It's been festering for months. People across the state of Arkansas - nay, the entire nation - have been feverishly debating it. Families are being torn apart over it, and yet we may never know the full truth.
The question: did Troy coach Larry Blakeney tell an AM radio host in Opp, AL last summer that his Trojans would beat the Hogs, or did he not?
The initial report came from college football analyst Phil Steele, when he reported on August 14 that Robert Boothe of WOPP 1290 AM had told him that Blakeney had predicted a victory. Here's the full quote (and here's the link to Steele's site):
"I did a show on Monday in Alabama with Robert Booth. Robert said that last week he met with coach Larry Blakeney of Troy and that coach Blakeney told him they WILL beat Arkansas this year! He also said that in all the years that he had talked with the coach over the summer, it was the first time he had told him of a projected upset like that."
But, now that the actual game is upon us, Blakeney is vehemently denying the story, saying:
"It’s a cold-faced, bold-faced lie. I would never do that and never have done that, ever. I told the people on (the Sun Belt teleconference) to let me be the first to call this gentleman (Boothe) a liar on the air. I’m not going to dwell on it, but that’s not true.”
For his part, Boothe is now backing off the story:
"I did not hear him say it, so it is hearsay. I'm sorry Phil thought I heard him say it. I said he was apparently pleased with his team."
So, that's that. Or is it? Our favorite scribe, Wally Hall, seems to think something fishy is going on:
"This is the week Troy Coach Larry Blakeney for the first time has decided to claim he was misquoted last August when, according to Robert Boothe, a radio show host on WOPPAM, 1290, he said Troy would beat Arkansas. Blakeney waited three months to call Boothe a liar."
It certainly wouldn't be the first time a coach or player has said something they probably shouldn't have and then denied it later. And the timing of the denial is a bit odd. Perhaps Bobby Petrino has the best perspective on the subject, saying:
"He was misquoted? We’re going to use it anyway. How’s that sound?”
What do you guys think? Will this mystery ever be solved? And how will it affect the outcome of Saturday's game?