The 6 year 60 Million Dollar Trough

If you read the title of this post you probably have a good idea the terms that Darren McFadden and his agent came to with the Oakland Raiders late Thursday Night. Sources close to McFadden told SI that he is slated to receive more than $26 million in guaranteed money — a 40-percent hike compared to what Gaines Adams, the No. 4 pick in the 2007 draft, will get in guaranteed pay. Nate Garner, the New York Jets seventh round pick, signed with the team Wednesday. Arkansas Third Baseman Logan Forsythe was selected 46th by the San Diego Padres in the MLB Selection Draft Thursday. Steven Hill was among several players who worked out for the New York Knicks Wednesday. The Hogs will pay $1.7 million to non-conference opponents this coming Football Season. The Razorbloggers look at the Diamond Hogs lack of postseason success. Here’s a look at all of the SEC’s Starting Lineups for the fall football campaign. Ladyback Pole Vaulter Katie Stripling has snuck into the NCAA’s. Finally, AOL Fanhouse blogs about something I thought was common knowledge…Louisiana-Monroe’s scamming of NCAA attendance rules with Arkansas’ help in Little Rock.

The Eliminated Trough

Well the title says it all…the Diamond Hogs dropped their second straight in the NCAA regional and with it got a ticket home. They lost to Stanford 5-1.

Ladyback Dacia Barr won the NCAA Mideast 1,500 meter Title. The Men Track Hogs ended up advancing nine athletes in eight events to the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa in June. The Mideast Regional was John McDonnell’s last meet in Fayetteville as Head Track Hog. Former University of Arkansas golfer Stacy Lewis Lead the US to its sixth consecutive Curtis Cup victory over Great Britain and Ireland in St. Andrews, Scotland, Sunday. And Finally, thanks to the Expats, I ran into a page of SEC Limericks…very funny stuff.

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!

Basketball/Misc Trough

Some Former Hogs are having a big impact on the NBA Playoffs. Although they were eliminated Tuesday, Former Hog Joe Johnson and the Atlanta Hawks gave the Boston Celtics all they could handle. Former Hog Jannero Pargo’s play was key in New Orleans’s series win over Dallas and they lead the Spurs 2-0 in their western conference semifinal match up.

Sonny Weems and Stacy Lewis were among the athletes honored at the UA’s Senior Banquet. Arkansas Lady Razorback Katie Stripling set a school record in the pole vault at Friday night’s Arkansas Twilight at John McDonnell Field with a height of 14-2. Stripling and Dacia Barr were name SEC Athlete of the Week Tuesday. Starkitsha Luellen has become the eighth signee of the Lady Backs 08 basketball recruiting class. And finally, the Men’s Golf team is headed to the NCAA Central Regional while the Lady Backs are headed to the NCAA West Regional.

Baseball Trough

The Diamond Hogs paid tribute to former PA announcer Larry Shank this past Sunday. He died last year after a two year battle with cancer and was the PA man from 1989 to 2007. Despite losing this weekends series to the Tide (look below) the Hogs are being forecast to make an NCAA regional and have a RPI of 26 (as I write this). Here’s the Razorbloggers roundup of the past weeks games…

4/30 UA-14 Missouri St.-6

5/2 Alabama-11 Arkansas-7

5/3 Alabama-11 Arkansas-6

5/4 Arkansas-5 Alabama-4

And finally, former Hogs Jess Todd and Casey Rowlett, and their Springfield Cardinals, will swing thru both of Arkansas’ minor league teams in the coming weeks. Todd will face the NWA Naturals 0n 5/7 and will possibly start against the Ark. Travelers during a 4 game set at Dickey-Stephens 5/12-5/15.

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

Easter Trough

I hope the Easter Bunny brought all the Hog fans what they wanted in their Easter Baskets! Now on to the links…

Stefan Welsh is doubtful for tonights game. Hat tip to the Expats for noting that Pelphrey did something that Sutton and Richardson weren’t able to do…win their first NCAA Tournament game as Arkansas Head Coach. They also bring a great moment in Hogs/Heels history.

In non hoops news…the Diamond Hogs have split the first two in their series with LSU this weekend…Friday LSU-8 UA-7 Saturday UA-14 LSU-13. The rubber game is this afternoon at 1pm on Cox Sports (CST). I saw this a while back but never linked to it so…QB Ryan Mallet’s request to have the NCAA transfer rule of sitting out a year be dropped will not be granted sources close to the program are saying. Finally the No. 33 Hog tennis squad dropped a 7-0 decision to No. 10 Tennessee on Friday.

Have a great easter and GO HOGS!

Arkansas-86 Indiana-72

The streak is over! The Hogs win in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999! Arkansas contained Indiana’s Eric Gordon. Sonny Weems scores 31. Darrien Townes had 17 and Patrick Beverley had 12. Steven Hill has a couple of blocks. Stefan Welsh twisted his ankle early in the First Half. Arkansas led most of the way. Here’s ESPN’s Gamecast and Recap. I’ll have more tomorrow. Big Blue here we come!

Saturday Update: Here’s the Razorbloggers Roundup of Relevant Links.

The Hoosier Report Q&A Part 2

Earlier this week yours truly was asked if I was interested in a cross-blog interview with The Hoosier Report. The Hoosier Report has done a bang up job on breaking down Friday’s matchup and I encourage everyone to head over there. You might be asking right about now…”Where’s Part 1?”. Well, he’ll be posting the first four questions which you can find HERE! Part 1 contains questions about Kelvin Sampson, Nolan Richardson, Sanctions, IU’s Head Coaching Search and other interesting stuff to get you ready for tomorrow’s game. Below are the second set of questions. The Hoosier Report will be in Italics…

HR: How does the future look for Arkansas. Is Pelphrey recruiting well, and of this year’s moderately successful team, how much production do you lose and how much will be back?

HB:We have six seniors, who all play significant minutes, that will be gone after the season. As far as recruiting goes I’m excited to see point guard Courtney Fortson come in. He was Rivals No. 59 overall and we haven’t had consistent guard play since Nolan was roaming the sidelines. Also, Pelphrey likes a more up tempo style and with the six seniors leaving, and the recruits he’s bringing in, he’ll be able to return to that style. The state really misses Nolan’s “40 minutes of hell” style and hiring Pelphrey was a move back in that direction. Rivals ranks our ’08 class 14th so I think the future looks promising.

HB: I’ve read that for Indiana it all starts with Eric Gordon and Big Ten Player of the Year DJ White. How does Arkansas stop them? Also, who could surprise the Hogs?

HR: Well, as I said above, Gordon isn’t beating anyone but the Hoosiers right now. I’m cutting him some slack because he is playing injured, but he’s been brutal for the last seven games. The Hoosiers have struggled this year against teams with strong interior defenders, and it seems that Arkansas may fit that bill. DJ White’s worst game was against a lanky Connecticut team. The guy who could surprise Arkansas is Jordan Crawford. Crawford is a freshman whose family is well-known to Arkansas fans: Kentucky’s Joe Crawford is his brother. Crawford loves to shoot, and has had some bad games, but he often explodes. Crawford scored 20 against Kentucky in a game that Gordon missed because of injury; 16 in a tough road win against Minnesota; 18 in a double overtime slugfest at Illinois; and a game-saving 21 at Northwestern the day after Sampson’s departure. Also, any production out of the four spot would be a surprise for IU and Arkansas fans alike. Deandre Thomas, Lance Stemler, and Mike White have been so unpredictable that Sampson and Dakich have resorted to giving lots of minutes to Kyle Taber, a walk-on with limited skills but who isn’t prone to turnovers, bad shots, or stupid fouls.

HR: For my final question, it’s prediction time: how will the Indiana-Arkansas game play out, and who is winning it all in your bracket?

HB:I think Indiana will still be in their funk and Arkansas’ size inside will prove too much for the Hoosiers. But the Hogs can’t make anything easy on themselves…Arkansas 71- Indiana 69. Now I’ll preface this with the fact that I don’t predetermine my Final Four when I pick my bracket. I tend to look at each game from start to finish and see how the cards fall. I have Tennessee and UCLA in the Final and I picked the Vols in a relatively close game…Tenn 79-UCLA 68

HB: And for my final question I’d like to hear your prediction for Friday’s Game, do either of us have a chance against UNC, and who’ll win it all?

HR: Sadly, I think your prediction is about right. IU probably has the bigger upside, but has shown nothing in recent weeks. Arkansas 66, Indiana 61. As for UNC, I don’t know much about Arkansas, but IU, with scoring options inside and out is capable of beating UNC, although the Tarheels certainly should win. As for the champ, they have burned me many, many times, so I should know better, but I have Kansas winning an all Big 12 final over Texas.

HR: Nice talking to you.

HB: Thanks it’s been fun!

Just as a reminder…Here is part one and thanks again to the Hoosier Report!

Pre-NCAA Trough

Sonny Weems was named To AP All-SEC Team; Charles Thomas and Darrien Townes Earn SEC All-Tournament nods. The Hogs will face Indiana around 8:30pm on Friday in Raleigh, NC. Here’s the highlights from John Pelphrey’s Press Conference on the game. Billy Gillispie is High on the Hogs chances as are the rest of the SEC Coaches. Billy Packer and Jim Nantz will be doing the Arkansas/Indiana game Friday…Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel will be in Little Rock for CBS. Speaking of Little Rock, if your in the area, and don’t have the cash to pony up for some NCAA tickets, they will be having two practice sessions at Alltel Arena this Thursday that will be open to the public. In other Basketball news Former LSU Head Coach John Brady is in talks with Arkansas St. about their HC opening.

In Non basketball news Sparty the Michigan St. Spartan won the NCAA Football 09 vote and will appear on the Wii version of the game. As I’ve mentioned before Darren McFadden will appear on the cover of the XBOX 360 version. They have a nice wallpaper of DMac on their site under the downloads link. Former Hog and UAPB Golden Lion Dedrick Poole has been assigned to the Arkansas Twisters of the AF2. The #6 lady’back golfers were fourth at the end of first round play, Monday, at the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Classic. And the Arkansas Men’s Tennis Squad won their 10th of the season beating Hawaii 4-3.

Well That Was Disappointing

Well, Arkansas is a 9th Seed in the NCAA Tournament facing 8 Seed Indiana. The Selection Committee Loved us sooo much that if we win, which is a big if, we’ll almost without a doubt face the #1 overall seed North Carolina…in Raleigh, NC…what fun. Arkansas Lost To Georgia in the SEC Tournament Final 66-57. Georgia led the whole way and Arkansas got close but never even tied the game. They were relatively close in most statistical categories but were killed from behind the arch. Georgia was 7-15 and the Hogs were 2-17 from Three Point Range. That was the difference in the game. Finally, I volunteered for Deadspin‘s Tournament Preview on Arkansas. I’ll be linking to in the next few days.

I wanted to also welcome the following teams to Little Rock…Memphis v. Texas-Arlington, Mississippi St. v. Oregon, Miami v. St. Mary’s, Texas v. Austin Peay.

Selection Sunday Trough

Congrats to the Hoop Hogs on making the SEC Tournament Final. They’ll play Georgia, who’ll be tired after playing 2 games Sunday because of a Tornado that hit the Georgia Dome Friday night. The Hogs reached the final by upsetting #4 Tennessee 92-91 on a Steven Hill turnaround jumper. Before that they beat #18 Vandy for the second time in two weeks 81-75. The game will be at 2:30pm CDT on ESPN2.

In other news…The Baseball team is hosting Georgia for their Conference Opener. Arkansas won the series opener 5-1, and lost Saturday 15-11. Nkosinza Balumbu gave Arkansas the NCAA triple jump title Saturday. Finally, the Razorback golf team maintained its lead from day one to win the team title Saturday at the Border Olympics in Laredo, Texas. They finished 5 shots ahead of #24 Lamar. Have a good selection Sunday and GO HOGS!!

SEC Tourney Trough

The SEC Tournament Kicks off Tomorrow The Hogs have a first Round bye and will face the winner of the Vandy/Auburn on Friday at 2:15 cdt (approx). They need to win to get off the bubble…the bubble that ESPN’s Braketologist says is populated by bad teams. But before we look ahead lets look back at the past week or so…The Hoops squad beat Auburn on Senior Day 77-64. The Diamond Hogs Swept Siena 14-5, 17-2, and 10-4. They then traveled to #1 Arizona State and gave them all they can handle in a 6-5 Loss. On The News Front Sonny Weems was named to the SEC Coaches All-SEC first team and the USBWA all-district team (district VII). Weems and teammate Steven Hill were named to the SEC all-defensive team. Corliss “Big Nasty” Williamson was named as Arkansas’ “SEC Legend” for this weekends SEC tournament. AD Jeff Long Spoke to the Little Rock Tip-Off Club about scheduling in-state schools (no likely), Bobby Petrino’s hiring, His First SEC title (Track), and scheduling games in Little Rock. The Hogs announced that they had signed the Texas A&M contract to play at the new Cowboys stadium for a decade starting 2009. As most of you know Nolan Richardson is out of the running for ASU Head Coach.

Finally I’d like to highlight a series that has just wrapped up on the Razorback Expats on the Hogs’ trip to the 1978 Final Four. The team was coached by Eddie Sutton (who’s 72nd birthday is today) and was Arkansas’ first trip to the final four in the modern era. Here is Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.