Arkansas moved quickly in Bobby Petrino, but I don't think the process in replacing him will go as quick. Athletic Director Jeff Long will never have more pressure on him to make the right hire. Everything is on the line for the Razorbacks who are gaining momentum and don't want to lose it. You can get in the slow lane real quick in the SEC (just ask Tennessee and Florida). What are Jeff Longs options? Everyone has an opinion and maybe the safe bet is to go with an interim coach and get in the mix for a big name next year. Its highly unlikely a top name would leave a school in April. Remember the Ohio St.scenario? The Buckeyes went the interim route and that didn't help them much in the season as they floundered;however,in the off season they did land the biggest fish out there in Urban Meyer (more on him in a minute). That doesn't sound very appealing to Hogs fans who think they can play for it all this year. Option number two would be to go get Gus Malzahn. He is at a place where leaving in April for a top job would not surprise anyone.He was the leading candidate for North Carolina before his wifes comments about Auburn went viral. The other choice would be hire Garrick McGee from UAB where he just got the job after spending several years at Arkansas. McGee would seem like an easy fit considering he has worked with the entire staff, run the offense to some extent and knows the athletic director real well. He would also be another minority hire in the SEC and is a highly thought of assistant coach. Acts rankings of who may likely be the next coach atArkansas1.Garrick McGee-UAB2.Taver Johnson as the interim3.Gus Malzahn-Arkansas State More Coaching Stuff received several calls this week to comment on the Urban Meyer story in the Sporting News. Let me first say Matt Hayes is one of the best in the business and would not write anything if he didn't have concrete sources. It was however a one sided portrayal of they way Urban ran his program and did not include any interviews with players like a Maurkice Pouncey. I think Meyer was like a hired gun and got the most out of Florida in a very short time. The pace at which he worked and the style he fostered nearly killed him and drove him out of coaching. For his sake, you hope he learned from the past. He did not break the rules and protected his players and certainly the committed ones. It is also fact he left a mess behind that Will Muschamp has to clean up. I believe Jeremy Foley, Florida's Athletic Director knew this better than anyone which is why he isn't panicking after a 7-6season. This will not be a situation like the dismissal of Ron Zook, where he lasted less than three years.I have talked to several college coaches and they said the biggest issue they had with the story was the part which referenced Urban Meyers comments about Florida to a recruit. To tell a kid that you would not let him into the locker room you recruited and a school where you won two titles is not look at favorably in the profession. The player was Stefon Diggs who ended up signing with Maryland and not Florida or Ohio State. One thing is for sure, the court of public opinion has served notice in the Gator nation and Meyers titles will be loved especially for Tim Tebow, but the coach will not be beloved.Biggest weekend of the year with Spring Games SEC SCHOOLS: South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn,Vanderbilt.ACC SCHOOLS: Miami, Virginia, North Carolina, FSU , Clemson.
Handicapping the Razorback job
April 13, 2012, 2:30 am