Preseason. Regular season. Postseason. Silly season. In case you couldn’t figure it out based on the rumor and speculation surrounding assistant coaching jobs at Arkansas on Thursday, we’re in that last one. And, boy, is it silly.
Based on one story from Fayetteville radio producer Bart Pohlman (who I really dig, for the record), Bob Diaco, for about an hour, became the most likely “next” Arkansas defensive coordinator. We here at SEC Country —- not me, not Jason Kersey, not Trent Shadid — we didn’t have that information. We also thought it pertinent that you know someone else did. And that doesn’t mean the report is wrong. Basically, it’s just information. Do with it what you will.
It’s not my favorite time of year. And silly season is at the same time. Changes can be exciting and trying to learn what those changes are going to be is what makes this job (part of what makes this job) a joy.
This is what’s important, though, during the silly season: Read the story, not just the headline. And take note of who is writing the story and where it’s coming from. Not what site posted it. What site wrote the report. We want SEC Country readers to know every little thing about Arkansas sports. That doesn’t mean every single story that’s put out there gets our gold seal of approval. At least, not mine, Trent’s or Jason’s.
Fine line, that. We share information we think fans want to know if it appears credible. But sometimes we’re wrong. And sometimes everyone is wrong. Rumors can start because an agent, coach or a family member wants to float an idea about a better job or a potential job. Sometimes rumors aren’t rumors, they’re legitimate, and then someone changes their mind (Dana Altman, anyone?).
I won’t speak for what others in media are doing, but I can promise you thing about SEC Country’s Arkansas team: Trent, Jason and I will do our damndest to make sure we’re right about what we’re telling you. If that means we’re later than a competitor, then we’re later than a competitor. In a day and age where “media” is becoming less and less trusted, the three of us hold to that principle.
Being first is nice and all. Being right is paramount.
The (no) power rankings — basketball edition
You’ll be shocked (read: not shocked) to discover SEC basketball is struggling.
For what seems like the 20th straight year.
It’s not actually 20 seasons, but it’s a good seven or eight at this point. The SEC rules in football, obviously. It’s probably the best college baseball and softball conference. Track is pretty high. Women’s basketball might be tops. Men’s basketball, though? Not even close.
The conference is so ill thought of now that if you’re not one of the top two teams, you’re not a lock for the NCAA Tournament. Oh, the third-place team will probably still go. But only probably. And fourth place is no better than a 50-50 proposition.
Arkansas is not currently in fourth place or better in my power rankings.
3. South Carolina
7. Mississippi State
8. Ole Miss
11. Texas A&M
These aren’t scientific. They’re just my opinion. SEC basketball is just about the only non-Ivy League college basketball I watch. And I watch it every night there is a game in-conference. What kind of sad life do I have?
Arkansas has to make a move up to fourth, at least, to stick in this thing.
Fun times in Fayetteville today (FAYETTEVILLE!)
For the hardcore Arkansas sports fan out there — and I”m talking hardcore — the sporting event viewing options across campus this weekend are bountiful:
- Obviously, the basketball Hogs are the big draw. Mike Anderson’s crew badly needs a win against his former team, Missouri, to keep shrinking NCAA Tournament hopes alive. That tip is at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
- Looking for something Friday night, head to Barnhill Arena. The No. 12 Arkansas gymnastics team hosts sixth-ranked Missouri at 7 p.m.
- Arkansas track starts the season at the Randal Tyson Track Center on Friday afternoon with the Arkansas Invitational. TV coverage will be on SEC Network+ at 3 p.m. Visiting teams include Texas Tech, Tulsa and Oral Roberts, among others.
Not dead anymore
Arkansas offensive line coach Kurt Anderson was on the road Thursday looking at the No. 1 offensive line player in the nation, Shadid said on our “Borderline Erotic Podcast” late Thursday night.
He’s not the only one. Arkansas coaches, most of them, are out and about now that recruiting season is in final high gear. National Signing Day is coming soon and Arkansas still has a handful of scholarships to hand out.
Defensive coordinator Robb Smith, who is expected to be named to a job elsewhere any minute now, is currently the only Arkansas staffer expected gone. Even if others are leaving, they’re busy recruiting for the gig they currently have, anyway. And Smith’s departure, Shadid writes, doesn’t mean a lot for these next couple weeks. Smith wasn’t known as a key recruiter.
Important players can come here in crunch time. Not just the “leftovers,” or whatever. Arkansas can use whoever it gets, too.
Yee-Haw! Today in Arkansas
Does this …
… look like someone you wanna mess with?
Hell no, man. Little Rock cops didn’t, either. They took our friend, Mr. Gatewood, to jail for disorderly conduct after he approached some officers and threatened to go ‘toe to toe‘ with them.
No one is sure why. All this per the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.