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…
AD Jeff Long announces the new executive structure of the Athletic Dept. He also talks to Razorback central about several issues…Logo preferences…Use 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…Razorbloggers…Hog 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.
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.
This Week From The Bench…
Now that Razorback sports news has slowed down with basketball, spring football, and baseball done (regardless of the undeserving NCAA bid), this would be a good time to reflect on Frank Broyles an his legacy that stretches 50 years. No column is going to do this topic justice, but my limitations have never stopped me before.
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.
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.
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!
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.