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Great Expectations: Arkansas Doesn't Dodge the Division Title Talk

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Okay, so I'll try to stay away from the Bobby Petrino's Job of the Week comments in this one. I could instead say that it's really unfair to force people to get up at 8:30 in the morning to listen to someone who might put them right back to sleep. Need evidence of Petrino's inability to dazzle a crowd? Just look at the transcript.

I really thought I would make it through this without getting asked about the agents. Actually, that's not true. I was trying to have a joke there, but you guys are tough. Nobody laughs anymore (smiling).

Ask Robbie Caldwell about that last part, coach. The last thing anybody expected was improv from Petrino. His press conference performances would have been a perfect fit for the NFL ... moving on.

The story of the year with Arkansas is the expectations that they could be the team to challenge Alabama in the SEC West. Far from the usual coach-speak approach of thanking everyone for their kindness but eschewing the idea your team is that good, Petrino will take it.

I like the high expectations. I think that's why you're in the profession, is you want to have people think that you're gonna be good. ... Let's embrace it, let it motivate us, then let's go out and do everything we can to make them come true.

Petrino knows it won't be easy. The West is good "top to bottom." (Actually, if you read the question and answer literally, the West will stack up top to bottom, which seems somewhat redundant.) He then proceeded to list the high points on every team in the division except Auburn. Why wouldn't he mention Auburn, unless there some sort of history ... ah, well, anyway.

Ryan Mallett also seems to welcome the role.

You know, obviously, especially in the state of Arkansas, the expectations are really high. We have even higher expectations of ourselves as a team.

D.J. Williams did nothing to downplay expectations. If anything, he ramped them up. "We are going to set the standard for what Arkansas football could and should be for years to come," he said. Again, music to Petrino's ears.

It's taken us a while to get to the point where we have high expectations as a university and as a fan base and players.

Yes, it's the kind of excitement that hasn't been in town since Houston Nutt was winning division championships literally years ago. In fact, Arkansas hasn't won a division title since all the way back in 2006. Of course, given that he finally underperformed preseason projects for the first time last year -- after having been ousted at Arkansas -- Houston Nutt might be able to tell the Razorbacks a thing or two about expecting to be the giant-killer.