To quote from "Another Park, Another Sunday," a song by those bards of the 1970s known as The Doobie Brothers, "Just when you think you got a good thing, it seems to slip away." That line should become the official slogan of the Razorbacks.
Think about it: Last season, the Hogs raced out to a 10-1 record, put themselves in the national championship picture and then lost their final three games in heartbreaking fashion. Against Alabama this year, they stormed back from deficits of 21-0 and 31-10 to take a 38-31 lead. Just when you thought they were going to pull the game out, the Crimson Tide scored 10 unanswered points to snatch away a victory.
One week later against Kentucky, Arkansas used a safety and an 82-yard kickoff return by Felix Jones to take a 29-21 fourth-quarter lead. The Wildcats then proceeded to peel off 13 straight points to leave Fayetteville with 42-29 win. And last night, after the Razorbacks had finally put together a halfway decent drive to take a 7-6 lead with 1:36 remaining, many Hog fans, knowing that LSU had lost just hours earlier, undoubtedly were beginning to think that maybe, possibly this season still had some daylight. No one needs to be reminded what happened next.
And speaking of things slipping away, one has to believe that last night's loss assured that Houston Nutt will not be returning to Fayetteville next season. I've never been wildly pro- or anti-Houston, but it's pretty clear that a divorce would be best for all at this point.
Listening yesterday to Atlanta sports talk radio and to last night's telecast of the game, I was struck by how some broadcasters are painting Nutt's spot on the hot seat as unreasonable and unjustified, the result of a bunch of ungrateful yahoos. Certainly, the FOI request and the banners have given people ammunition to paint Hog fans as crazed and over-the-top, and there is an uncomfortable venom in the air when many of them talk about Nutt and the team.
But the facts are the facts: Before last year, Arkansas had two straight losing seasons, and the Hogs appear well on their way to another one. At almost any SEC school not named Vanderbilt, that puts the head coach in serious jeopardy.
There are many things about the Houston Nutt era that I will remember fondly, but to quote another (and much better) rock musician, "All things must pass, all things must pass away."