Arkansas AD Jeff Long says Little Rock may be out and Mizzou should go to SEC West

Arkansas football rules the world of Razorbacks sports. So, with your bacon, have some Hogs for Breakfast and get caught up. It’s SEC Country’s weekday column and roundup on all things Arkansas … especially Arkansas football. Opinion, numbers, inane babble and more! And now with ironic exclamation points! There is no place like it on the web.

Jeff Long goes where SEC commish says league isn’t … for now

Each season Greg Sankey has been commissioner of the SEC he is asked, at Media Days, about conference re-alignment. Sankey always says that’s more of a media theory than a real one.

Not anymore.

Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said Wednesday on Sports Talk with Bo Mattingly that the league should attempt to move Missouri to the SEC West.

The move makes all the sense in the world geographically. Columbia, Mo., is the third-westernmost city in the SEC. Only Fayetteville and College Station, Texas, are farther that direction. Both Arkansas and Texas A&M already play in the West.

Consider, too, that Missouri isn’t the dynamo Alabama and Auburn are. Makes sense for Long, and other athletic directors in the West, to want to ship out the Crimson Tide or Tigers and get Missouri … or ship them both out and get back, say, Kentucky.

Anyway, it isn’t happening soon, but it’s no longer just media spit-balling.

Jeff Long also hints at the end of an era

The AD didn’t come out and directly say it. But it was also more than the usual beating-around-the-bush that company brass can sometimes pull when they don’t really want to be honest.

Bottom line: Little Rock is about cooked.

Long said Wednesday during the NW Arkansas Touchdown Club that attendance at the game last week against Florida A&M will play a role in determining if games stay at War Memorial Stadium beyond 2018.

Break that down a couple ways:

  1. Beyond 2018. That means the game next season, almost definitely against Vanderbilt, will be in Little Rock. Some writers among the Arkansas crew speculated Long might cut the contract short. That seems ridiculous and short-sighted.
  2. Attendance at the game last week will play a role. This is more putting one-and-one together, but it seems to read as though the Florida A&M game has some relevance. I get the impression that future opponents in Little Rock, if there were to be any, would be similar caliber to Florida A&M.

Anyway, Long’s remarks were interesting because it’s closest he has ever come to saying Little Rock was almost out of the picture.

McTelvin Agim ready after one year on the job

Don’t call the TCU game last season McTelvin Agim’s coming-out party. Although the freshman did have the last great defensive play the Razorbacks executed before overtime that fateful night in Fort Worth, Texas, Agim was a role player most of the season.

A mighty fine role player, to be sure. Now, though, he’s expected to be the playmaker on the Arkansas front line.

Making plays against TCU is a different task than against most opponents. Agim talked about what his unit needs to do in Arkansas’ new 3-4 to settle the Horned Frogs’ offense Saturday.

It isn’t quite what you would expect.

ICYMI

  • The difference between Arkansas at 5-7 and 7-5 is minimal. The main one is Arkansas at 5-7 at the end of this regular season likely doesn’t go to a bowl. Actually, with as many bowls as there are, the Razorbacks probably do go to a bowl. So scratch that. The difference is not just minimal. It’s negligible. Thus, the mediocrity. For now.
  • Coach Bret Bielema announced Wednesday that freshman wide receiver Koilan Jackson would miss the season with a torn ACL. That’s the bad news. The good news is Jackson hadn’t played yet and will almost certainly get a medical redshirt for this season.
  • Yours truly and Trent Shadid give you  a full video preview of the Arkansas-TCU game on the latest Sound Off.
  • Freshman guard Ty Clary was a surprise starter last week against Florida A&M. Turns out he graded out second-best among the offensive linemen that game.
  • Receivers coach Michael Smith said last week before the opener that wide receiver Jared Cornelius was 100 percent. Wednesday, Cornelius said the same. WholeHogSports’ Jimmy Carter wrote about it.
  • The Razorbacks have quite a few ex-players on NFL rosters this season. Matt Jones lists them for WholeHogSports.
  • Another few are on NFL practice squads, writes 247Sports’ Andrew Hutchinson.
  • Zach Barnett at FootballScoop says the  SEC should shed the divisional format completely. He isn’t wrong.

Tweets and the like

Arkansas center Frank Ragnow wished his father, who died during last season, a happy birthday Wednesday. Keep on keeping on, Frank.

My buddy Bart Pohlman, one of the good guys around the Arkansas media crew and a Memphis native, wrote about Chase Hayden, another Memphis native for GrindCityMedia, a Memphis-focused sports site.

Sorry to another friend, David Beall, the Arkansas basketball SID, but “prime time” isn’t 5 p.m. Had to bust his chops a bit. Still, Arkansas-Oklahoma for the Big 12/SEC Challenge has a tip time now.

Skip Breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here.

The post Arkansas AD Jeff Long says Little Rock may be out and Mizzou should go to SEC West appeared first on SEC Country.

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