It is time once again for our weekly “Ask Mike” segment where you get a chance to ask veteran Razorback reporter Mike Irwin your questions about Arkansas Athletics.
Our first question this week comes from Piglet who wants to know: What is the minimum we need to do in the remaining 7 games to promote a positive feeling the team is improving and the program is on the right track?
1. Beat Kentucky this week.
2. Beat Western Kentucky on November 9th.
3. Play Mississippi State and Missouri close.
4. That’s the minimum for positive feed back.
5. However, Chad Morris is not going to be fired if each of those things don’t happen.
IceColdMintJulep says: We should have a full contingent of WR’s, relatively normal O-line and maybe De’Vion Warren. With 5 games of practice and rest seems like it would net a very comfortable victory over a struggling, overrated Kentucky. Would you agree?
1. Not sure Kentucky is overrated. They’re not very good and most seem to know it.
2. The rest and healing will help but both teams had an open date last week.
3. The words “very comfortable victory” don’t seem to fit Arkansas program right now.
4. Most would settle for a win.
PorkSoda asks: Is there any comparison with what Mark Stoops has done at Kentucky and what Morris is faced with here at Arkansas?
2. Both went 2-10 in year one with a strugging SEC program.
3. Stoops went 5-7 in year two. That would progress for Morris.
4. It took six years but in 2018 Kentucky won 10 games under Stoops.
5. Rather than a comparison…. I would say that’s a lesson in the patience it sometimes take to turn a program around.
HogCzar1 is curious: What’s the latest on Jalen Catalon?
1. Looks like he’s going to play this week.
2. Ron Cooper……his position coach…. said last week that they’ve got to get him on the field.
3. John Chavis said today that Catalon is a playmaker, with a nose for the ball. Needs to play.
4. They will continue to get him ready this week.
Hogfan870 wants to know: Why don’t we hear the media asking the coaches more questions about how they are preparing the team. Do the media members not recognize that this staff has repeatedly done a very poor job preparing the team? Are they scared or embarrassed to ask them?
1. Yes. We are both scared and embarrassed.
2. Feel Better?
3. The truth is we do ask those questions.
4. We don’t ask them in a challenging or insulting manner because we are not fans.
6. Also Chad Morris has adressed the game prep issue several times. Especially after San Jose State and he didn’t have to be asked.
7. I don’t agree with the blanket statement that the coaches have repeatedly done a very poor job of preparing the team.
8. They did a poor job the week of the San Jose State game.
9. They did a very good job the week of the A&M game.
10. It’s not just coaching.
11. Coaches can bust their butts prepping players for a game and those players can still overlook an opponent.
12. I’ve seen it more times than I can count over the years.
gmarv asks: With the way Ben Hicks played in the A&M game do you think that Starkel’s lease is a little shorter than it was before ?
2. But the real way to look at that situation is that this team now has two quarterbacks that can move the chains and that’s a huge plus.
3. To me the coaches are willing to live with Starkel’s mistakes as long as they feel he’s making progress because his celing is higher.
4. Been a while…. before this season…. since he started.
5. Still learning this offense.
6. Joe Craddock made that point again today.
7. Got him next year.
8. The more he plays this year, the better he is next year.
jbcarol asks: Hey Mike, is there a good chance this Arkansas – Kentucky game will live up to some of the classic matchups over the last 25 years?
1. I guess that depends on what your definition of a classic is.
2. This could be a close game. A back and forth battle.
3. But around the SEC and with most Razorback fans I have to believe…considering the struggles of both teams….this would not go down as a classic.
4. However it could go down as the game when Chad Morris and his staff turned the corner at Arkansas.
5. Or the opposite of that could end up being true.
SemperFi says: Saw John Chavis up in the booth during the A&M game; is this a permanent move? If it is permanent what are Chief’s thoughts on being up in the booth?
1. I asked Chief that question today.
2. He said he’ll be back in the booth for Kentucky.
3. Said he can do it either way.
4. But Chad Morris definitely likes Chavis in the booth. 5. Morris also likes have Steve Caldwell…..the D-Ends coach….down on the field with his players.
HogCzar1 asks: Mike, do you think Kentucky is the most important game of the season? Based on the “feel better” effort vs. A&M, don’t we need to capitalize on that with a W vs. UK?
1. It’s the biggest game this team has played since Chad Morris got here.
2. They are in a position to win a game like this.
3. They need to go out and do it.
PorkSoda is back with this question: What are your thoughts on the new California legislation allowing players to receive payment for their name and likeness?
1. A lot of former players are speaking out and are for it because they don’t realize things have changed over the last few years.
2. The new cost of attendance scholarships put spending money in the pockets of athletes each month.
3. Makes a scholarship like a partime job but much, much better.
4. Players are getting paid. Not huge money but
5. This California nonsense would turn college football into minor league football. A pro sport.
6. I suppose a compromise could come about to allow money from a players likeness to be held in escrow until his/her eligibity is up.
7. But let’s get serious, How is a backup left tackle gonna get money off his likeness?
9. So if you have a school making money off selling T-shirts featuring the image of a popular player like the QB, you gonna let him clean up while his teammates get nothing?
10. So if this actually happens….which I doubt….it would be more likely to put that money into a fund that is shared by every player on the team..or maybe all athletes in all sports…. after their eligibility is up.
PorkSoda is back again to ask: Do you think that the coaches are doing a better job at 2nd half adjustment this year? The Hogs have outscored opponents in the 3rd Qtr 24-17 compared to 64-85 in the first half. Or do you think its just a matter of the hogs starting slow?
1.We’d have to be in that locker-room at halftime to know the adjustments they’re making and how well those adjustments work.
2. But whatever it is….. causing better 2nd half play…. it’s one of the positives to me that shows progress with the program.
Okay we have a couple of basketball questions.
Kevin asks: With the return to Barnhill, last Saturday, what is your favorite Barnhill memory, or memories?
1. There would be two.
2. Big O blocking a Shaq dunk attempt in the final Barnhill game.
3. Jim Robkin blowing the lid off the noise meter when he reeled in that inflatable Shark just before the start of the Arkansas-UNLV game.
4. Even the late Tark the Shark thought that was awesome.
Dr. Starcs wants to know: How successful do you think Eric Musselman will be at Arkansas? What are you impressed with? What are your biggest concerns?
1. With the way he’s recruiting I think he’s gonna have Bud Walton full again.
2. Very impressed with his attention to detail.
3. There were a lot of turnovers in the RED/White game.
4. Low scoring game but a lot of that was defense.
5. They’ve got some shooters. Hopefully we won’t see guys who can’t shoot trying it anyway.
6. The inside game is a concern because of a lack of size.
7. Very impressed with Reggie Chaney.
8. Showed some post moves that we didn’t see from Gafford last year.
9. There’s an ex NBA coach on the staff working with him.
10. Chaney has developed a jump shot around the basket.
11. Played good defense and ran the break well.
12. It will be tougher to do battle inside in SEC games but he may surprise us.
That’s it for this week’s Ask Mike, Next Monday maybe we’ll have some questions about Chad Morris’ first SEC win. See Ya.