Q. Joel G Wood says: TCU had our number. When you lose 3 games by wide margins, all you can say it that TCU was the better team… It will be interesting to see how the Frogs do going forward.
A. I can’t say they will win it all but it would not surprise me. They are peaking at the right time. They have a terrific batting lineup but they can pitch too. That’s a salty combination.
When I saw their name pop in in the Fayetteville Regional I thought to myself, Oh no. That’s not good.
Q. Marshall Brence says: Still proud of them. They had a lot of things to overcome all season. And didn’t make excuses, they just kept plugging along and had a good season.
A. I will remember them as overachievers. Injuries limited their pitching depth but they had some guys who stepped up. They didn’t hit well as a team but it seemed like there was always somebody or two or three somebodies who would step up in clutch situations. The problem was their hitting tailed off starting with the Vanderbilt series. They did not have the pitching or the offense to match up with a team like TCU. But they were SEC co champions with Florida and as DVH put it, We did it with 1 all SEC player. Florida had five.
Q. Phillip Ausmus says: New pitching coach, new batting coach…. maybe it’s time to start over…. 22 years of great baseball, sec championships, sec tournament Champs, Omaha visitors…..
….when are we going to get over the top? Norm Debriyn couldn’t win a national championship here so we ended up with DVH…. I’m a true Arkansas baseball fan but??????? Just saying….
Q. Dakota Phillips responds to that. He posts: Great season boys. Now time to talk a lot of the crazies off the ledge who think we should get rid of DVH.
A. There was a lot of this stuff on social media. It’s typical nonsense from fans who blow off steam by suggesting that the SEC Coach of the year should be fired. The best way to handle that is to not respond. You go after somebody for posting this stuff it gives them what they want. Attention.
I made the point last week that there wasn’t a lot of this type stuff on social media when the softball team didn’t advance past their regional. I predicted that if the baseball team was also eliminated from the Fayetteville regional the reaction would be totally different. Fans of women’s sports tend to be less emotional and less likely to attack their coaches and players after a disappointing loss.
Q. mousetown wants to know: Could you name the yo yo’s on the selection committee that decided Auburn should host a regional but TCU should not. Those guys must have been eating popcorn and streaming old episodes of “Friends.”
A. John Cohen, Auburn’s AD is the chairman of the selection committee. That’s pretty much all you need to know. The other members of the committee should have stepped up and blocked any effort to award Auburn a regional. They didn’t deserve to host. TCU should have gotten that regional. Every year stuff likes this happens. The day the field is announced the hard work a team has put in and the things that team has accomplished can go out the window on the whims of the committee. They can clear the deck for you or throw roadblocks in your way.
Q. T.L. Slaten asks: Was this the most disappointing Fayetteville regional ever?
A. No. I’d say both the 06 and 07 Fayetteville regionals were more disappointing at the time.
Let’s take a look.
In 06 Arkansas went immediately into the losers bracket after a one run loss to ORU.
The Hogs bounced back with a convincing win over Princeton but were eliminated with another one run loss, this time to OSU.
But 07 was worse. Arkansas was the SEC West Champion. They started off with a lopsided win over Albany but then OSU just killed them. They had to play Creighton in an elimination game and shut them out but for the second straight year the Hogs were knocked out of their own regional but Oklahoma State and it was another one run loss.
However, to me the most disappointing Fayetteville Regional was the first one back in the Norm DeBriyn era. In 1999, Arkansas was
the outright SEC Champion with a 22-8 conference record. The Hogs beat Delaware 10-6 but in a big upset… lost to Missouri State which was SW Missouri State back then. They could not recover from that shocker and were eliminated by Clemson in the next game. That team should have gone to Omaha but didn’t get out of its own regional.
Q. Hawgredneck wants to know: Do we have a legitimate shot at landing Grant Nelson? Adding a big of his quality could give us the best roster since the national championship team.
A. I talked to our basketball recruiting guru Kevin McPherson this morning. Nelson has cancelled his visit to Baylor. That’s good. He will be at Alabama this afternoon and tomorrow. He’s scheduled to come here Thursday and Friday.
Arkansas advantage is that he’s played in Bud Walton Arena. He knows the atmosphere.
At Alabama he would be the man in the front court as they’ve lost a lot of their bigs. At Arkansas he’d be in the mix with Trevon Brazile Jalen Graham and Makhi Mitchell and incoming freshman Bay Fall.
It may well come down to NIL money. If so Arkansas has some available with Ron Holland opting to the NBA G-League and Jordan Walsh staying in the NBA draft.
Q. Arkansas has filled it’s final football scholarship spot by signing Clayton, North Carolina High school receiver. Dazmin James. Pedro Sanchez says: 10.46 100 meters!!! This is a Huge get …. Speed Kills. WPS.
A. Yeah, that’s track speed. I’ve read that he runs a sub 4.4 40. He’s being described as a steal by our football recruiting expert, Otis Kirk. He’s one point short of being a 4 star. He had signed with a junior college because he didn’t think he was gonna qualify for division one. Then he did. Arkansas and three other schools, including South Carolina, immediately went after him. This late there aren’t a lot of scholarship left at most school. He got Arkansas’ last one. I’m looking forward to seeing him this August.
Q. LostinSwine wants to know: What exactly did Yurachek mean when he said some teams in the SEC weren’t built for a 9 game SEC schedule? And was he intimating that Arkansas was one of those teams?
A. I am told that that’s exactly how he feels and here’s why. Arkansas is in the process of trying to get its football program in the upper tier of the SEC. But the league is not only adding two traditional football powers by the 2024 season but now the ESPN people want a 9 game league schedule so they game eliminate some of these games with midmajor opponents. A source at Arkansas told me that nine games is gonna happen. Arkansas and four or five other schools put it off for a year. Playing more conference opponents will reduced the number of SEC teams in the CFB playoffs because it will create more losses
Extra TV money is nice but when your conference schedule is already brutal and you add two traditional football powers like Oklahoma and Texas and you want to exchange a mid-major game with an SEC team, that’s not smart.
Q. Hogdogger asks: Who out of all the new players on the Razorback football team this year do you expect or look forward to becoming a standout as starters?
A. Isaiah Sategna. He a speedy receiver. He’s out of Fayetteville High so he’s local. And in one play in the spring game, where he and KJ Jefferson hooked up….he showed off his speed. I think he’s gonna be a big time player.
Q. Marty Byrde’s proxy wants to know: Do you believe we’ll see either OU or Texas (football)become elite at the level of Bama and Georgia when they come into the league? I don’t think they will be ready for the weekly pounding, not initially anyway.
A. I’d say Oklahoma is more likely to make a move to the top than Texas. But I would agree with you, I think both schools are going to have an eye opening experience. All schools fill their stadiums and have crazy home atmospheres. Both are also on the extreme western edge of a conference that stretches all the way to places like Gainesville, Florida and Columbia, South Carolina. Travel for their fans is going to be a totally different experience than they are used to in the Big 12.
Q. Dr. Strangepork asks: The Razorback Foundation, when was it started? What is its main function? Was it intended to be a slush fund? Which past president of it has been the most successful?
A. Frank Broyles created the Razorback Foundation after a meeting in the summer of 1973 with several Little Rock Businessmen. Frank Had just become athletic director and he was interested in improving the department beyond football. Out of this meeting came the idea of requiring donations for the purchase of season tickets for football. Wilson Matthews was the first director of the Foundation and he worked out of the Broyles center. Sometime in the early 80’s. the Foundation was moved off campus and made a private company.
Terry Don Phillips took over the foundation at that point. Chuck Dicus followed him and Harold Horton after that. Scott Varaday was the first Foundation executive director who had not played at Arkansas and I’m told that he ended up doing an outstanding job.
The Foundation provides money for coaches salaries beyond what the state of Arkansas pays. It provides bonus payments after championship seasons in various sports. It also provides the buyout payments when coaches are terminated.
Broyles also used foundation money for construction of new facilities and renovations of existing facilities. That plan continues to this day.
These days almost all major college athletic departments have a fundraising organization. Arkansas was one of the first to do it. South Carolina being the other one.