RN Roundtable: Evaluating the Hot Topic of Satellite Camps & The Miserable Finish for Hog Baseball


Pros and cons of college football satellite camps & the brutal run for 2016 Arkansas Baseball…

Drew Amman, Bo Mattingly & Mike Irwin discuss in this week’s Razorback Nation Roundtable:

Here’s the transcription from that segment:

Drew Amman: “We are going to start things off a little differently here on the Pigtrail show. I’ve got Bo Mattingly with me and Mike Irwin as well. And why not start this particular Pigtrail show with the return of Mike Irwin.”

Bo Mattingly: “Glad to have you back buddy.”

Mike Irwin: “Good to be back. Grumpy as ever.”

Bo Mattingly: “Looking strong and healthy though.”

Drew Amman: “Hey. I’d have to argue that you have not been cranky this week.”

Mike Irwin: “Well I am about to get grumpy.”

Bo Mattingly: “Well there is stuff to be grumpy about.”

Drew Amman: “That’s a good point when you are talking about Arkansas Baseball. Let’s start with that as our first topic. Mike you have the honor.”

Mike Irwin: “Obviously there were pitching issues.  But pitching is pitching. Sometimes I think there were veteran guys out there that probably weren’t ready physically and it became apparent as the season went on. They just hadn’t rehabbed enough. Then you had a lot of young guys that weren’t good for more than three or four innings and sometimes they had to go longer than that. Those things are not huge issues for me projecting forward. What was depressing was to watch the way some of these guys and some veteran players towards the end of the season were just out there mailing it in. The last game of the season was a perfect example. You had three separate errors made by three separate players that totaled five runs in that game. You take those five runs away and it’s a 4-4 ball game in the 9th. So you gave that game away and you did it on inexcusable routine play errors. It looked like to me at the end of the season what we had was just a bunch of guys that are out there like let’s just get the season over with. I don’t know that you want some of those people back.”

Bo Mattingly: “It’s a long season and you are right. I think that’s what happened. It just got away from them. It’s so hard in sports to do all the little things, the process that makes your team good. It’s not the big picture, it’s the little picture every day that leads to big picture success. When it’s not going well it’s tough to hang in there. I think what you saw is an example of that this weekend where guys are making errors all over the place. Just the microcosm of Arkansas’ season. I’m watching the game it’s 6-2 Mississippi State. Arkansas has got one out runners on the corner. They get a good hit to right field. It looks like it is going to get down. The right fielder makes a great play, doubles the guy off of first base. Just when you have a little glimmer of hope of something good happening it’s snatched away. But everybody starts with starting pitching. When you look at Zach Jackson. He was in a different role last year. But going from a 2.1 earned run average to a 5.09.  McKinney 3.21 to 6.66. Teague 3.6 to 6.82. Those are massive differences and it’s magnified by the fact that they didn’t have a ton of guys returning around them that were the guts, the core and the leadership of this team. You add all that together it’s time to start over.”

Drew Amman: “Zach Jackson a guy in particular you didn’t think that he was going to come out and have the season he did this year. Obviously a preseason All-American. He walked forty guys Mike and that led the team.”

Mike Irwin: “Well I think part of the problem was he wanted to be a starting pitcher. Dave Van Horn said no at the start of the year and then gave in. I never think that is good. The head coach is the one that decides who does these things. I don’t think he was ready to be a starting pitcher. I think he should have stayed in his role as a closer. He didn’t. He pitched too long in several of those games. Way longer than he is use to pitching. Let’s face it. If his goal was to be a starting pitcher he didn’t make it.”

Bo Mattingly: “You might be right. But I don’t know if they had any options. I think as some point you go well let’s throw that guy our here. Really there were no right buttons to push it appeared throughout the season that was really going to turn this thing around.”

Drew Amman: “Alright baseball to football now.  A hot topic…college football satellite camps, Bo.”

Bo Mattingly: “There’s a lot of ways to talk about it. People hear satellite camps oh we have to do this again. Well I think there is a couple of interesting things here. If you remember a couple of years ago. They took head coaches in college football off the road from recruiting for whatever reason. Well now those coaches who were out recruiting getting to know players they wanted to get to know better and evaluating them when they would go out and check out there practice and talk to their head coach. Now they are going back on the road in a different way. They are hosting all these recruiting camps. So while you still have this rule they can’t go out on the road. Everybody is doing satellite camps which has always been there but not it is being exploited. I think they are going to go away next year. For all this they had a knee jerk reaction to like oh these poor kids can’t go here and there. They had a knee jerk reaction and they made a massive mistake in my opinion. Here is another thing. Coaches you say well they make a lot of money they ought to spend a lot more time out there working. Well that’s fine. But they are spending time doing what? Coaching high school football camps when they could be spending time with their players investing them. There’s this massive gap between spring and fall where every coach will tell you they basically have not very many touch points at all with their kids. It’s basically the scariest time of year to be a head football coach.”

Mike Irwin: “Jim Harbaugh basically suckered a few congressmen into getting their tail feathers ruffled on this deal. The idea was oh there’s poor kids all over the country that don’t have access to these camps if you don’t do it. What the government is now going to guarantee you to have access to a college camp even though it is five hundred miles from where you live. This is absurd. However as idiotic as that is Arkansas will benefit because Bret Bielema always has a plan for everything. This camp he is going to have in Arlington I am telling you it is going to blow up Arkansas’ recruiting in Texas. So as long as we have these satellite camps and I agree with Bo this may not be permanent, but as long as you have it, it is going to benefit Arkansas in recruiting.”

Drew Amman: “As long as it is on the table as Bo mentioned earlier, as marketable as Bret Bielema is…he is really savvy with that. This could really help the Arkansas program.”

Bo Mattingly: “Yeah I mean if you are a massive recruiting rankings Alabama, USC program I don’t think it helps you that much. But if you are somebody that is always trying to uncover the next rock of a development project I think it can help you a little bit.”

Drew Amman: “Absolutely. Mike Irwin, Bo Mattingly thanks very much for joining us on the Razorback Roundtable. Bo has been jet setting off while you have been gone Mike. Kentucky Derby and the likes. He’s back. Mike is back. And we are back with more of the Pigtrail Show. We will talk NFL Hogs after this.”

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