Malzahn! Norvell! Leach! Venables! Just make it stop, Arkansas!

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.

Gus Malzahn, but only if he loses in the SEC title game.

Mike Leach, because he turns around programs.

Mike Norvell. He has Arkansas connections and can recruit Texas.

Brent Venables is the best coordinator in the country who’s never been a head coach.

Jon Gruden is the best coach in the country. Tony Dungy, too, while we’re at it.

OK, well, the first four are the most popular names being thrown about as Arkansas’ next football coach. The Gruden thing isn’t happening (again). Dungy isn’t, either. The rest, though? Heck, why not?

The truth of the matter is nobody knows. Reports regarding all four came out Sunday. What that tells me is Arkansas really has no clue where it’s going now that Malzahn is almost definitely out of the fold.

Not shocking. Reports also came out this past weekend that prospective employees for Arkansas athletics jobs are concerned about the way things are being run on “The Hill.” The way former coach Bret Bielema was fired on Friday, not that he got fired but the way he was fired, gave the impression, rightly or wrongly, Arkansas is a mess right now.

So, sure, names will come left and right. Doubtful those four are the last four. Names will come for the athletic director job, too. The two being simultaneously open creates a conundrum for Arkansas brass, which ultimately might mean the Razorbacks get none of those four.

People don’t like the way Bret Bielema was treated

At the end of the day, that’s all that matters. Perception. The perception is that Bielema being fired mere moments after losing to Missouri on Friday was a low-class move. The perception is that Arkansas athletics leaders have no clue what they’re doing. Perception is they don’t even have an actual commander.

Julie Cromer Peoples said Friday night, after Bielema’s firing, she was the leader. She is for all public-facing interactions. The reality is probably such, too. None of that is relevant, though, if the people Arkansas seeks for either its athletic director or coaching jobs don’t believe it.

Bielema said in his final presser, about two hours before Cromer Peoples’, that he wished he’d gotten to better know the people who made the decision to remove him. He doesn’t say that unless he thinks politics and glad-handing influenced the decision.

Was Bielema ultimately let go because of his record? Most likely. But if you think it’s only because of his record, the naiveté is strong.

This whole ordeal reeks of a political mess.

Arkansas basketball dominates another opponent

It was a mixed-bag week for Hogs hoops. A 2-1 record is certainly better than a 1-2 mark. Arkansas’ win over Connecticut on Sunday night, too, was supremely impressive, even if UConn has probably its worst team in 30 years (or close to it). Arkansas over Oklahoma on Thursday night was solid, if not totally convincing, as well.

Yeah, the Hogs returning to Fayetteville with a 5-1 record before heading off to Houston this weekend is not shabby. Everyone and anyone who wants to see the past week as unmitigated success can do so.

Arkansas looks like a Top 25 team. The Hogs almost definitely won’t be ranked, though, when the polls come out later Monday. Not enough teams in front are losing. And the Razorbacks’ 19-point loss at the hands of ninth-ranked North Carolina, that game was never all that close, either.

This is a team that figures to be NCAA Tournament bound and the PK80 Invitational was a good test of mettle. We still have to wait on SEC play to see what coach Mike Anderson’s bunch is really made of, though.


  • The recruiting fallout from Bielema’s exit has begun. Quarterback Ty Evans, a 2019 recruit, reopened his recruitment on Sunday.
  • Arkansas finished the season with one SEC win. Only one team — Tennessee — had fewer. Makes sense, then, the two finished dead last and second to last in the final SEC Country regular-season Power Poll.
  • Seems like the end of the road for Arkansas’ greatest football player in history, doesn’t it? Bummer for Darren McFadden, who was cut from the Cowboys.

Tweets and the like

• Well, at least Arkansas isn’t Tennessee. Mercy.

• Arkansas players have ideas on who they want to be their next coach.

arkansas-arkansas football
Koilan Jackson is an Arkansas wide receiver. This tweet has since been deleted.
arkansas-arkansas football
Ryan Pulley is an Arkansas cornerback who was injured in the team’s first game this year and missed the rest of the season.

Well, hi there, Jeff Long.

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

The post Malzahn! Norvell! Leach! Venables! Just make it stop, Arkansas! appeared first on SEC Country.

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