FTB: Annual Report Card: Petrino Barely Passes

This Week From The Bench…

With the firing of Houston Nutt (and I was years ahead of the mob in
calling for his firing, by the way), new coach Bobby Petrino came in
with high expectations from the fans for a dynamic aerial assault. What
we got was a 5-7 team with a defense that gave every other team a great
opportunity to pad its offensive stats. While the sports columnist of
the statewide daily and the marks on the Internet paint a
sunshine-pumping picture, let’s be honest that Petrino’s first year
was not a success. In my annual tradition, it’s time to let the grades
roll on Petrino…

Hawgsports.com

Wednesday Trough

AD Jeff Long announces the new executive structure of the Athletic Dept. He also talks to Razorback central about several issues…Logo preferencesUse of the word “hog” to identify teams…and Chancellor David Gearhart’s relationship with Long. Frank Broyles is adjusting to his new role. A couple of sites have previews of the Western Illinois game up…RazorbloggersHog Blog. The expats are getting all nostalgic about Nutt. A couple of Paul Petrino quick hits. Marcus Monk has been picked up by the Giants.

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

Monday Trough

Well uninspired is the word most would use for the final regular season SEC series for the Diamond Hogs. They lost the series 2 games to 1 and finished the conference season 1/2 game out of 8th place in the final SEC standings…and out of the SEC tournament. The Finals from the weekend set are…

Thursday Ark.-5 Miss. St.-6 , Friday Ark.-5 Miss. St.-6 , Saturday Ark.-15 Miss. St.-10.
Rivals has a photo journal of the final game. The Hogs are currently hosting Western Illinois at Baum. Whole Hog Sports is calling it a Must Win. The hogs look to bolster their chances to get into an NCAA Regional. Their RPI hasn’t been updated but this link will update later tonight. Here’s the University’s Baseball Notebook from before tonight’s game.

UPDATE: Diamond Hogs Beat Western Illinois…Ark.-12/W. Ill.-6.

Turning to other spring sports…
The Men Track Hogs won the SEC Outdoor Track & Field title this weekend, John McDonnell’s last as head coach. The search for his replacement is going at a “steady” pace. Ladyback Tracksters finished third at the meet. The Ladyback Tennis Team finished the season ranked 17th this season after being eliminated in the Elite Eight. It was arguably the best season in school history. The Ladyback Softball team finished it’s season with a loss in the NCAA Regionals to Oregon. Ladyback Miranda Dixon was named to the Louisville Slugger / National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division I All-Region team. The Mens Golf Team Finished in 19th place at the NCAA Regional this weekend. The Ladyback Golfers start their Regional tomorrow.

Finally…
College Football News have their WAAAY early bowl predictions up (Hogs V. Nebraska in Indy Bowl). Razorback Hoopster Michael Sanchez has moved from the bench to a starting role for the Reach USA squad in China. The Expats dip into the SI archives to find a Hog football team in turmoil from 1988.

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:GSD Report-Marketing and Money off Campus

This week from the bench…

Spring football practice for the Arkansas Razorbacks is over and many pundits are already giving their preseason predictions mostly because they have nothing else to talk about. I will wait a little longer before going out on that limb because the results of spring practice offered no certainties for the success of next season.

So in the down time, I will jump on one of my favorite subjects since it’s been a few months since I have written about it. The subject of course is: Great Stadium Debate for 200, Alex.

Hawgsports.com

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

FTB:The John Pelphrey Report Card

This week from the bench…

I typically hand out report cards every year for the University of Arkansas basketball and football coaches. My report cards for the previous football coach were so bad over a period of five years that they got him fired. Since football and basketball coaches have been fired of late, there has not really been a reason to issue them grades knowing they were about to be expelled anyway, but since the Program has kept a basketball coach for over a year, it’s time to let the grades roll for the new student, John Pelphrey. The grades are an improvement over the previous guy who sat in his chair. Please have this signed by Papa Broyles and returned to me.

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:Razorback Basketball Fans remain Lost just like TV show

This Week From The Bench…

For several reasons, the basketball program is dead to many fans around the state, has been for half a decade, and has yet to show any signs of returning to its former glory. The UA administration has succeeded in alienating three groups of fans ? those who wanted Nolan Richardson fired, those who didn’t want him fired, and those who stuck around post-Nolan only to be turned off by the slow success of Stan Heath’s Big Ten brand of basketball.

Hawgsports.com

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

Last Call Trough

Well I’ve enjoyed spending 2007 with all of you and can’t wait to see what 08 has in store for the hogs. I wish all of my readers a happy and prosperous new year. With that out of the way here’s your last trough of the year…

McFadden is still eligible for the Cotton Bowl after KARK/KNWA reported that his mother, sports agent and former hog Mike Conley, and D-Mac went and bought a Cadillac Escalade last week. It turns out that McFadden’s Step-Mother bought the car which D-Mac drove to Dallas. KARK appologized but the UA is still looking into it. Here’s a roundup of info for the Cotton Bowl. Here’s some Cotton Bowl Predictions…Expats, Razorbloggers, CFN. Petrino has retained Bobby Allen. The Hoop Hogs Rolled in a win over ULM 85-60. The Ladyback Hoopsters stayed perfect with a win over Marquette 71-69 to capture the Blue Sky Classic title. They’re 14-0. Finally, The Hog Blogger has his top five stories of the year up…5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

FTB:Hired Goon Neinas enters…

This Week From The Bench, Robert Shields covers Chuck Neinas and the Heisman Debacle…

To help this search, the UA has apparently hired a consultant named Chuck Neinas. You may remember the name of this hired goon from the last time he was in Arkansas when he angered and insulted many Razorback fans when comparing the Razorback Program to Rutgers as one of the arguments for moving all games to Fayetteville in the Great Stadium Debate. This Neinas guy is bad news, and a sure sign the hiring process is headed in the wrong direction.

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.