Hogs vs Bearcats Post Mortem, CFB’s 12 Team Playoff Expansion & Mike’s Sugar Bowl Brain Freeze

By Mike Irwin
on 2022-09-05 19:41 PM

Q. Our first question is from mousetown who wants to know: Were you surprised that the offensive line had trouble at times with Cincinnati’s defensive line? That was pretty much an even battle. I thought we’d push them around more.

A. Like a lot of Hog fans, you’re not giving enough credit to Cincinnati’s defense. Those guys were physical and they battled. But Arkansas’ rushing numbers were very good, 224 yards on the ground at 5 yards a carry.
The Bearcats went after K.J. Jefferson. Tried to force him to run on passes. Still his numbers were good too. Completed 70% of his passes for 223 yards and 3 touchdowns. Plus Arkansas gave up just two sacks and Cincinnati had no quarterback hurries against him.

By comparison Cincy’s quarterback was sacked three times and there were 4 quarterback hurries by Arkansas defense.

You don’t put up numbers like that behind a bad offensive line.

Q. s-giles says: In the buildup to Saturday’s game you listed trey knox as one of the question marks. I guess he answered your questions.

A. He did. He had a terrific game catching the ball and honestly I said I didn’t have any worries about him as a pass catcher. To me the most impressive thing was that he gained all that weight and it didn’t slow him down. He’s got to be one of the fastest tight ends in college football.

What I worried about was his blocking. By all accounts he did a good job but he did have a critical holding call go against him. It’s a lot different blocking defensive ends as opposed to defensive backs.

I was also concerned about a lack of depth at that position. Knox played a lot, which I’m sure he liked, but he needs another guy in the rotation.

Slobberslob says: Great game, glad we won but their receivers were getting behind our secondary and wide open a LOT. Were there receivers that fast or does our secondary needed a lot of work?

A. Arkansas played mostly man coverage and when Miles Slusher and Jalen Catalon went down with injuries it caused some issues. We’re not sure of their availability this week but defensive coordinator Barry Odom will adjust if they don’t play. Might go with more zone coverage but give credit to Cincinnati. They took advantage of that situation. I think they also made some halftime adjustments. Ben Bryant, their quarterback, threw the ball a lot better in the second half.

Q. AlabamaHog with a similar question. He asks: Do you think secondary play will improve enough to hold South Carolina’s quarterback at bay?

A. It’s going to be interesting to compare South Carolina with Cincinnati. My instincts tell me that Cincinnati is a better team with a better quarterback. Spencer Rattler had a QB rating of just 28.6 against Georgia State. Two picks. One TD. Again it would help a lot if Catalon and Slusher are on the field for that game.

Q. Razorboo asks: Now that we beat a good Cincinnati team what are the areas you see that we need to improve for the SC game?

A. Coaches always say a team needs to improve every week but I didn’t see a lot of bad stuff from Arkansas. Most of the problems were created by Cincinnati. Arkansas didn’t shoot itself in the foot a lot. Cincinnati did.

Cut down on penalties. That’s one thing that does need to improve and punt the ball better.

Q. Hogapalooza wants to know: Is it just me or does it seem like R. Sanders doesn’t like a lot of contact? I actually thought Green and the true freshman did a better job of getting to the line and getting up field.

A. Sanders rushed for 117 yards. Averaged six yards a carry. I thought he had a good game. I do agree that Rashod Dubinion had an impressive debut and don’t forget that Dominique Johnson might be back this week and he’s a power back with surprising speed.
What I would say is that Arkansas is loaded with quality backs. Jimmy Smith has a great room to work with.

Q. H Mcamish says: The college football playoff committee has finally approved a 12 team field for the national championship. When does it start and how will the extra teams be picked?

A. It could start as early as the 2024 season.

The six highest ranked conference champions will get automatic bids.

The final six teams will be picked by the playoff committee.

The top four conference champions will get a bye in the first round.

The other eight will play a seeded format in the first round with the better seeded team in each game playing at home.

The quarterfinal round will be incorporated into the current bowl system and played at four bowl sites.

The semi final round will also be at a bowl site and will feature the game one semifinal winner vs game four winner
and the game two winner vs the game three winner.

The championship game will continue to be played at a rotating site.

It will take four weeks to complete.

Q. Bacons Rebellion wants to know: Did the ESPN contract slip in some extra seconds for certain commercial breaks this year? Watching on TV, you have that biological clock running and there seemed to be one extra spot.

A. Seemed like more than that to me. With all the money that’s going to the various conferences, get used to it because the TV people need to make money and a lot of it because it’s costing them a lot. Three hour games become four hour games. Every time there’s a change of possession, expect four or five minutes of commercials. Any way they can slip a commercial break in they’ll do it.

Q. parallaxpig says: Follow-up to last week’s discussion on the U of A building some type of multi-story parking deck with grass top for tailgating. The U of A already has a large tree covered area. It’s called the Old Main lawn. It would be a great place to tailgate. Why do you think the school administration is opposed to that?

A. I don’t know that they are. SEC’s Game Day show on Saturday morning was held on the lawn in front of Old Main and a lot of fans were tailgating there. However the lawn at Old Main, while it’s large enough to create a Grove type experience, there is not enough parking on that side of campus to accommodate a large number of fans and it’s too far from the stadium. I still say putting a grass deck on top of parking in north end zone lot and the same thing in the lot across from the west side of the stadium and the lot to the south of that would be a great place to do it.

Q. We had a question last week about why the athletic department doesn’t do something about the ugly west facade of the stadium. Arkansas 1 thinks there is a bigger problem on the west side. He says:

What surprises me most is the absence of interest in fixing the nightmare congestion that exists uniquely under the west side stands. – I’m surprised no one has been pushed over/through the railings to the lower level.

A. You are not wrong. This is something that you would not know about unless you sit on the west or home side at the second level. When the stands are full it is flat scary around those concession stands. You could fall maybe 15 feet if you got pushed over the railing.

The answer is to add steel support beams farther back to the west and take out the existing ones. Then move the concession stands back. It would create more room and make that area similar to the one on the east side. But, like all of these improvements we’ve talked about, it would be cost some big bucks.

Q. Edwardclutch asks: What is going on with replica jerseys with players names on the back? This was announced back in April or May and here we are game week with them no where to be found.

A. Robert at the Stadium shop, who sponsors this show, has been telling me for while that there’s an issue with Nike on these players jerseys all over the country. There are delays on availability.

The U of A currently has used player jerseys for sale. Jerseys from Arkansas players who have opted into the NIL program for jersey sales will be available by mid October but it’s online sales only because you have to special order to get the name of the player you want.

Q. Alex4Hogs88 wants to know: What is the story behind the Red Glow? When and how did it come to be a tradition?

A. That started in 2014. They were putting up the new video board on the north end of the stadium, trying to get it ready for the first game and in the process of testing it at night it was discovered that the light coming from that board could be seen all over the west side of Fayetteville. Some people thought they were seeing the northern lights.

Somebody at the athletic department realized the promotional value of a red glow coming from the board on the Friday before game days and a new tradition was born.

Q. LostinSwine says: You have talked about the NCAA taking control of the NIL problem. Do you really think the NCAA would go near this topic matter after they got trounced in court? Especially since they were the reason this whole mess got started.

A. The NCAA doesn’t have a choice. The majority of college programs want stricter NIL regulations. You have to understand what the Supreme Court ruled. It did not rule that college athletes have a God given right to make money while they were playing sports for a university. It ruled that athletes control the rights to their name, image and likeness meaning that universities or the NCAA don’t have the right to sell merchandise or products with an athletes name, image or likeness attached without paying that athlete.

NIL has turned into a recruiting tool and it threatens to turn college athletics into pro sports. There are some fans out there who want that but the vast majority don’t.

I’m confident that a committee representing the various universities under the NCAA umbrella can come up with some NIL restrictions that will hold up in court. Athletes will still be able to make money but in will be in controlled situations.

I think these cheating collectives are going to banned.

Q. Wizard of Hogz says: You said you thought that Petrino may have gotten the Hogs to their “only Sugar Bowl”.
Not exactly! It was their 6th! Including one that you covered (1980, vs. Alabama).
The others were in 1962, 1963, 1969 and 1970.

A. You got me. I went brain dead with that answer. How could I forget the 1970 Sugar Bowl? That was the consolation prize for losing the 69 shoot out. Archie Manning beat Bill Montgomery in a game Arkansas did not want to play.

Arkansas did beat Georgia in the 69 Sugar Bowl.

However, I was not at the 1980 Sugar Bowl. The station I worked for at time, the CBS station in Ft. Smith, was too cheap to send a sports crew. So I don’t have a strong memory of that game.

But I do remember the 62 and 63 games because my best friend who was a big Razorback fan, was mad because Arkansas lost both of them to SEC teams.

(Last updated: 2022-09-05 19:41 PM)