This week from the bench…
In the flurry of responses that I got last week from my column pointing out the glories of War Memorial Stadium and how improbable victories are found there, many took umbrage to it.
Games in War Memorial Stadium are labeled for history with descriptors such as the Immortal Teddy Barnes Catch or the Miracle on Markham. Games in Fayetteville, meanwhile, are most noted by the Great Shootout, which was the most heart-breaking loss in Razorback history.
This Week From The Bench…
And it starts again. Bobby Petrino, in his first year as head coach, is undefeated in Little Rock.
All the previous Razorback coaches of any worth post-Broyles all stayed undefeated in Little Rock for some time. It took four seasons before Lou Holtz lost his first game in Little Rock. The same can be said about Ken Hatfield. Houston Nutt took seven seasons before the first loss came. Beginning in 1998, the Hogs have defended the home turf of War Memorial Stadium to the tune of 24 wins and two losses. That is an amazing winning percentage of more than 92 percent.
This Week From The Bench…
Let’s start where the day began. After dire warnings that the War Memorial Golf Course would be a mud pit for the Razorback football game, the predictions did not come to fruition after a deluge from the hurricane-turned-tropical-depression that parked itself over Arkansas. Saturday turned out to be a perfect day for college football and tailgating. Games in Little Rock in early September often turn into a sweating mess, but the temperature for this one was just right.
Two big notes…The 4 and 1 fake to Michael Smith/bomb to Chris Gragg to the ULM 7-WOW. That’s why you hire Bobby Petrino. Second, Casey Dick just became the first Razorback to post back to back 300+ yard passing games.
the AP recap is HERE!
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…
This Week From The Bench…
Contract Extension at War Memorial Shows UA’s Commitment to Rest of State
I would be remiss to not mention the new contract the University of Arkansas signed with War Memorial Stadium. First, though, I have to remind Little Rock that they need to put on hold any plans for the War Memorial Golf Course until 2016.
The city keeps pretending it might do something with it based on the muses of some independent consultant from St. Louis, but as long as the Razorbacks play in Little Rock, the main purpose of that golf course is for Razorback game day and then the rest of the year you can learn to play golf on it. I would guess that no park in the state is host to as many people in one day as War Memorial on a Saturday the Razorbacks are in town. Let’s not forget that fact, Mayor Stodola.
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.
I’ve missed a lot the last few days and I’ll try to catch up in multiple little posts…
Bobby Petrino said Thursday during a speech in Bentonville that Spring Practice will be open tho the public. CFN discusses the 2008 SEC Schedule team by team and week by week. Which bring me to the annual announcement that the Battle for the Golden Boot has been moved to Friday again. Fairchild’s Arrest helped the Hogs gain points in EDSBS’s Fulmer Cup. Hogs Illustrated checks in with one of my all time favorite hogs Tony Bua. Arkansas held it’s annual Pro Day for it’s Seniors/Departing Juniors Tuesday. Here’s audio from the event. McFadden and Jones didn’t have to work out, but to help their teammates get more exposure they did. The next two are via the Expats…Marcus Monk improved his stock. And Finally, I’m a huge Chicago Bears fan (I lived there for a decade). The idea that the only Head Coach at the pro day, and the only coach to have lunch with DMac and Felix, was the Bears’ Lovie Smith makes my day. Go Bears! and Go Hogs!
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, 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.
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.