FTB:End of Soap Opera at UA Leads to Interest in PR Position

This Week From The Bench…

The last seven years have been a columnist’s dream, and I would like to personally thank all parties involved for providing such rich content to write about. Even in the offseason, there seemed to be one scandal after another that kept the chat rooms active. (I love to call the Internet boards “chat rooms” as a way to mock all those many media people who had no clue and used to do the same.)

So with the blaring lack of controversy at the UofA, the big issue for July is this: The University of Arkansas is hiring a personal PR flack for Petrino. That’s the biggest news around and if it doesn’t seem that big to you then I am about to manufacture it into something else like they do on Fox.

Hawgsports.com

The Football Trough

In Fayetteville…
Bobby Petrino has been being reminded of the tough schedule he has in front of his Hogs (the second toughest in the nation). Alex Tejada hurt his knee during a morning run this week, he shouldn’t miss any preseason practice. Petrino opposes an early signing period for football. Petrino’s decision was one of the hardest of his life…Atlantans don’t buy it. The Expats have a wrapup of quotes from Petrino at the SEC spring meetings. The Texas game has been picked up by ABC sports. Houston Nutt thought he was going to be Arkansas’ AD…here’s a story with video from his recent trip to LR for their LR Rebel Club meeting. Here’s some fun SEC stats from last season. The Razorbloggers look at QB experience in the SEC. Some think the SEC should form a MEGA conference and rewrite the rulebook (this is a great article)…it all begins with the possibility on the table of an “SEC TV” channel.

In Pro Ball…
D-Mac went to the hall of fame and is coming close to signing with the Raiders. A SF Chronicle reporter was in town to do a piece on Darren. WR Matt Jones continues to be a lighting rod for the Jags. Jason Peters has been missing voluntary workouts hoping for a new contract. DE Jamaal Anderson, who has a deaf father, has been spending time at Atlanta’s school for the deaf. The Expats check in on Bear WR Marcus Monk.

Walk-Off Trough

In case you haven’t heard, the Diamond Hogs recaptured 8th place in the SEC standings with a sweep of #13 South Carolina. The weekend Series at Baum started with a bang when Freshman Jacob House hit a 1-0 pitch into the visiting bleachers for a walk-off grand slam, giving the Hogs a 12-11 win Friday Night. Here’s Video. That powered the Hogs to the sweep with finals of 6-3 Saturday and 4-2. The Hogs Followed that up with a win over Mississippi Valley St. 12-3. The Hogs have a RPI of 16 and are still projected to make a NCAA Regional. AS360 says the season hinges on the final SEC series of the year, at Mississippi St. Here’s a look at team leader Logan Forsythe.

Here’s some sound from last week’s Post Spring Press Conference with Bobby Petrino. The Razorbloggers talk about the High Expectations that the spring has brought. Frank Broyles will be inducted into the AD Hall of Fame. The second annual Paul Eells Stars N Strikes Celebrity Softball Game and Golf Outing is coming up and KATV is publishing more of Paul’s Calls…Via Slophouse and Expats. and Freshman forward Michael Sanchez is headed to China with the Reach USA squad to play in exhibition games against Chinese Pros.

Hog Tyler Hill and Ladyback senior Dacia Barr have been named to the SEC Good Works Team. Alex and Andy McClary, Long Distance Track Hogs, are Profiled. The Ladybacks have another Basketball Signee. The Ladyback Softball team has been selected to the NCAA Tournament. The Ladyback Tennis team has made the Sweet Sixteen. The Ladyback Golfers have advanced out of their regional to the NCAA Championships. The Men’s Golf team looks to do the same.

Finally one of my favorite sites, the one who’s disappearance prompted me to start the Hawg Blawg, has reappeared. The Slop is now being hosted at ARSN online. I won’t stop posting although they probably do a better job of what I aim to do. I just wanted to take a second to thank all of you for coming here and keeping me company. I really appreciate it. GO HOGS!

FTB:Football Drama spiraled to Mutually Assured Destruction

This Week From The Bench…

The interview with Mitch Mustain on the radio out in Southern California last week was very telling.

Many will e-mail me after this column telling me to let it go, but Mustain for better or worse will be a player forever etched in Razorback history. If it’s OK to discuss former players, then Mustain is still fair game especially considering the circumstances in which he left.

Plus it’s not fair to deny some fans the cross they bear for the mess that was created.

Hawgsports.com

Mid-Week Trough

Charles Thomas is Suspended for the Mississippi St. game. Pelphrey said…

“ I will say that as a head coach, I’ve never been more disappointed in a young man’s choices.”

Arkansas Business reports that Broyles brought $4.95 Billion to the Arkansas economy while at the UA (The headline is a typo). Memphis’ John Calapari is interested in renewing the UA/Memphis series at a neutral site. Bobby Petrino will speak to the LR Razorback Club. Fox sports picks 5 SEC “score settlers” on next years schedule (3 are Hog related). McFadden is named in a paternity suit. The Expats sing Nolan’s praises. The Gym’backs jump to #9 in the national rankings.

UPDATE: McFadden has already taken a negative paternity test. This will be his second. Also, Wally Hall weighs in on the Memphis Story.

FTB:And Then There Were None

This Week From The Bench…

While it would be fun to write about the Razorback basketball team beating Baylor, Auburn, and Alabama in heart stoppers and how a good coach can make a difference, that column must wait. It is put on hold by the stunning news of UofA Chancellor John White announcing his retirement last week. I can’t let opining on such a topic go by the wayside.


Hawgsports.com

Monday Trough

Houston kills plan for Hog Assistants Recruiting for Ole Miss. Tracking those Razorback Planes. What Would Orville Write? Step inside a Wally Hall Time Machine (Destination 1997). Rob Keys doesn’t like Houston Nutt’s Presence. Final BCS Rankings (Arkansas is 27th). Arkansas is 24th in the coaches poll, 25th in the AP. College Football News ranks the best bowls (Cotton Bowl is Ranked 7th). The SEC’s successful season. Sonny Weems will be back for Missouri State. Ladybacks basketball match best start in school history.

Sunday Trough

With an interception return for a touchdown, LSU clinched the SEC title and (apparently) punched Arkansas’ ticket to the Cotton Bowl. Les Miles also announced he was staying at LSU and has already worked out a contract extension. (Thanks Les) This leaves Tommy Tuberville open to accept the Arkansas Head Coaching Job (We’ll See). Also, there is reaction coming in about the 4 Rebels on the hog coaching staff recruiting for Ole Miss while still employed by Arkansas. Wally sounds upset.

Houston Nutt Resigns As Arkansas Head Coach

At the 6:30 pm press conference Houston Nutt made it known that he resigned the position of Arkansas Razorback Head Football Coach this morning. Reggie Herring was named interim head coach for the bowl game. Jeff Long will begin the search for a new head coach as soon as possible. Chancellor White will ask the Razorback foundation to release the “Golden Handcuffs” and treat Houston as if he had been fired (He’ll be getting a nice severance package). KATV, Arkansas Sports 360, and the Memphis Commercial Appeal are reporting that Houston is one of two lead candidates for the Ole Miss Rebels job that was vacated when Ed Orgeron was fired this past weekend. Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Rick Neuheisel, a former Colorado and Washington coach, is the other lead candidate although Nutt is the firm leader.

UPDATE:AP article

FTB:Fayetteville Fails Again for Razorback Football Season

NOTE: this was written before the LSU game. It was posted on the hill message board on Monday, November 19th, 2007.

This Week From the Bench…

This column is not a column about playing more games in Little Rock, but a look deeper into why the Hogs play better in Little Rock. Just for the sake of argument, let’s hypothetically pretend my position is to play all games in the wonderful burg of Fayetteville, or as I call it, “Failatville,” because once again the “home-field advantage” up there was no kind of advantage this season.

HawgSports.com

Nutt’s Fate Resides With Long

While I was out the UA announced that the Men’s and Women’s Athletic Departments will merge. Jeff Long will be AD with Bev Lewis taking an Associate AD spot. Their titles are actually quite long and the Hog Blogger pokes fun at the whole thing (See Below). After Thursday’s Press Conference Frank Broyles stated that Houston’s Fate was in Long’s hands. There was a Board of Trustees Meeting Today and Word has started to Leak that Nutt will be gone at the end of the season. He’s also said to have 4 offers on the table from SMU, Baylor, Memphis, and Ole Miss. If you’d like to read more about it follow the links…

Arkansas Times-Nutt:Stick a Fork In Him
AS 360-Hog ‘Insiders’ Say Nutt Leaving, Has Four Offers
Razorbloggers- Merge Roundup and Broyles Quotes
The Hog Blogger- Jeff Long Will Have None of Your Shenanigans

Arkansas-48 South Carolina-36

Wow. It was a spectacular performance by the offense. If this is McFadden’s last game in Fayetteville, it was a memorable one. He broke the SEC single game rushing record with 323 yards (the record was 321). McFadden and Jones both crossed the 1000 yard mark for the season. McFadden became only the second player in SEC history to rush for 1000 yards in his freshman, sophomore, and junior seasons (the other was Hershel Walker). They also named the field in honor of Frank Broyles at halftime. I have pictures I’ll be putting up when I get back home. Here’s more links…

ESPN Recap (with video) and Box Score (I usually don’t link to the box score but the rushing stats for McFadden and Jones were obscene). ARSN Notes and Quotes. Hogwired Recap. More on McFadden getting back in Heisman Contention, and the Expats were impressed. Razorbloggers Roundup. I haven’t even mentioned the rest of the offense. And Bowl Reps were in attendance.

FTB:Rumors abound

Robert Sheilds weekly column has this tidbit…

Now, if I was an AD and was being shown the door but was still going to be hanging around, I would want to keep in place as many people as possible that were friendly to me. Also, all these multi-year contracts for assistants make it all the more difficult to show Nutt the door this year because it is my understanding all these contracts are guaranteed. It will cost the University a tidy sum of money to pay off all these assistants and the head coach. I do not believe in the past position coaches received multi year guaranteed contracts.

Hawgsports.com

The Trough part 2

Hogs Make Defensive Position Changes
Scout.com

McFadden sat out Tuesday’s Practice citing Soreness.
He should be at practice today
Hogwired.com and The Hogblogger

The Razorback Expats are excited about the coming Hoops Season and Patrick Beverley is a big reason.
Razorback Expats

UA officials are looking at renaming the field at Razorback Stadium to honor Broyles.

Scout.com

The Expats have also found a funny Corliss Video

Razorback Expats

The Long and Short of It

Now that Jeff Long has been announced as Arkansas’ new AD, here’s a wrap up of stories about the man.

Long’s Management Style Open but Firm

Going Long

HOG CALLS : Equal doses of strength, prudence would aid Long’s transition

Brolyes allows light to shine on Long

Long 3rd Among SEC AD’s In Pay

Coach Long Confers, Makes Call

Hogs calling on Long

Jeff Long Timeline

Colleagues: Long good fit for UA

Long’s tenure at Pitt hardly memorable

Hog AD Details

Long Not Intimidated Replacing A Legend

White on Point for 3 Man Team

LIKE IT IS : UA can expect some changes under new AD

Via Whole Hog Sports, Arkansas Times, Springdale Morning News, and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review