Is It 'If' Or 'When' Hogs Leave Little Rock? (AP Analysis)

by Kelly Kissel, The Associated Press  on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013 11:12 am  

Fans cheer the Razorbacks at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. (Photo by Mark Wagner)

For example, Arkansas' 10-1 Southwest Conference championship team in 1968 appeared on TV just twice, including a Sugar Bowl appearance; Bobby Petrino's 2008 team, which finished 5-7, was on TV 10 times. It could be argued that perhaps it was too cruel to televise nearly all of this year's 3-9 Razorback season.

—The increased exposure on television means it's no longer necessary to take the show on the road so the entire fan base could see it. When Barnhill was coaching, it was easier to pack up an entourage of 40 or 50 for a trip to Little Rock than it was for 16,000 fans to travel to Fayetteville on bad roads. That held true until 1999, when Interstate 540 opened and Fayetteville became a place where you could get to from here.

We've reached a point that, for mere exposure, the Razorbacks no longer need games in Little Rock. The city must rely on the university's goodwill beyond 2018 - and the lobbying has already started.

"The smartest thing it can do is to have a game at Little Rock," said Brenda Scisson of Little Rock, a 17-year member of the War Memorial Stadium Commission. "They are the flagship university. They represent the whole state."

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