I am against UA playing instate schools. I lived in Oklahoma for 6 years. There were so many antiOU fans. OU was seen as bigger brother picking on little brother. It costs them recruits, fans and money. Of course, they have overcome it. But Switzer, then coach, once complained, “We never should have let them (Oklahoma State) in the conference.”
Like it or not, it’s coming. And there is a strong coordinated media effort behind it. Whether it’s Arkansas sports writers, radio hosts, or whoever. They want it badly. They want the controversy. They want the division it brings. To them that’s more important than whether it helps or hurts the Razorback program. It helps them.
Many people who have a financial interest in the Razorback program such as myself aren’t interested in satisfying the desires of those who don’t.
For the life of me, I have no idea how playing Arkansas State, UCA, and UAPB will help Arkansas compete better in the SEC. But, it appears now that our new AD, Hunter Yurachek is in charge, this is the direction we are headed.
There are people who would rather see Arkansas play ASU, UCA, and UAPB instead of someone like Oregon, Notre Dame, or some other P5 school. And don’t think that’s an exaggeration. It isn’t. Those that deny that aren’t being truthful.
When the decision is made that the interests of instate competition exceed that of national pursuit of excellence then I will strongly reevaluate my own personal financial involvement in the program.
Has Yurackek made statements making you think he is in favor of this? I haven’t seen anything but of course I am in Dallas and don’t see a lot of coverage down here.
While living outside the state for many years, I really have no dog in this fight. Yet, it always amazes me how others and often times the local sports media call for the Razorbacks to play in-state schools.
Many moons ago, I played ball at Okie State. My claim to fame was an early knee injury and exit, but the OU and OSU rivalry always had my attention. When going to Norman, players were spat upon and called all kinds of nasty. When OU came to Stillwater, it was pretty much the same way. God only knows what goes on in Alabama, on a year round basis. I get the media’s interest, but why would anyone else in their right mind promote such a divisive, in-state scenario?
More importantly, though ASU and other fans may disagree, the Razorbacks have absolutely no benefit to be gained from scheduling in-state schools. None. The University of Arkansas, as with only a few other programs in the country, has a devoted and united fan base. Additionally, we still have the benefit of pulling for ASU, UALR and the others.
From everything said and written, before coming to Arkansas, Frank Broyles felt the Razorbacks to be rare and unique opportunity as both a coach and program. In my opinion, Broyles was right.
I’m also opposed to playing instate schools. Frank Broyles understand and I agree that playing instate schools leads to divided loyalties. Now near 100% of sport fans in Arkansas support the Razorback including those that also support their team at other instate schools. Do Razorback fans really want to lose a third of that support?
Wally Hall and those of his ilk are stirring this issue hard. Trying to make it sound like the BOT are “smart and aggressive”. In reality, the BOT involvement in Razorback matters since late last fall has been micro-managing a weak chancellor and now moving to micro-managing a brand new AD, who probably isn’t sure who his boss is, with the scheduling of in-state baseball games. Thank goodness Arkie Lite isn’t part of the “system” or they would be moving on the schedule now. I speculate the real motivation for all this stirring is to bring another Razorback game to WMS in the years they are not committed to play Mizzou there. LR and state gov’t aren’t going to pay the bill for upgrading WMS to meet SEC standards. They have resisted in the past, but now they have a template in front of them as to what the requirements are. Just my opinion.
Wally’s column today is simply another attempt to further the Arkansas media’s desire for instate competition. Whether it be the Buzz, the ADG, Bo Mattingly, Jonesboro print media, or whoever. All of these folks have a desire to see this happen to create controversy, which they feel would benefit themselves. They would rather see instate competition rather than Arkansas vs. anyone else. Then the talk 24/7 and 365 can be “ who is the best team in the state?”, and who cares if UA is last in the SEC.
None of these folks are interested in what is best for the U of A.
Quite honestly, it’s not their job to want what’s best for the U of A; it’s their job to report the news. Some of them are supposed to pontificate on that news, the majority of which seem to support in-state play undoubtedly because it would make for a good story, which any journalist desires. Personally, I’m split on the issue; I certainly see the good it can do, but as a Hog fan, I’d just as soon not have to sit through a game like the NIT contest vs. A-State, praying Nolan and the boys could find a way to pull it out.