Repeat after me: Bret Bielema is not on the hot seat. Again
With your bacon, have some Hogs for Breakfast. It’s SEC Country’s weekday column and roundup on all things Arkansas. Opinion, numbers, inane babble and more! And now with ironic exclamation points. There is no place like it on the Web.
May as well put this piece in the hopper and dig it out every six months. Feels like it’s written with regularity.
But as clear as can possibly be said:
Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema is not on the hot seat.
He wasn’t last September after Arkansas’ slow start. He wasn’t in January after the cold finish. And he isn’t now. Not with 3 straight bowl appearances and regular top 30 recruiting classes.
The reason this silly subject is up again is because CBS Sports’ Ben Kercheval wrote a piece tiering every coach in FBS football. This is where Bielema was spotted:
To be clear, that isn’t really a tier that qualifies how good the coach within it is. And Kercheval writes as much. The tier simply holds coaches who have had high highs and low lows in their careers.
The piece drew attention here in Arkansas as Kercheval was on Sports Talk with Bo Mattingly and fill-in host Wess Moore on Thursday. Moore asked Kercheval whether Bielema, with his ups and downs, was on the hot seat.
The answer was no. And it’s a fair question for Moore to ask considering the nature of the piece.
But anyone else who is asking, expecting the answer to be “definitely” or even just “yes,” no. Arkansas football isn’t nearly in as much trouble as those kinds of people believe. See the forest for the trees, and all that.
A sub-.500 year this season, though …
Arkansas catcher Alex Gosser finally gets his due
Alex Gosser had to burn his redshirt about 50 games into the season his freshman year. A whole season he could have spent learning and not losing any eligibility came to an end when coach Dave Van Horn had to play Gosser after the first 2 Arkansas catchers were injured.
Gosser received a standing ovation in his first-ever at-bat.
But luck wasn’t with him beyond that. He spent most of the rest of the next couple years back as the third catcher. Few moments to shine.
Gosser popped his first career home run, a no-doubter, over the right-field wall in the Razorbacks’ 14-4 win against Georgia at Baum Stadium.
His teammates went nuts. This writer may have done a fist pump in the press box, breaking the cardinal rule of cheering.
But I had to. An otherwise long and dull Razorbacks blowout was saved by the best possible story of the night. And as a rooter of good stories, it was worthy cheering.
He isn’t going to Jared
Nope. No chance. Never.
Bielema cautioned Saturday after Arkansas’ first spring scrimmage he was likely about to sideline his stars for a good chunk of the rest of spring. No sense in taking a chance on Frank Ragnow or Jared Cornelius or an established starter getting injured.
Well, in Cornelius’ case, not further injured.
The senior wide receiver tweaked his hamstring on Tuesday and Arkansas coaches kept him out of workouts on Thursday. His absence leaves the Razorbacks with a receiving corps that has a 3 career catches total.
“I don’t know what the prognosis is on how long he’s going to be out,” offensive coordinator Dan Enos said. “But I know we’re being very cautious with him, because he’s played a bunch and he knows what we’re doing.”
Have to figure the kid gloves are on a couple more players now.
- A couple months ago the word on the street was Arkansas was considering pulling Chase Hayden’s scholarship offer after he took a visit to the competition. Well, our Jason Kersey went to visit Hayden to get the inside scoop on that story and more for the future Razorbacks running back.
- Former Arkansas women’s basketball forward Jessica Jackson wasn’t drafted in the WNBA draft on Thursday night. The Jacksonville native still may attempt to catch on with a free-agent deal.
Yee-Haw! Today in Arkansas
When I was a teenager, I thought my local TV news was cheesy. Nice people. Good anchors. I just thought some of the stories they covered were odd. Then, I left Oklahoma — went to Arkansas, Colorado, South Dakota, Connecticut, New York — and discovered they’re all odd.
This story in particular reminds me of those times.
You have to click that, right? Like “What in the world? How is this a story? How big is the hole? Why is he diggin’ it? Is he diggin’ it somewhere special?”
Journalism exists in this weird place, and always has, between actual newsworthiness and capitalism. Balancing the two is not easy. But no one does it like local TV news.
Skip Breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here.