech did two seasons ago after its stunning 0-2 start (losses to Boise State and James Madison). But that's not likely in this case -- the Razorbacks are in a more precarious position than the Hokies were, and to make matters worse, No. 1 Alabama is coming to town this weekend.
It's not just this season that Arkansas fans should be worried about, however. The direction of the program also is at stake. Once thought to be close to reaching elite status (as recently as this April), the program might soon have to push the reboot button.
We'll return to that issue shortly, but first we'll get into where the Razorbacks are going this season. We'll give you a hint: It isn't to a BCS game. The truth of the matter is that the expectations were wildly misplaced from the start -- this team was never going to be that good.
To read Rod Gilmore's full article on what a loss to Alabama could mean for Arkansas in this and future seasons, you must be an ESPN Insider.