Feb. 27 Here, There and Everywhere for Razorbacks

By Otis Kirk
on 2024-02-27 10:39 AM

FAYETTEVILLE — ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg recently did an article on first-year assistants in college football to watch.

Of course Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino was on the list. Petrino will coach the quarterbacks and serve as offensive coordinator for Sam Pittman in 2024. Rittenberg covered such hires as what Alabama has done since Nick Saban retired, Chip Kelly leaving UCLA head coaching position to be offensive coordinator for Ohio State, USC, Washington and Michigan as well as more. Here’s what Rittenberg wrote about Petrino.

“I’ve covered college football long enough to know that nothing is impossible in the coaching carousel, where second (and third … and fourth) chances are handed out like coupons at the grocery store. But it’s still amazing to type these words: Bobby Petrino is the offensive coordinator at Arkansas.

“The Hogs certainly need a boost in production after slipping to 105th nationally in yards per game and 67th in scoring, which led to coordinator Dan Enos’ dismissal. Despite a head coach (Sam Pittman) squarely on the hot seat for 2024, Arkansas entered the coordinator market very early and still offered the money and prestige of a solid SEC gig. The team had options with coaches who would have generated far fewer headlines. Still, the Hogs picked Petrino.

“In Petrino, Arkansas rehires a celebrated offensive playcaller whose ability to pull the right schematic strings has helped him overcome a complicated past. Texas A&M brought in Petrino to spark its offense last fall, and might have generated a breakthrough if top quarterback Conner Weigman had remained healthy. The Aggies still rose to 24th nationally in scoring, a jump from 100th in 2022, although they fattened up on teams such as New Mexico (52 points), Louisiana-Monroe (47), Mississippi State (51) and Abilene Christian (38). Petrino is certainly capable of stabilizing and upgrading Arkansas’ offense, but things could go the other way too. No matter what, Petrino’s performance and conduct will be under a microscope.”

Petrino was 34-17 as head coach at Arkansas from 2008-2011.

SEC College Baseball

If one wants to know how strong the SEC is in college baseball just take a look at this week’s DIBaseball.com Poll.

The Top 25 consists of nine SEC schools plus Texas. Wake Forest is No. 1, but Arkansas (No. 2), LSU (No. 3) and Florida (No. 4) closely follow. Texas A&M (No. 7), Tennessee (No. 8) and Vanderbilt (No. 9) are also in the Top 10. Alabama (No. 16), South Carolina (No. 19) and Auburn (No. 23) are also ranked. Texas, which will join the SEC this fall, is No. 15.

Another interesting tidbit with the poll is the final five teams in the Top 25 minus Auburn. They are Campbell (No. 21), Coastal Carolina (No. 22), UC Santa Barbara (No. 24) and Dallas Baptist (No. 25). It’s clear in college baseball the schools that aren’t necessarily big names can be successful.

Women’s Basketball

While South Carolina (27-0) is rolling at No. 1 and LSU is No. 9 and has been a contender for a high ranking most of season that is where the SEC begins and ends this year.

Once again, Texas No. 3 and Oklahoma No. 20 are ranked but they aren’t playing as SEC school this season. This has really been a down year on the national scene for women’s basketball in the SEC. Texas A&M was always a contender for Top 25 when Gary Blair was there and same when he was with the Razorbacks. Tennessee is no longer the women’s juggernaut they were under Pat Summitt.

Ole Miss (20-7, 10-4) has been good this season. They got one vote for the Top 25 this week and was the only SEC school to get a vote other than South Carolina and LSU. It will be interesting to see how many teams from the SEC beyond South Carolina, LSU and Ole Miss get invited to the NCAA Tournament.

The Muss Bus Picking up Steam

Eric Musselman has seen his team finally get some momentum. Oddly enough, it started with a loss, 71-67 Feb. 17 at Mississippi State. The Hogs were very competitive in that game and though they didn’t win it had a different feel to it than the other losses this season.

Musselman’s team since that loss has reeled off wins at Texas A&M 78-71, home against Missouri 88-73 this past Saturday and tonight they host Vanderbilt. There’s a good chance the Hogs could move to 15-13, 6-9, tonight.

The remainder of the regular season gets tough after tonight. The Hogs will be at Kentucky (March 2), host LSU (March 6) and then end regular season at Alabama (March 9).

The SEC Tournament begins March 16 in Nashville. The Razorbacks almost certainly have to win the SEC Tournament to continue Musselman’s run in the NCAA Tournament.

Two For Price of One

If you are a Razorback fan and looking for something to do today is your day. You can attend two Razorback events this afternoon.

Tonight’s tip between Arkansas and Vanderbilt is set for 8 p.m. and televised on the SEC Network. Earlier in the day, Arkansas and Grambling will battle at Baum-Walker Stadium with the first pitch set for 3 p.m. If you can’t get out to Baum-Walker the game can be streamed on the SEC Network+.

(Last updated: 2024-02-27 10:39 AM)