If a committee really does the hiring

…I wonder if they will again look for someone with Arkansas ties. I don’t recall if that was actually a stated characteristic they looked for the last time they had a hiring committee for a coach, but the two finalists were both from Arkansas: Tuberville and Nutt.

If, and its a huge if, but if they go that route again…there are three strong candidates with Arkansas ties…if not by birth then by the college they attended.

Of course, I’m talking about Malzahn, Norvell, and Charlie Strong.

I have never been a huge fan of Gus. I know alot of folks in Northwest Arkansas that don’t care for him. But no one that I know claims him to be a cheater or a total jerk. Its just the Nutt/Malzahn/Mustain drama that soured me on Gus. And his band of zealots. As I have said on this board, Houston’s dad, Houston Sr., was a great man that treated me and my best friend super-well as kids (my friend’s sister is deaf). I was always probably partial to Houston Jr. due to that, and fell on that side of the Malzahn/Nutt drama. Anyway…I can get past the old drama. I actually like his brand of football. Lots is old single wing principles mixed in with the spread. Power runs, a new take on the the spinner series even shows up, along with sophisticated passing concepts. His defenses have played well too…though that’s partially the Auburn tradition.

I personally will be shocked if Gus actually leaves Auburn…but if he does…come here. He certainly understands Arkansas, the tradition, the recruiting base. Does his old Springdale posse recreate drama? That’s my biggest worry.

I don’t know Norvell very well. I do know he attended my alma mater UCA. He is from Texas…so I assume he has some recruiting ties down there. Not a bad hire…but he hasn’t proven much yet. One great season. But it has been a great season. He’s the young hotshot candidate for sure.

One name I don’t hear much is someone that I think should be a really “strong” candidate. (Sorry~couldn’t resist). Charlie Strong.

One of the great defensive minds ever. Very fine man. From Batesville. Played at UCA…when I was there actually. He was very successful building Louisville back up after inheriting a Petrino dumpster fire (sound familiar?). I don’t hold Texas against him. That’s become an almost impossible situation down there. He goes to South Florida and is completely kicking butt. His coaching tree is MOST impressive:

Steve Spurrier: Florida (1991–1994)
Lou Holtz: Notre Dame (1995–1996), South Carolina (1999–2002)
Urban Meyer: Florida (2005–2009)

Not sure why he’s not being mentioned. Maybe its because he’s not known for offense? Ah. Arkansas fan’s being enamored with offense. Anyway…I think Strong should be very strongly considered. Huge Arkansas ties…he’s a native like Gus…coached in Texas and has recruiting ties…and he’s a very strong character man. And he has won. Does it the right way too.

Three guys with Arkansas ties. Hopefully one of the three will be the pick.

Of course, I admit I have held onto hope that Bret could be given one more year. But I knew when that 4th down gamble went south he had just literally gambled that chance away. So…onward. Bret will land on his feet. I hope our fans treat with with great respect on the way out. He cleaned up a total mess and his successor will be the beneficiary.

Have I left any other folks with Arkansas ties out?