It is time once again for our weekly “Ask Mike” segment where our veteran analyst Mike Irwin answers questions from our friends at Hogville.net.
OUR FIRST QUESTION THIS WEEK COMES FROM BLOODREDHOG WHO ASKS: *With the thin depth at QB, even with Feleipe Franks, has there been any talk by Pittman or Connor Noland about Noland coming back to play QB?
I SERIOUSLY DOUBT IT. ACCORDING TO DAVE VAN HORN CONNOR NOLAN WILL BE ARKANSAS FRIDAY NIGHT STARTER THIS SEASON. YOU CAN’T DO THAT AND SPLIT TIME WITH FOOTBALL… PLUS THE LAST TIME CONNOR SPENT ANY TIME AROUND FOOTBALL WAS THE FALL OF 2018. THAT’S A YEAR AND A HALF LAYOFF. LOOK… THE KID’S A BASEBALL PLAYER WITH A MAJOR LEAGUE FUTURE.
*PORK SODA WANTS TO KNOW: Looking at Football/Baseball/Basketball, who is a newcomer that you are excited to see in the upcoming season?
TWO. ROBERT MOORE & BRAYDON WEBB, MOORE… 17 YEAR OLD SECOND BASEMAN WHO,,,IN ABOUT TWO WEEKS…. WILL BECOME THE YOUNGEST PLAYER EVER TO START FOR THE RAZORBACKS. HE GOT A BASE HIT OFF CONNOR NOLAND IN SATURDAY’S FIRST SCRIMMAGE. HE’S AN UNBELIEVABLE INFIELDER. THE FANS ARE GONNA LOVE THIS KID. WEBB WAS A JC ALL AMERICAN. HITS FOR POWER. REALLY GOOD BATTING AVERAGE NUMBERS. 3 HRS ALREADY. LEFT FIELDER. LEADOFF HITTER.
*JUMPTY IS CURIOUS: Mike do you know why Vanover did not get immediate eligibility? I thought he had a good case. Especially when others with similar cases did get immediate eligibility.
THERE IS VERY LITTLE LOGIC OR CONSISTENCY TO ANYTHING THE NCAA DOES. IT’S A RIDICULOUS GOVERNING BODY THAT NEEDS TO BE JUNKED AND RECONSTRUCTED FROM THE GROUND UP. WITH REGARD TO VANOVER…. AS MUCH AS ARKANSAS COULD USE HIM RIGHT NOW…. HE NEEDS TO GET STRONGER AND MORE PHYSICAL. SITTING OUT WILL HELP HIM FOR NEXT YEAR.
*SED76 ASKS: Back in the mid 90’s when Arkansas basketball was competing at a very high national level was there ever any talk about NBA teams wanting Nolan Richardson?
NOT SURE ABOUT THE NBA BUT I KNOW THAT NOLAN HEARD FROM SOME BIG 10 SCHOOLS WHEN HE STARTED WINNING BIG IN THE EARLY 90’S. THE WORK QUICKLY GOT OUT THAT HE WASN’T GOING ANYWHERE. NOLAN LOVES NORTHWEST ARKANSAS. THAT’S WHY HE STILL LIVES HERE. HE TOLD ME IN 1990 AFTER HE GOT BACK FROM HE FINAL 4 IN DENVER THAT HE WOULD EVENTULLY GET FIRED FOR SPEAKING OUT ON OFF THE FIELD ISSUES. THE NEED FOR MORE BLACK HEAD COACHES IN ALL SPORTS. MORE BLACK ADMINISTRATORS. ALL THAT STUFF THAT WAS SO CONTROVERSIAL BACK HAS PRETTY MUCH BEEN ACCEPTED. NOLAN WAS A PIONEER IN COLLEGE ATHLETICS.
*BACONTHE SADDLEAGAIN WANTS TO KNOW: Is it plausible that the Hogs see a Houston Nutt-esque type first year under Pittman? Not necessarily 9 wins and a ranked finish, but a surprise season that results in soundly rising above expections? It seems that a few of the key components for such a turnaround are in place.
*SURPRISE SEASON? MAYBE. BUT TO ME THAT WOULD BE FIVE OR SIX WINS. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NOW AND 1998 IS THE SEC WEST IS SO MUCH BETTER TOP TO BOTTOM. PLUS THE NONCONFERENCE SCHEDULE IS TOUGHER. INSTEAD OF SMU IN LITTLE ROCK…YOU GET NOTRE DAME ON THE ROAD.
*HOGWILD ASKS: With Bielema taking a job with the Giants, will that impact the litigation over his buyout payments?
MAYBE SOME DEPENDING ON WHAT HE WILL BE PAID BY THE GIANTS. THAT’S GONNA BE SETTLED IN COURT. IT WILL BE A WHILE BEFORE WE KNOW.
IWASTHEREIN1969 HAS TURNED COMMEDIAN ON US: *What is the likelihood of Chad Morris taking off on Friday nights to watch his son pilot the OU scout squad through their walk through for the following days game ? Will he use the AU jet, fly commercial, or just jump in his car, hit the left lane and hammer down all the way to Norman ?
THAT’S A GOOD ONE. I FIGURE CHAD WILL BE TOO BUSY RUNNING GUS’ OFFENSE TO DO ANY TRAVELING AWAY FROM THE TEAM, I AM CURIOUS HOWEVER TO THE OVERWHELIMINGLY POSITIVE RACTION FROM THE AUBURN FANS AND MEDIA TO GUS TURNING HIS OFFENSE TOTALLY OVER TO MORRIS. I MEAN MAYBE IT WILL WORK BUT IT’S LIKE THOSE PEOPLE ARE TOTALLY CLUELESS ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED HERE THAT THEY DON’T EVEN CONSIDER THAT THIS THING MIGHT BLOW UP IN THER FACES. OH WELL. IT’S THEIR ISSUE NOT OURS.
*PORKSODA IS BACK WITH A GOOD FOLLOW UP QUESTION TO THAT: What is the likelihood fans will stop being obsessed with ex-coaches? Or is it like battered-women syndrome that takes years of therapy for them to get over?
IT’S NOT ALL COACHES. MIKE ANDERSON STILL HAS A LOT OF ARKANSAS FANS PULLING FOR HIM TO DO WELL IN THE BIG EAST. WITH BIELEMA AND MORRIS I THINK A LOT OF FANS ARE ANGRY. THE BELIEF IS THAT BIELEMA JUST GOOFED AROUND AND THAT MORRIS NEVER BOUGHT INTO THIS JOB IN THE FIRST PLACE. I DO THINK THAT BIELEMA LIKED IT HERE. BUT UNLIKE BARRY ODOM, MATT LUKE AND JOE MOOREHEAD…. WHO WERE ALL FIRED LAST SEASON…… MORRIS NEVER SAID SQUAT TO THE FANS. NO PUBLIC STATEMENT AT ALL. HE SUPPOSEDLY TOLD SOME PEOPLE HE KNEW HERE THAT HE NEVER WANTED TO SEE ANOTHER RAZORBACK LOGO AGAIN.. FAT CHANCE OF THAT WITH HIM GOING TO AUBURN.
*OKLAHOG ASKS: With signing day approaching can you go back over the odd saga of Darius Philon? It is a great “Cinderella story.” There was also Javonte Herndon who got notified he had an offer while sitting in class on signing day. Are there other examples of these really bizarre signing day stories?
Philon was committed to Alabama and about to signed with them when he found out that they wanted him to grey shirt. That is.. pay his own way for a semester. Arkansas had also offered him. So he decided to go with the Razorbacks and went on to say that it ended up being the best thing that could have ever happened for him. Probably the most bizarre signing day story involved alex collins who was all set to sign with Arkansas but his mother wanted him to stay in south Florida and sign with Miami., she refused ot sign his letter of intent. So there was a delay where Collins located hid dad and got him to sign and of course he ended up being a great running back for Bret Bielema.
*BLOODREDHOG IS BACK WITH A BASKETBALL QUESTION: I believe Musselman is the best coach we’ve had since Nolan. However, we lack height and depth and we’re now playing two games a week. Are you still confident we can hit the 20-win mark and make the NCAA tourney? Or is this team getting tired with all the heavy minutes played?
I think the TCU game answered that question. They won by 11 without their second leading scorer. I think they’ll win at least 22 games and yes, I think they’ll make the NCAA tournament. I wouldn’t read much into that Mississippi State loss. There aren’t too many paces where the opponent will shoot three times as many free throws as you do. There’s something in the water in starkville. You know how many free throws Mississppi Sate shot in Norman on Satrurday? Fifteen as oppose to 30 against Arkansas. Reggie Perry shot 15 against the Hogs. He shot zero against OU.
*HOBHOG ASKS: Are there any plans to renovate Bud Walton arena? I had heard rumors of additional luxury boxes. Now that basketball is hot ticket again may be a hard sell to reduce seating.
I WAS TALKING TO SOMEBODY IN THE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT STAFF ON SATURDAY. THERE ARE PLANS FOR A RENOVATION BUT IT SOUNDS LIKE THEY’RE NOT GOING TO TAKE OUT ANY SEATS. I DON’T THINK THAT COACH MUSS WOULD LIKE THAT. WHY REDUCE THE NOISE AND ENERGY IN THAT PLACE FOR A FEW MORE SKYBOXES?
*HAWGPHAT SAYS: There are 7 football scholarship spots still open. Other than the obvious OL positions, where are the Hogs MOST in need for QUALITY depth additions (not just numbers), – – – and what do you figure the odds to be that those needs will be filled to a satisfactory degree?
THEY NEED ANOTHER QUARTERBACK. OTIS TELLS ME THEY’LL GET ONE OF THE TWO THEY’RE LOOKING AT. THEY NEED ANOTHER LINEBACKER AND REALLY TWO MORE TIGHT ENDS. NOT SURE IF THEY’LL GET THE TIGHT END THEY REALLY WANT BUT OTIS SAYS THEY’LL FIND ONE EVEN IF IT’S A GRAD TRANSFER. THEY ARE TOO THIN THERE RIGHT NOW. THERE WAS ALSO ANOTHER QUESTION ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT THEY WILL FILL ALL OF THEIR SCHOLARSHIPS OR SAVE A FEW. I’M TOLD THAT PITTMAN WILL PROBABLY USE THEM ALL. THEY THINK THEY’RE GONNA GET THE PEOPLE THEY WANT SO THERE’S NO NEED TO SAVE ANY.
*I_CALLED_THAT_PLAY_BROTHA SAYS: Jeff Long fired Bobby Petrino, appropriately in my opinion, for — among other things — embarrassing the University of Arkansas. What, if anything, to you believe will happen at the University of Kansas related to their recent basketbrawl?
BASED ON WHAT I WAS TOLD I THINK WHAT APPEARED TO BE JEFF LONG’S BOLD DECISION TO FIRE PETRINO WAS OVERRATED. HE WAS GONNA GIVE PETRINO A CHANCE TO STAY IF HE MADE CERTAIN CONCESSIONS. PETRINO REFUSED. AND LONG REALLY DIDN’T HAVE A CHOICE. AS FAR AS THE BASKEBALL BRAWL…IT LOOKS LIKE SOME MINOR SUSPENSIONS HAVE SETTLED THAT ISSUE. THE WORD IS YOU DON’T MESS WITH BILL SELF..EVEN IF YOU’RE THE AD AT KANSAS. I DON’T EXPECT ANYTHING TO HAPPEN TO SELF OR THE BASKETBALL PROGRAM. BUT WE’LL SEE. CLEARLY THERE ARE SOME ISSUES THERE.
*REDLEG ASKS: What is a reasonable expectation for the 2020 Diamond Hogs, and if you had to guess…will DVH win a CWS national championship at Arkansas before he retires?
A REASONABLE EXPECTATION IS A VERY GOOD SEASON. BUT IF YOU START PREDICTING AN SEC TITLE OR COLLEGE WORLD SERIES APPEARANCE….THERE ARE TOO MANY FACTORS TO PREDICT THAT. RIGHT NOW THEY’RE SOLID AND HAVE DEPTH IN THE INFIELD AND OUTFIELD. DEEP AT THE PLATE BEYOND THE 9 MAN BATTING ORDER. TO ME THE ONE QUESTION IS A FRIDAY NIGHT STARTER. THE LAST TWO YEARS ISAIAH CAMPBELL AND BLANE KNIGHT WERE A COMBINED 26-1. THAT IS HUGE TO START A SERIES EACH WEEKEND WITH A WIN. A LOSS ON FRIDAY NIGHT CAN CHANGE THE WHOLE WEEKEND. SO IT LOOKS REALLY GOOD RIGHT NOW BUT THE WEEKEND ROTATION WILL HAVE TO PROVE ITSELF.
THAT’S IT FOR ANOTHER WEEK. SEE YOU NEXT MONDAY WHEN WE’LL DO ASK MIKE ALL OVER AGAIN.