What sort of value would Razorback football have if the program could be bought and sold like a pro franchise? We now have an idea thanks to a study conducted by Ryan Brewer, an assistant professor of finance at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus.
Last year, it appeared the whole world was watching (except for the fans focused on Arkansas and South Carolina) when No. 2 Alabama played host to No. 1 LSU in Tuscaloosa in week 10 of the Southeastern Conference season. Neither team managed a touchdown, but LSU managed to escape with a 9-6 overtime victor, only to lose the 1 vs. 2 rematch in the BCS Championship Game 21-0 in January in New Orleans. Though 'Bama is No. 1 and LSU is in the top 5, this Saturday night's matchup in Baton Rouge doesn't seem to be generating the incredible buzz of the last regular-season game — to be sure, even Ali-Frazier III didn't have the same impact worldwide that Ali-Frazier I did 40-something years ago — it's still THE game of the day in college football. So important is it to CBS this time that the network made sure no other SEC game would be played at night. Instead fans have the unusual scheduling of six SEC games kicking off before noon.
Arkansas' bowl hopes may be fading fast, but the Pressbox Roundtable crew is here to tell you why you should or shouldn't toss in the towel just yet as the Razorbacks wind up the season. Also, we touch on the newest rumored name for the Razorback coaching search, Texas Tech's Tommy Tuberville, and we look at the Alabama-LSU matchup for Saturday night, as well as a big week ahead for Gus Malzahn and Arkansas State football. Back is our usual lineup of suspects to handle the questions from Jim Harris. Readers, join with the panel. Let us know what you think in the comments section at the bottom of the feature.
Divisional leaders clash in the Southeastern Conference's top games this weekend, while Arkansas and Ole Miss both seek to draw closer to bowl eligibility with their brunch-time matchup in Little Rock. Each team's coach said Wednesday during the SEC teleconference that he was trying to get a handle on how the open weekend might affect this week's performance. Arkansas Coach John L. Smith said the time off helped his 3-4 team heal "the bumps and bruises" and that Tuesday's practice was very good. Ole Miss' Hugh Freeze also said his team enjoyed the week to get over injuries but that the first practice back, on Tuesday, was sluggish.
Saturday's game in Gainesville, Fla., won't decide the SEC East Division champion, but it will narrow the field to two. South Carolina meets Florida, and both teams have enough schedule left that the winner can't start planning for Atlanta in early December. However, if Florida wins, South Carolina's chances to win the East are nearly done while the Gators will only have to take care of Georgia in the teams' annual "Cocktail Party" in Jacksonville on Oct. 27 to reach the SEC Championship Game. Meanwhile, LSU faces a crucial test in College Station, Texas, on Saturday morning to assure that its Alabama game on Nov. 3 will be meaningful. Don't look now, but the two West teams in maroon — Texas A&M and Mississippi State — could be Alabama's competition for the West crown.
Good news! It’s Red River Rivaly Shootout week, which, as mentioned last year, is my favorite non-SEC game of the year. I love the look of the red and orange side by side, two storied programs clashing, and the spectacle of the Texas State Fair surrounding the Cotton Bowl. The fair is known far and wide for its record of innovation and progress in the fried food arts. Like last year, Saturday Roulette will honor that hard work by wagering some of the new fried food debuting at the fair this year in lieu of betting our usual fantasy dollars. We had another good week last week, going 5-3. The season total is 26-21. We’re rolling! Here are this week’s winners:
Pass defense quietly has played a major role in who wins the national title. During the Southeastern Conference's run of six consecutive championships, five of those champions ranked among the top two teams in the conference and the top four teams nationwide in pass efficiency defense. The run-first SEC isn't known for throwing the ball all over the field, though that is changing. But SEC quarterbacks are effective when they do throw.
The hits just keep on coming for Arkansas' defense, and Kentucky's not feeling too well either. On Wednesday's SEC coaches teleconference, Arkansas Coach John L. Smith revealed that end Tenarius Wright had chosen to get his shoulder "fixed" now after an MRI on Monday revealed damage requiring surgery. So Wright, who redshirted as a freshman and is a fifth-year senior, is done as a Razorback. Meanwhile, Kentucky is down to a fourth-string freshman quarterback and may be missing three quarters of its starting secondary.
Moving from a special-situation quarterback in Gus Malzahn's offense as a freshman to the starting quarterback in new Auburn coordinator Scot Loeffler's attack has proven to be a difficult transition for Shiloh Christian product Kiehl Frazier. As a freshman, Frazier backed up Barrett Trotter and Clint Moseley, who were given more leeway in the passing game while Frazier was better suited for the zone-read running plays. He played in all 13 Tiger games, including a Chick-fil-A bowl victory over Virginia, and accumulated 343 rushing yards on 76 attempts (4.3 per carry). He lost only 16 yards all season. In 2012, Frazier has just 16 net yards rushing on 31 attempts.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, come on down … You’re the latest weekly award winner at the expense of Arkansas’ defense. Manziel is the third quarterback to be named his conference's offensive player of the week after facing the Razorbacks. Manziel, who set an SEC record with 527 yards of total offense, joins Louisiana-Monroe quarterback Kolton Browning and Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova as players named as their league’s top performers for the week. Browning was also named the national offensive player of the week after leading the Warhawks to a victory against Arkansas.
Did you know the term “dumpster fire” can become a cliché? It’s true. If you’ve seen almost any article written about the Razorbacks over the last few weeks, there’s a 100 percent chance you’ve seen the term as a description of the Arkansas football program. It’s to the point that some writers have begun to apologize to “burned out dumpsters.” After all, it’s not like other things can’t catch fire and would also be accurate metaphors for the Razorbacks. How’s about a junkyard fire? Or a port-o-potty fire? However, when the dumpster fire is shown in graphic, photoshop form, it is quite hilarious. Fortunately, there are other programs we can focus on, and bet our fantasy dollars on.
Arkansas Coach John L. Smith said Wednesday during the SEC coaches teleconference that while Texas A&M looks formidable in the offensive and defensive lines and possess a great punt returner, "what jumps out" in watching A&M game film is quarterback Johnny Manziel. A&M Coach Kevin Sumlin said that Manziel only has a portion of the offensive package as they ease the redshirt freshman along.
It's already week 5 for the Pressbox Roundtable, and this week we welcome Ben Kercheval of NBC College Football Talk as our national guest to the sit-around sports chat of usual suspects: KTHV, Channel 11, sports anchor Mark Edwards, ArkansasExpats.com editor and regular ArkansasSports360.com contributor Doc Harper, and KABZ-FM 103.7 The Buzz' Justin Acri. Readers, join the panel. Let us know what you think in the comments section at the bottom of the feature. This week, the top subjects are Arkansas' three-game losing streak, the offense's role in the problems, the SEC divisional races, Florida State's return and Arkansas State's Sun Belt opener, and Ben chimes in with his thoughts on the Arkansas coaching search and Jon Gruden's hair.
Not every Arkansas football player witnessed captain Alonzo Highsmith tear down the 2012 schedule that once hung in the team weight room. Not every Razorback had heard details of Highsmith’s symbolic gesture, ripping opponent after opponent off the wall until only Rutgers remained. But they got the message just the same.
The mighty Southeastern Conference has six schools in the Top 25, with Alabama and LSU atop the rankings and the toast of college football once again. An impressive eight SEC teams have managed to break into the Top 25. But while it seems everyone in the SEC is enjoying success, that's not the case. The bottom half of the league has had some downright embarrassing moments.
Good news, fantasy, and not-so-fantasy gamblers! You can still bet on Arkansas to win the national title this season and you get 500/1 odds! [cue the Dumb and Dumber fans] That’s the very definition of low-risk/high-reward. Lay down $10, and with a historical number of upsets, you could win $5,000. If Arkansas loses a few more games, we might get to that magical 10,000/1 odds line. As the character Kevin from The Office once memorably stated, “When you get 10,000/1 odds on anything, you take it.” (By the way, this is not our advice and we don’t recommend it. Kevin’s character is quite dumb. But it is fun to say.)
It’s time for The Showgram, a collaborative effort of ArkansasSports360.com editor Chris Bahn and Adam Alter, assistant sports director of KNWA/KARK Razorback Nation. Think of it as sports radio at your convenience. Sports talk shouldn't be available only when you're parked at your desk or stuck in drive time.
This week in the Notebook, we look at Florida's turnaround under Will Muschamp, as the Gators have a leg up on the rest of the SEC East with two road victories. Also, Coach John L. Smith addressed some of the Razorbacks' struggles and changes this week. We look at some of the top performances from last Saturday and revise the power poll, sending Arkansas plummeting after the embarrassing loss at home to Alabama. (Truthfully, we could probably have a "With Tyler Wilson Poll" and a "Without Tyler Wilson Poll"; the Hogs need the senior quarterback this week against Rutgers, as Smith told the league's media on Wednesday.)
When Arkansas Coach John L. Smith dared to urge the media (when has a coach ever cared about bucking up the press?) to turn its frown upside down at Monday’s press conference, the state reacted as if Smith had walked into the room spewing expletives and green pea soup Linda Blair-style. Maybe he’s doing the worst job of coaching in the history of jobs and coaching, but Smith, in his madcap way, makes one good point — it’s supposed to be fun.