Photographs by Flip Putthoff
Jeff Long, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, athletic director, answers questions Wednesday Sept. 6 2017 at the NWA Touchdown Club.
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Whatever plans Athletic Director Jeff Long has to improve the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville football program doesn't include him playing receiver.
As the Razorbacks warmed up for their SEC game with LSU at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Long, in slacks, white shirt and red tie, ran a pass route, fighting off a defender before heading for the end zone.
Long, an athlete growing up, might say the pass was long, others might say he didn't get there.
He had decent wheels and athleticism but not enough for the SEC.
Only the LSU folks know how they feel about him deciding to do that on their field instead of his own.
Long spent the first two series watching the game from the sidelines before going upstairs to the visiting AD's suite with a few of his assistants in tow.
When Arkansas scored its only touchdown with 16 seconds to play in the first half the Razorbacks were able to go into intermission tied at 7-7.
The stats were pretty even: both teams had eight first downs, LSU 135 yards and Arkansas 132. Some might have thought it was going to be a heckuva second half.
The media who cover LSU mostly walked around the press box with a small smile. They have seen it before.
The Arkansas media have seen it before, too, but from a different perspective, like the one that played out almost immediately in the second half.
LSU scored on its first three possessions after turning the tempo up on the Hogs and the game was over.
The hero in the wins over Ole Miss and Coastal Carolina, T.J. Hammonds, was back on the sidelines with just three carries and maybe the sophomore just needs to change his number from 6 to a question mark.
Not that he was going to win the game last Saturday. That was decided by speed. Speed of the game and speed of the players. LSU was in deep control of both.
Arkansas continues to sit alone in the cellar of the SEC West standings with a 1-5 conference record. Ole Miss, with an interim coach, has won two league games.
Before the day was over the SEC had lost the debate on whether it deserved two teams in the College Football Playoff. Auburn knocked No. 1 Georgia out of the ranks of the undefeated and onto its butt, 40-17, to make the SEC West 10-2 against the East this season.
South Carolina beat Florida and before the sun set on Knoxville on Sunday head coach Butch Jones finally got himself out of the No. 1 spot on the coacheshotseat.com. He got fired.
It was thought that the Vols' brass would wait until the end of the season, but it looks now like it wanted to get a jump on finding a replacement because there is about to be a nationwide race to find head coaches. Florida is already open and it appears Nebraska, Illinois, Texas A&M, Kansas, Arizona State, UCLA, Ole Miss and Arkansas might be searching for new leaders.
The list of potential replacements seems to start with Chip Kelly, who had great success at Oregon and almost none in the NFL. Of course, Jon Gruden will be mentioned because of the color tie he wore last night.
There are three hot names who all come from the American Athletic Conference with UCF's Scott Frost on top. He's 9-0 this season. Next would be Memphis' Mike Norvell, who is 8-1 this year and a former University of Central Arkansas player. SMU's Chad Morris will be a strong candidate -- especially at Texas A&M -- because he appears to be the next Art Briles with more discipline. He's a former state champion high school coach in Texas, too.
There are more names, coaches from Troy, Texas-San Antonio and other places will be in play, as well as some top assistants, so this story is just the beginning.
Sports on 11/14/2017
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