Tahlequah Daily Press

College Sports

November 30, 2012

Arkansas coaching search gets weird

(Continued)

1.) Speaking of John L Smith...

The search for his replacement sure got weird this week. At what point, in eight months of college football hell, did Jeff Long finally lose his mind? Les Miles? Les freaking Miles?

Look, I’m thrilled to know that the Hogs are ready to pony up excessively for a coach. Contrary to the abundance of ignorant misconceptions — ahem, Clay Travis — I am aware that Arkansas is not the only athletic department in the country with a handsome budget. Still, regardless of how many other schools claim a small army of wealthy boosters, Arkansas’ commitment to spending on sports — particularly football — coupled with access to seemingly infinite monetary resources, is matched by no more than a handful of its peers.

When Long & Co. offered — allegedly, of course — Les Miles a 5-year, $27-million contract, they shed clarity on two facts. 1.) Arkansas will not be outbid. 2.) The Arkansas administration has no plan whatsoever.

Miles is 85-20 as the head coach at LSU; an impressive record to be sure. It doesn’t matter. No red-blooded Arkansas fan wants the Mad Hatter eating field turf inside of Razorback Stadium. Not one. The guy is a clown. Watching him match wits with Houston Nutt was epic buffoonery.

Fortunately for Les, it doesn’t take a genius to win 80 percent of your games in Baton Rouge, La. Arkansas is not the same gig. It’s more Oklahoma State than LSU. The Hatter’s winning percentage in Stillwater? .571.

Would Long have offered Nutt $5 million per year to return to Arkansas? I only ask because Donna Bragg’s boyfriend won 61 percent of his games in Fayetteville.

I’ll put it this way: When Miles’ offer was leaked on Monday, Razorback Nation was collectively pleading with LSU to take the bait and offer up an extension. Meanwhile, Tiger fans were indifferent to his supposed impending departure. Miles-to-Arkansas would have resulted in a very Morgantown, W.V., post-game celebration-type of scene across the Natural State — minus the celebrating, of course.

I made the assumption that, following the train wreck that was the JLS-era, Long would err on the side of meticulous with this hire. Instead he just looks like the drunk, rich guy at the bar around closing time, backing up a dump truck of cash to the first female that looks in his direction. The end result, as is always the end result in said scenario, was nothing more than comedic production for those looking on. The Hogs paid Miles’ tab, while he left out the side door.

Predictable. And pathetic

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