Category Archives: Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal

For a fat team, you sure don’t sweat much.

Hugh Freeze, a coach in search of a compliment:

That sounds like something Coach Dooley would say back in the day, after he finished fretting about the opponent’s long snappah.  Except Vince would usually say that about Southeast Directional A&M State, not another SEC team.  Ouch.

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Things you may have missed from the weekend, part three.

You may have heard about the Auburn player who had to come out of the Arkansas game.  It wouldn’t be such a big deal if Malzahn hadn’t been so sanctimonious about the subject of fake injuries earlier this year, as this clip neatly indicates:

That said, I don’t know what gives me the bigger chuckle – Malzahn’s wide-eyed “he got hurt” response immediately after the game, or that Bielema had the nerve to complain about another coach’s gamesmanship.

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Tuesday morning buffet

Come, you must be hungry.

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Boss Hog

Arkansas, you got your ass handed to you by South Carolina at homecoming and your reward is to travel to Tuscaloosa this week.  So what words of inspiration does your coach have for you?

“I would tell them, ‘Don’t be a Debbie Downer,’ ” Bielema said on Monday.

That’ll make ‘em ready to run through walls.

In case you’re wondering, ‘Bama is something like a 29-30 point favorite tonight.

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Thursday morning buffet

Time to nosh.

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You thought I was serious about that?, part one

That whole Bret Bielema playing macho head games with Nick Saban thing… he wants you to  know he was just funnin’, folks.

The thing is, I can’t figure out what’s supposed to be humorous about this comment:

“The reason the SEC is talked about all the time is one team, because of their dominance. But I didn’t come here to play Alabama. I came here to beat Alabama.

“You can take Saban’s record when he was at Michigan State and when he was a coach in the Big Ten and put it against mine, and he can’t compare.”

The only way that’s a joke is if you start with the premise that Bielema is an inferior coach to Nick Saban, and while I think most neutral observers would probably agree with that, Bielema doesn’t strike me as the type of guy who indulges in self-mockery, especially at a pep rally.

I suspect he wouldn’t have tweeted that if his comments hadn’t provoked the response they did, but, then again, he did it on April Fools Day, so maybe it’s the tweet we shouldn’t take seriously.  In the meantime, there’s some fuel for the SEC Media Days fire, no?

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The new Mike Hamilton?

I wonder what it is about Arkansas’ football program that makes people dizzy.  There were all the folks anointing the Hogs as the next big thing in the SEC West despite the fact they never played a lick of defense under Petrino or Smith.  And then there’s the respect for AD Jeff Long.

Granted, when he hopped on that motorcycle, Petrino left Long in a tough spot.  But the Smith hire was questionable from the start.  And the compensation package Long came up with for his new coach made things even worse.

Former Arkansas football coach John L. Smith has been accused of using his employment contracts with the Razorbacks to defraud several of his creditors, according to two complaints filed this week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court…

… Smith made a series of transactions “with the intent to hinder, delay, or defraud creditors,” said one of the complaints filed Monday.

The creditors cite his unusual contract with the Razorbacks last year, in which 71% of his $850,000 salary was deferred until right after the 2012 season. In general, the bankruptcy estate controls assets acquired by a debtor before the date of the bankruptcy filing, which was Sept. 6 in Smith’s case. Debtors generally can keep what they earn after the filing date.

Nothing like having your institution associated with bankruptcy fraud.  And Long’s explanation at the time – “… Long told reporters last year the deferral was made for Smith’s retirement” – seemed lame given that Smith made it quite clear then that he hoped he could do enough to turn his position from interim into something longer term.  And in fact as the article notes, Smith hasn’t retired since leaving Arkansas.

At least Long got a good season for his trou… oh, wait.

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“When you give 10 months, everyone is on eggshells.”

Looking back, giving John L. Smith a ten-month contract may not have been the smartest thing Jeff Long ever did.

In separate interviews with Sporting News, Haynes, who was the Razorbacks’ defensive coordinator last season, and Petrino, who was their offensive coordinator, said Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long made a mistake when he hired Smith to a 10-month contract last April, a couple of weeks after Bobby Petrino was fired amidst a personal scandal.

It was a mistake that bore such awkwardness and dysfunction within the program that both ex-coordinators—and Smith himself—believe some players eventually quit on the team.

Whether or not Smith was the right man for Arkansas at that time, he, Haynes and Paul Petrino say the duration of Smith’s contract had players convinced the entire staff wouldn’t be around in 2013, and that realization led some to tune out their coaches.

“I don’t think an A.D. should ever hire somebody for 10 months,” Paul Petrino said. “Players know what that means; they understand that. It hurts the power of the head coach and the assistants.

“They should’ve hired (Smith) for two years or hired someone else for two years, or just (expletive)-canned all of us.”

Not that I feel too sorry for Long.  It’s the risk you run when you hire a wandering soul like Bobby Petrino – and let’s not forget how the timing of that hire went down.

Karma is a beyotch.

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Surprise! Arkansas gets its man.

Didn’t see this one coming.

Bielema’s got a good track record – three 11-win seasons and a bunch of Rose Bowl trips.  Good pick up for Arky.

I like the hire for a couple of reasons.  One, it’s a nice knee to the balls of Jim Delany (you know Slive is smirking as you read this).  Second, this was one of my favorite dick moves of the past decade.  Nothing wrong with making JoePa apoplectic during a game.

Hope somebody gives him the low down on cell phone usage, though.

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John L. Smith elects to defer.

Of course, bankruptcy court ain’t exactly like the coin toss.

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