Thursday, December 6, 2007

The hogs are being called, but them pigs ain't a-commin'

Hmm, what can we talk about today? How 'bout them Hawgs? Yeah, the University of Arkansas is just having all kinds of fun and adventure searching for a new coach to replace the fired departed Houston Nutt. It has turned into a bit of a three-ring circus, really, and people are beginning to talk.

First there was Tommy Tubberville, then there wasn't. Then, there was Tommy Bowden, and then there wasn't. Then, there was Jim Grobe, and then there wasn't. If this is beginning to sound like one of the "begats" from the Bible to you, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone.

There are post-mortems aplenty but let's look at what Razorback Expats has to say about the abortive Grobe hire:

1. Negotiations hit an impasse when the Razorback Foundation wouldn’t give him a cell phone plan with unlimited text messaging.

2. Was promised that his name would be displayed on banners all over the state…then he found out what that meant.

3. Beck Campbell wouldn’t sign off on the hire until Grobe could talk Pete Carroll into guaranteeing playing time for her Mitchy.

4. Read some Razorback message boards and realized that, by taking the job, he was denying Jimmy Johnson the opportunity to come home and fulfill his lifelong dream. Being a noble guy, Grobe didn’t want to stand in the way.

5. Learned about the unbreakable voodoo curse that Houston Nutt put on the program before leaving…like Davis, Tuberville, Bowden, Fisher and countless others, he didn’t want to deal with that.

I think the real reason is #5. Houston Nutt is just the kind of guy who would have left a Zuni Fetish Doll around to wreak murder and mayhem on the next head coach. Fear the doll. Oh yes, I'm afraid we must do video:

Well, I'm sure you get the idea. Better tell Nutt to come back and get his lil' friend, Razorback fans.

Bill Maloney at Fanhouse says the ACC coaches are just using Arkansas to get themselves raises:
Tommy Bowden almost said yes...only to stay at Clemson with the predictable contract extension. Still coachless, it appears the next thought was "if you can't have Tommy Bowden, how about hiring a coaching who actually won the ACC." Enter Jim Grobe. The Wake Forest coach seemed like the better fit. Grobe is a guy who has won at schools with limited resources. His ground-based scheme would work with the talent Houston Nutt left behind. He was ready to take the next step. Yet, you know how the story ends. Grobe left Arkansas at the alter and is staying at Wake Forest. No immediate announcement on a contract extension but I would guess that part of Wake's plea for him to stay included future compensation.
Heh. Not just the ACC, Bill. Tuberville got one too, and he is an SEC coach. In fact, some might say that Tubby almost overplayed his hand. Almost. Kevin Donahue at Fanblogs says that the Hawg fans are getting a little karmic payback:

It bears repeating that the way Nutt was... basically abused... by the Razorbacks fan base poisoned the pool at Arkansas.

If you're going to have fans digging through your personal life, blasting you in the media, booing you at public appearances, and running banners calling for you to be fired during games -- all while your team is winning -- then why would any coach in their right mind willingly step into that environment?

The Arkansas fans are reaping what they sowed and until they own up to that... it may be a long couple of years for the Hogs.

Ouch. I seem to remember another school (who shall remain nameless), somewhere east and south of Fayetteville, who had a rather interesting coaching search last year. Some were suggesting the very same thing. The difference is, that school would seem to have much deeper pockets.

The Hawg Blawg is starting to wonder if Sesame Street characters might be up to a stint of SEC coaching:
So, Grobe isn’t coming. I think we’ll end up hiring Big Bird before this is all over.
You think he'd take the job? Well, if Big Bird can't reach a deal, you can always consider Karl Dorrell or Chan Gailey. They've been almost as successful as Tommy Bowden.

But of course you remember that Arkansas is rather famous for difficult coaching searches, as TipsterHog reminds us. Still, this is bound to be a bit frustrating to Razorback fans, as I'm sure they figured to have a fish in the boat by now (well, Grobe technically made it to the boat, but he jumped back in).

Look at the bright side, Hawg fans. The basketball search turned out all right, despite some ... uh ... adventurous moments. This one will probably be fine also.