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

49-14 Trough

I’ve been MIA for about a week so here’s a recap of the week that was…

The Razorbloggers have their wrapup of the ugly loss to Alabama and the Good, Bad, and Ugly. Hog wide receiver Marques Wade will have surgery on his knee and will be out for the rest of the season. WR Lucas Miller suffered a concussion during the Alabama game as well. Michael Smith impressed with a 91 yard on 19 carries day.

The Expats suggest looking ahead to what’s infront of us….and reminds us of the best and worst games against the Horns.

Raycom has picked up the UA-Florida game for another 11:30 am start. Felix Jones scored another TD this past Sunday Night. David Lee brought the Wildhog to Miami and helped the Fins crush the Pats Sunday. The 2009 baseball schedule is out. The NCAA has denied the appeal of the sanctions against the Track and Field program. Finally AD Jeff Long now appreciates what the LR games bring to the University.

Kickoff Trough

I hope everyone enjoys their long weekend! Here’s some stories to send us into the weekend…

Patrick Beverly is close to signing a pro contract to play overseas and has signed an agent (he’s gone officially). Earnest Mitchell feels 90% back from his knee surgery. Someone tore down the goalposts at Razorback Stadium last week (they’ve been repaired). Nathan Dick is officially your backup for this weekend. The Expats have a Q&A with AS360’s Jim Harris up. Need to know more about Western Illinois? Look Here or Here. The Coach’s Show will be named…”Inside Razorback Football with Bobby Petrino“. Speaking of TV the UA-ULM game in Little Rock will be available via Pay-Per-View for $34.99 in Arkansas and Louisana (it might be on ESPN Gameplan outside those states). When you see a successful forward pass know you’re not dreaming.

Lots of predictions are up…Expats, Razorbloggers, Hog Blog, Slophouse, and College Football News.

And Finally for those headed to the game…there is a spoiler below the fold…
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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.

White Powdery Substance Trough

As most of you probably know, former Arkansas QB and current Jacksonville Jaguar Wide Receiver Matt Jones was arrested on a count of Felony possession of a controlled substance (Cocaine) this Morning. Not as widely mentioned is that he was arrested with former Hog tight end Jared Hicks. The Razorbloggers/Slophouse/TMN’s Hog Blog have it covered. LB Wendel Davis was arrested on June 28th. He was arrested after an altercation at a stop light with a person he has a history with.

I’ve reported previously that the University is merging the Men’s and Women’s Athletic Departments. The first sign of that is the merging of the UA’s athletic websites, Hogwired and Ladybacks.com, into ArkansasRazorbacks.com. It opens on July 21st. KATV is looking at the 16 most memorable moments since the Hogs joined the SEC…Here are the Expats’ choices.

Levan Patsatsia is going to transfer from the Hog Hoop squad. Patrick Beverley impressed King LeBron James and New Orleans’s Chris Paul in a pickup game.Former Hog Darian Townes has made the Sacramento Kings Summer League Team. Some Diamond Hogs are heating up Summer Leagues. Tyson Gay has a mild muscle strain in his leg. He pulled up lame in a quarterfinal heat for the 200 meters at the US Olympic Trials. He was the defending world champ in the event. Felix Jones and Darren McFadden have been ranked as two of the best NFL running backs.

College Football News says the SEC Title Game hurts the SEC. Here’s CFN’s 46 reasons to love SEC Football. Here’s a take from a SEC Gal In California. Here’s three sets of SEC football predictions. The Razorbloggers are looking at the new NCAA football rules.

UPDATE: I forgot to link to a couple of Expat stories…Their Hodge Podge mentions Marcus Monk-Competitive Eater, Houston Nutt’s wrong number, and SEC home court advantage…a must read! Also in non-Hog news…Fort Smith & Texarkana add to the “Embarrassing Arkansas Moments” File courtesy of Borat.

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 End of June Trough

I’ve been slightly lazy in updating recently so there is some stuff to catch up on…

Backup Linebacker Freddy Burton was arrested for DUI this morning. Former Hog Tyson Gay qualified for the US Olympic squad in the 100m. Arkansas Hired Northern Iowa’s Chris Bucknam as the new Track and Field and Cross Country coach replacing legend John McDonnell. Sonny Weems was drafted by Chicago then traded to Denver. Steven Hill has signed a contract to play with Portland’s summer league team.
John Pelphrey auctioned off a round of golf with himself, Bobby Petrino, and LPGAer and former ladyback Stacy Lewis. It went for $5,100. Speaking of Stacy Lewis, she finished tied for 3rd at her first LPGA event as a pro…the US Women’s Open. Petrino’s not a big talker. But The Hog Blogger knows what he’s getting into with Bobby. The Razorbloggers have been counting down the best football games of ’07 (with video)…my fav’s South Carolina and LSU. AOL fanhouse has a story up about if College Football teams were comedians…Arkansas would be Larry the Cable Guy. Which lead me to two other such lists…Rappers-Kool Keith…and Simpsons Characters-Groundskeeper Willie.

Finally two stories unrelated to the Hogs…So Long to Deadspin’s Will Leitch, I echo what the Expats wrote…and RIP to UGA VI.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that today is the last day on Nolan Richardson’s Contract with the UA and it’s also Chancellor John White’s last day on the job.

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.

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.

Weekend Trough

I don’t have much time so I’ll hit the high points (like I don’t already do that)….

Here’s this week’s Practice Wrapups 4/5, 4/6, 4/8, 4/10. They’ll Scrimmage today. The Sporting News ranks Petrino 10th best coach in the SEC. The Razorbloggers Recap what they’ve seen so far. DMac has some videos about the Wildhog and last year’s Hog Backfield up on his blog. Speaking of Darren, He’s on the cover of ESPN the magazine’s Draft Special.

Nolan Richardson was elected to the College Basketball Hall of Fame, along w/Billy Packer. Which leads to another sign the relationship between Richardson and the UA is on the mend. Guard Ben Hansbrough, UNC Tarheel Tyler Hansbrough’s little brother, has been granted his release from Mississippi St. and is interested in the Hogs. Former Lady’back Lauren Ervin was selected in the 3rd round of the WNBA Draft by the Connecticut Sun. The Diamond Hogs Continue to struggle. After winning Last Saturday, 5-4, to tie the series with Auburn, they lost it in heartbreaking fashion 12-10 in 10 innings. Then Oral Roberts came in and thumped the hogs 9-4 at Baum. They head to Florida this weekend.

Saturday Trough

A quick trough for your Saturday…

Bobby Petrino’s father got ran over by an Arkansas WR during practice yesterday…He’s okay. Cornerback Jerell Norton appears to have pulled a hamstring during the practice. WR Crosby Tuck had a bad day. Redshirt freshman Tim Dial, who was a weakside linebacker, has left the team. All of the previous stories are covered HERE. Here is the round up of Friday’s Practice Reports. AS360 visits with SI’s Stewart Mandel about Bobby Petrino. Finally the rescheduling of the Texas game from 2009 to 2015 is official per AD Jeff Long.

The Diamond Hogs still can’t find their bats in a 5-2 loss to Auburn. AS360 talks to the resident diamond hog on their staff, Brent Birch, about their turbulent season. They also link to some video from Sonny Weem’s win in the National Slam Dunk Contest. Lastly, Arkansas won it’s 10th-straight Texas Relays title in the 4×1,500-meter relay Friday.

Friday Trough

Welcome to the weekend. Spring Football Practice opened up on Thursday. But, weather forced them indoors yesterday and today. Here’s some rules from the athletic dept. when you finally do get to attend practice. The Razorbloggers preview the spring practices. Petrino will be holding a High School Coaches Clinic. He also spoke to the media on Monday and here’s some audio clips from the Slophouse. Speaking of the Slophouse they point out an article that ran in the New York Times chronicling the road DMac had to take to get to the big time.

In Hoops News… Nate Rakestraw was given his release from the team earlier this week. No word on where he’s headed. The Expats remind everyone that it was 14 years ago today that Nolan, Corliss, Scotty, and the boys brought Fayetteville their first NCAA Tournament title. Time flies indeed. They also show how all of this years final four teams have links to Arkansas’ NCAA past. Sonny Weems won the college basketball version of the slam dunk contest and made Sportcenter’s Top Plays. Wally Hall talks about a domino effect that could send John Pelphrey to Kentucky.

The Diamond Hogs finally got a win with a 7-6 thriller at Missouri State Tuesday Night. But rain returned to the Razorbacks forecast when a game with Mississippi Valley State forced them to postpone Wednesday’s game to May 12th. Now the hogs are looking to JUCO transfer Justin Wells to make his first D-1 start Saturday during the Auburn series that starts tonight.

Ladyback diver Madison Palmer was named to the 2008 Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Community Service Team. The Hog Tennis Squad will take it’s final roadtrip of the season this weekend when they travel to Ole Miss. Chris Wyrick was names Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs. Kevin Trainor, who was the AD for External Affairs, will continue to serve in his current role with the revised title of Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations and Communications.

Sunday Trough

The Hogs get a big road win, ending a 6 game losing streak at LSU in the process…Arkansas-68 LSU-52. Here’s a profile on Paul Petrino, Hog Offensive Coordinator and Bobby’s Brother. He’ll be busy this weekend with all of the recruits on campus. The Razorback Track team is appealing the punishment handed down in regards to the rules violations committed by former Razorbacks assistant coach Lance Brauman and his dealings with former Arkansas sprinter Tyson Gay in 2003 before he enrolled at the university. Pom Red squad member Laura Cole was voted the SPiN College Cheerleader of the Year by fans at CBS Sportsline.

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

The Mid Week Trough

Darren McFadden was Handcuffed in the River Market. John White is stepping down as Chancellor. The Arkansas Times has a Q&A with White up. Here’s John Pelphrey’s press conference on Auburn and Petrino’s presser on his Coaching Staff. Petrino will be paid well (obviously). The #20 Ladybacks (15-0) open SEC play vs #11 LSU tonight. Michigan QB Ryan Mallett is leaving the Wolverines and is considering Arkansas. The No. 9 Track Hogs Host the Arkansas Invitational on Friday.