It is time for the final edition of Ask Mike for 2019 as our veteran analyst Mike Irwin answers your questions submitted on Hogville.net.
Our first question this week comes from Kevin who wants to know: With how the coaching search went, do you think Hunter (Yurachek) will be looking to move, after having to deal the political interference?
No because he got the guy he wanted in the end. I’m told that some boosters backed by the BOT blocked the Lunney hire. Supposedly they wanted Butch Davis. Yurachek focused on Sam Pittman at that point. Really liked him. The BOT agreed.
*Inhogswetrust asks: How do you feel or are hearing how the current players are liking the coaching hires so far? Is there any word on the strength coach prospects?
The Media is not allowed to talk to players without permission from the sports information director. I respect that. I don’t know if all reporters do. The only way right now I can guage how the players feel about the staff is the transfer portal. Actually the number that have enter the portal is low so I can only assume that as a group they’re fine with the new staff. The only public example I know if is the new OC Kendal Briles. Supposely after talking with Briles Rakeem Boyd decided to come back for his senior season. Briles has a history of getting the most out of his running backs. So that hire is already pahying off.
*Iwastherein1969 asks: With Arkansas’ dive into the football abyss during the past 8 years, at best, how long do you think it will take for the Hogs to be seen as a serious opponent by SEC competition ?
I could try to make you feel good by saying something like, He’ll do that by year two but come on. Who knows?
I would remind everybody that a month into Chad Morris’ tenure at Arkansas a lot fans and the media thought he would get things going in a hurry. How’d that work out? If you want a wild guess on Pittman…I’ll say three years minimum.
*The_Bionic_Pig wants to know: Should the fanbase continue to temper their upcoming season prognostications or venture into the realm of a possible bowl appearence?
I’m not in the business of telling fans what to think. I would point out again that while those of us in trhe media got accused of hyping Chad Morris before he ever coached a game, a lot of fans did that too. Right now I see that same reaction by some on social media with regard to Pittman. But if you’re asking me, an I assume you are. No I don’t see Arkansas going to a bowl game in 2020. But hey, surprise me Sam Pittman. I’d love to be wrong about that.
*Hawgphat is back with a similar question: What kind of progress do you think can REALISTICALLY be made in the first season of the new football era come next fall, Will the coaching changes afford our team a better grasp – (and EXECUTION) – of the basics, which has been very glaringly missing for the past two seasons?
The bar is not set very high is it? So I would expect to see a lot of improvement and a lot less embarrassment even if they don’t win as many games as some would like. Play hard. Don’t quit. Don’t look like you haven’t had a lick of coaching. That would be a good start.
*Kevin is back with this question about the media and press conferences: Why does the media let Bob Holt hijack press conferences with dumb questions, like he did the pre Indiana with coach musselman, asking about childhood memories, and will those memories come back to him this weekend?
In the old days before they started putting these press conferences on the Internet so everybody could watch nobody cared but those of us who were at these pressers. I can’t speak for the rest of the media but yes, that stuff drives me nuts. But I also undertsand why it happens. When Bob asks those questions it’s for a feature he’s writing. In the old days he would talk to Eddie Sutton or Nolan Richardson before or after a presser to get quotes for a feature. It’s harder to do that these days. But I wish Bob would try harder to work it out with the SID people. If I’m there looking for quotes on the Indiana game I’m not interested in sidebar features. But guess what? I don’t like that stuff during football games either. You know like when they cut to a sideline reporter who is telling us all about the time that the star quarterback was so shy when he was a kid that he could not speak in public and Wow, here is is today leading 10 other football players in front of 80 thousand fans an a TV audience of millions. It’s that amazing. Not it’s not amazing to me. I want to watch the game minus dopey in-game features. But everybody is not like me, so I will continue to endure Bob’s feature-type questions. I do have a remedy for games, though. I turn the sound down.
*Kevin is back a third time with a really good question: When Arkansas basketball teams & baseball team, play in Little Rock, why can they not at least stream the games. In this day and age, it is just ridiculous.
It’s not ridiculous if you understand why. Extra equipment would have to be installed or rented by the university to do thus for one game a season. Yes, they could do it. But truthfully in a one game a year centeral Arkansas apppearance they want fans AT THE GAME. Not sitting home watching on TV, Those games are important for recruiting and important to keep a Razorback presence in central Arkansas. The recent Arkansas Valo game is a good example. 15,500 fans were there. The atmosphere was electic. Streaming that game would have kept some of those fans at home. So for one game a year in basketball and baseball when they play 30 basketball games and 50 baseball games? Come on. Listen on the radio if you can’t make the game. I still like radio games.
*This guy says: Physically there was no comparison between the LSU and OU. OU gets the best players out of Texas, Do Texas high school players measure Up to what’s in southeastern high schools and if not should we keep making Texas a priority?
Where do I start with that? The best players in Texas go to a lot of schools. Not just OU. They’re going head to head with Texas & Texas A&M every year for starters, Plus this was one OU team and one LSU team. Hardly a long term sample. So yes, Arkansas should continue to recruit Texas hard.
*UnknownNobody asks: What are your thoughts on the hiring of Briles and Odom as Coordinators? I believe they are the best OC/DC pair we have had since Don Breaux and Monte Kiffin.
I will say this… if ever there was a Christmas gift to Hog football fans it would have the the announcment on Briles followed by the news that Rakeem Boyd was coming back. Now it’s hard for me to believe that Briles and Odom won’t be an improvement over Craddock and Chavis. How big? Well after the past few years I’ve learned to be cautious. I’m content to sit back and watch what those two do next fall. But I can’t fault the fans for being excited right now.
*BloodRedHog wants to know: Using your magic 8 ball, Mike, who is the QB starter next year? Is it KJ or a future transfer?
I used to have one of those 8 ball things as a kid. It was a lot of fun but not necessairly accrurate and my answer may not be either but peering into the magic 8 ball I’ll say it will be a grad transfer that starts at QB for Arkansas next year.
We will close with the big news of the day…
*Lanny asks: What does Arkansas big road win over Indiana say about the upcoming SEC schedule? How much better are things looking now than when the season started?
A whole lot better. Who could have prediced this? 11-1 with road wins at Georgia Tech and Indiana? The only loss in an overtime game at Western Kentucky? I think Eric Miusselman has proven that you don’t have to have a 6-9 forward (16, 1st half. 4, 2nd half) and a 6-11 center to win night in and night out. That’s what the Hogs overcame. A 250 pound bruiser at center and a McDonalds’ All American at the forward spot. Winning in the SEC is all about winning your home games and going .500 on the road. I don’t know if this team can pull that off But I’m not prepared to say they can’t.
That’s it for this week. Go to Hogville dot net and post your questions for next weeks online and on air versions of Ask Mike.