• Nothing says off-season like a good old-fashioned ranking of coaches. Mark Bradley of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently weighed in with his list of the Top 10 college football coaches, which was quickly followed by his ranking of Nos. 11-15. The latter list will be of particular interest to Hog fans, as Bobby Petrino, or "Benedict Arnold" as Bradley refers to him, comes in at No. 15.
Here's what Bradley had to say, "Here’s where you throw the shoe. I know he ran out on the Falcons, but he’s one of the smartest coaches on any level. I mean, he nearly played for a BCS title with Louisville. Sorry to disillusion you, but [not] every good coach is a nice guy."
And look who sits at No. 14, none other than Houston Dale Nutt himself. Here's Bradley on the champion texter: "Were I a coach with demonstrably better personnel, Nutt’s the last guy I’d want to play. He’s the best upset guy out there, and he’s creative with personnel. This whole NFL Wildcat stuff came from Nutt’s deployment of Darren McFadden." Surely Razorback fans will find nothing to quibble with in those statements.
• Speaking of Petrino, it's long been obvious he's no favorite of the media. And while the intensity of the dislike may seem a little over-the-top at times, it's understandable that Bobby is not high on the press' buddy list: He's certainly not going to be confused with a Dale Carnegie enthusiast.
Still, Gainesville Sun columnist Pat Dooley gave Petrino's Media Day performance a very strong grade (thanks to AS360 for the link). Specifically, he gave it an A- (only Rich Brooks got a higher grade). Said Dooley about Petrino: "Totally different guy than a year ago. Very confident."
And check out his review of Auburn coach Gene Chizik's turn at the mike: "I feel bad for the Auburn writers. He has the personality of a used napkin."
(BTW - I can't believe I just spent several minutes writing about a columnist's grades of Media Day appearances! The season cannot come soon enough.)
• The university released the men's basketball schedule yesterday. The highights of the non-conference schedule include a Nov. 17 game against Louisville in St. Louis, a Dec. 2 game against Oklahoma in Norman, a Dec. 30 match-up against Baylor in North Little Rock and Texas' Jan. 5 visit to Bud Walton. Pelphrey's already working up some suspensions as we speak.
• And before I go, I thought you might enjoy this blast from the past that I came across while digging through the Sports Illustrated archive. It's a Nov. 8, 1965, cover story on the rising Arkansas football program. Sample quote:
"There is a special kind of hysteria in Arkansas now. It is the kind that comes only with a winning college football team. It dabs small, rosy blotches of pride on the cheeks of everyone. And it spreads like measles. It happened in Oklahoma with Bud Wilkinson, in Iowa with Forest Evashevski, in Mississippi with Johnny Vaught, in Texas with Darrell Royal and in Alabama with Bear Bryant. A man comes along—the right man at the right time—to organize things, rally the people, put fire in the athletes, build a winning tradition, and, suddenly, there is an empire. Arkansas is the newest, and those old familiar cries—'Boomer, Sooner,' 'Hook 'em Horns' and 'Roll, Tide'—are being drowned out by a curious new one: 'Whoooo, pig, sooey.' And Coach Frank Broyles—you will simply have to forgive this—is the sooey with the fringe on top."
Enjoyable stuff. A copy of the cover is below.