Forget football, it’s rumor mill season at Arkansas
Arkansas football rules the world of Razorbacks sports. So, with your bacon, have some Hogs for Breakfast and get caught up. It’s SEC Country’s weekday column and roundup on all things Arkansas … especially Arkansas football. Opinion, numbers, inane babble and more! And now with ironic exclamation points! There is no place like it on the web.
‘Bielema out soon!’ No kidding
It was a throwaway sentence in a piece filled with conjecture. The words were so casually written, it can only barely be called a report. No evidence or background. Simple matter-of-fact statement.
Nothing wrong with it. Such stories are part of the game. But let’s all just hold our horses in reading “Bret Bielema out at season’s end” as some kind of hard-and-fast, set-in-stone thing here.
SB Nation’s exact wording simply reads:
That’s it. The next several sentences talk about possible replacements, then the piece continues on with other schools and their coaching situations. Hardly earth-shattering.
But this isn’t a dig at SB Nation. Heck, it’s a great view-from-the-top look at where college football is when it comes to the men in charge of programs. Laden with opinion and broad. I do similar stories a couple times a week.
It isn’t some guarantee, though, so slow your roll on wondering just when that hammer is dropping. More of an offhand remark than some official breaking news situation.
Told ya Gus Malzahn to Arkansas only getting hotter
In the same SB Nation overview — just a couple sentences away from the one above, even — is the statement Gus Malzahn has interest in Arkansas.
Shocks no one, really, at this point. Malzahn is a born-and-bred Natural Stater and practically lives on the hot seat at Auburn. What was a bit surprising was what SB Nation said Arkansas was doing to cater to Malzahn.
Per the story, the chancellor and board of trustees will let Malzahn have a hand in picking his boss.
You read that right. Malzahn can pick his boss.
Am I the only one who thinks that’s a horrible, awful, stupid idea? Am I also the only one who isn’t the least bit shocked by it?
Arkansas wants an Arkansas man (or woman), I am wholly convinced. And apparently, those in charge will do what’s necessary to make it happen. That is, unless Malzahn wins the Iron Bowl this week. That changes everything.
Houston Nutt as athletic director seems like a not-great idea
John Daly preferring Houston Nutt for Arkansas athletic director seems exactly like the sort of thing Daly would prefer.
The Arkansas native and most infamous non-former-president Razorbacks fan in the country is known for his irascibility and wild man ways. Nutt returning to Arkansas, in a coaching or administrative role, would provide plenty of fuel for both such viewpoints.
It’s not difficult to imagine Nutt in some sort of role with the university. He’s a personable guy. He could raise money, work with athletic alums, be a great marketer. It is difficult, however, to see him in a role that requires discretion, loads of glad-handing and a massive amounts of business sense.
Don’t fool yourself, though. There are monied people, people with pull, who think like Daly. It isn’t out of the realm of possibility. But …
There are simply far too many people, I have to imagine, close to Arkansas athletics who hold a grudge against Nutt for the way things ended in the late 2000s, anyway.
- More still from the SB Nation piece: Mike Norvell at Memphis is a candidate.
- Our Trent Shadid has his weekly roundup of how Arkansas football commits fared in their games this past weekend.
- The Razorbacks didn’t move a spot up or down in the most recent SEC Country Power Poll after their loss to Mississippi State. They’re still 12th. The only two teams behind them play each other this week. Uh-oh.
- Former Arkansas tight end Jeremy Sprinkle collected his first career catch and first career touchdown on Sunday for Washington. He celebrated the way only someone with that last name can.
- Arkansas’ women’s basketball team (2-1) has a rare Monday game this Thanksgiving week. Mike Neighbors’ team heads to Tulsa to face Oral Roberts. It’s a 7 p.m. tip.
Tweets and the like
• This … goodness. Things are so bad with fans right now in Arkansas. It’s part of the reason Coach Bielema is on his way out and part of the reason athletic Jeff Long has already gone.
Three years ago today Arkansas' football program took out a full-page ad in the Traveler thanking students after a 17-0 win vs. LSU. At one point yesterday, there were 20 in the section above the band. pic.twitter.com/KcWMzEcPAD
— Scottie Bordelon (@NWAScottie) November 20, 2017
• One of the brightest spots this season for Arkansas football has been De’Jon Harris. He looks like a star in the middle of the Hogs defense at linebacker.
Over 100 tackles? Couldn’t have did it without the love and motivation from my brothers and coaches man!🐗♥️
— De'Jon Harris (@Scoooota8) November 19, 2017
• Austin Cook is a former Razorbacks golfer. Congrats.
A bag full of PING clubs and a Titleist golf ball.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 19, 2017