- Eric Bolin, SEC Country
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.
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George Schroeder at USA Today, and fellow Oklahoman, spoke with Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson last week. Hutchinson strongly suggested games stay in Little Rock.
What the Gov wants, the Gov gets.
Plus, let’s be real. No one will say it publicly, but general consensus is former athletic director Jeff Long didn’t want to re-up the contract to keep games in the state capital. The big-money boosters and the board, which are composed of people from all over the state, want to keep them. Their friends in those towns like to glad-hand at War Memorial Stadium and hobnob closer to home instead of make the three-, four-, five-hour drive to the northwest corner (which is weird; wouldn’t the comfort of a luxury suite, especially starting this year with the new digs, be more comfortable with the booze and everything that comes with it, than anything at War Memorial?). If you think the people interviewing Long’s replacement didn’t bring it up in negotiations with the candidates, you’re kidding yourself.
The university’s contract with the stadium runs out after this season. Arkansas is set to play in Little Rock on Oct. 13 this year. Right now, it’s the last scheduled game for the Hogs there. Right now. Hunter Yurachek, Long’s replacement, will sign an extension to keep games at War Memorial. If he doesn’t, it will be an upset on the level of Buster Douglas over Mike Tyson.
The place is unattractive. It’s ratty. It’s a cement wasteland. But, by golly, they say it’s *our* cement wasteland. That’s the notion.
Really, it’s a matter of power and control. Old money doesn’t want all the control in Fayetteville. It’s that simple.
Never mind it’s bad for the football team, it feels like a road game, the place doesn’t sell out and the rest of the country shakes its collective head at the idiocy of the idea.
What more can you ask from Arkansas baseball?
As of Sunday afternoon, this is where the Arkansas baseball team ranked statistically during SEC play:
• First: batting average, slugging percentage, home runs, hits, total bases, sacrifice flies, fewest GIDP
• Second: on-base percentage, runs, doubles
Bring that up because some out there were proclaiming it a disappointing weekend for the team. Arkansas did just score 7 runs in three games, but 2 of those were wins and the other was a 1-run loss. Combined with those numbers, that kind of attitude is flabbergasting.
First or second in the best conference in college baseball in all of those offensive statistics. They are absolutely raking. Pitching isn’t exactly shabby, either. The Razorbacks are sixth in earned run average, fifth in opponent batting average, fourth in strikeouts and second in strikeouts looking and first in fewest walks allowed.
All those measures combined, Arkansas might be the best team in the SEC, even in front of the defending champion Florida Gators. Losing a game here or there to the South Carolinas and Charlottes of the world is practically meaningless with those peripherals.
Arkansas remains a team in line for a national seed come NCAA Tournament time.
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- Arkansas coach Chad Morris picked up a commitment in the 2019 class Sunday. Offensive lineman Joseph Stone is a 3-star prospect from the state of Alabama. He’s a hoss, too.
- Former Arkansas guard Jaylen Barford was named Most Valuable Player at the Portsmouth Invitational. It’s a pre-NBA Draft summer league of sorts.
- The turnaround Arkansas softball has made since three years ago is so incredibly dramatic. There was a period of back-to-back years the Razorbacks won just one SEC game each season. Now, they are ranked 19th in the nation and are coming off a first-ever series win over Alabama.
Tweets and the like
• Here is a tweet from Schroeder, who almost completely says it out loud.
ICYMI: "If this was a dollars-and-cents decision, it’s easy,” says @ArkRazorbacks AD Hunter Yurachek. But FB in Little Rock is “part of the fabric of this great state.”
Could preserving an anachronism lose dollars, yet make sense?https://t.co/csIhtCaoKE via @usatodaysports pic.twitter.com/qgQRcuw96v
— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) April 14, 2018
• Football team had Hogfest on Saturday. It was rescheduled from the previous weekend when rain washed things out for the spring game.
— Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) April 14, 2018
• Clearly, Arkansas football used the weekend as one of major recruiting importance based off the fact on who visited.
Big time weekend on The Hill this weekend! Got some program changing players here! Also got Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka, & Chief Keef here this weekend for @RowWeekUofA! It’s truly a #HammerDown type of weekend! #WPS
— Coach Justin Stepp (@coachjstepp) April 14, 2018
• That’s former Arkansas National Player of the Year Andrew Benintendi.
— Razorback Baseball (@RazorbackBSB) April 15, 2018
Skip Breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here.
The post Hate to break it to you, Hunter Yurachek will keep Arkansas football in Little Rock appeared first on SEC Country.