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Posts Tagged ‘Arkansas’

How the Conferences Rank, 1-12: Week 4

As an accompanying post to today’s re-ranking, here’s the entire F.B.S. conference breakdown in terms of average P.S.R. 1-124 ranking. It’s not entirely fair to include the Independent programs among the true conferences, seeing that there’s only four Independent teams, but it does give a slight slice-of-life taste of where that quartet stands in the big picture. The listings include the average ranking, highest team ranking and number of teams in the top 25 in parentheses. Without further ado:

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    Pick 10, F.B.S. Notebook: Week 3 (Sept. 15)

    Do you remember the last time Notre Dame took a trip to East Lansing? You might not remember the game’s first 60 minutes and change, but that’s fine: things didn’t get wild until overtime, when Michigan State answered a Notre Dame field goal with the most audacious coaching decision of the 2010 season. Now you remember, right? Dan Conroy is lined up for the potentially game-tying 46-yard field goal; Aaron Bates, the punter and team captain, was the holder; tight end Charlie Gantt was lined up one spot inside from the edge to Conroy’s right. The call: “Little Giants.” The snap went to Bates, as expected – and then came the unexpected. You’ll see the rest of the play later tonight, when the Irish and Spartans meet in one of the day’s marquee games. Let’s run down the entire weekend’s action.

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      U.S.C. Error Shows Need for Injury Reports

      Earlier this week, U.S.C. announced that Scott Wolf, who covers Trojans’ athletics for the L.A. Daily News, was barred from attending two weeks of practice and would not be credentialed for U.S.C.’s home game against California on Sept. 22. Why? Because Wolf, doing his job, reported on an injury: Andre Hedari, per Wolf, will miss about three weeks to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. U.S.C. didn’t like that; U.S.C., like many others, has a policy that forbids media members from reporting “on strategy or injuries that are observed during the course of watching that practice or result from that practice.”

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        P.S.R. 1-124: Week 3 Re-Ranking

        With the weekend in the books, here’s a look at how the country ranks — using the original rankings as the starting point, with the season’s results as rationale for any movement. The top 25 teams land a one-sentence breakdown. The rest? Not so much. Part of the perks of being one of the best. Think your team is too low? Feel another team deserves more credit, less credit? Let’s hear it below. It’s a delicate ranking process, particularly with only two weeks in the books, so you may see one team ranked below a team it just beat — see Louisiana-Monroe and Arkansas, for example. Don’t be alarmed. Everything will become clearer by the end of the month.

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          U.L.M. Shocks, Rewrites Arkansas’ Season

          Louisiana-Monroe owns the SEC. Not really. No, really: U.L.M. owns the SEC – with a slight caveat. The Warhawks are as good against the SEC as any non-B.C.S. conference program in the country, I should say. Last night, the Warhawks beat Arkansas, 34-31, in overtime, to notch the program’s second win against the nation’s premier conference since 2007. The victory joins that earlier win against Alabama in Nick Saban’s first year; the two wins sandwich seven losses, but that’s neither here nor there.

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            No. 19: Arkansas

            Forget what you think you know about John L. Smith, because to Arkansas, all that mattered was this: he was experienced, he was familiar with the roster, he was familiar with the program’s returning staff and he was available. Oh, and he was available to rent, not to buy; Smith is being leased by the university, which needed a solution but wasn’t yet in the market for a permanent replacement for Bobby Petrino, once the savior, now the no-good ex-flame. Smith, the former Arkansas assistant who left Fayetteville after last season to take the head coaching job at Weber State, signed a 10-month, $850,000 contract with the school, which can choose to take a new plunge into the coaching pool in December or January, depending on when Smith’s one-year turn with the Razorbacks ends — or the Razorbacks and athletic director Jeff Long can opt to alter the terms of Smith’s contract, buying in rather than renting. What would Smith need to do in order to become Petrino’s replacement? What many thought Arkansas would do before Petrino sped out of favor: take the fight to L.S.U. and Alabama.

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              SEC Approves 6-1-1 Conference Schedule

              Following a brief, closed-door discussion at the league’s spring meetings in Destin, Fla., SEC athletic directors approved a proposal for running the conference schedule along a 6-1-1 split: six games against divisional opponents, one game against a rotating opponent from the opposite division and one game against a permanent cross-divisional rival.

              The plan will take effect in this coming season, helping the league accommodate the arrival of Missouri and Texas A&M. For the league, unpalatable alternatives included a 5-2-1 split — which would have caused each team to miss one divisional opponent, creating the opportunity for a multiple-team tie — or moving to a nine-game conference schedule; the latter option would have maintained the SEC’s prior practice of having each team play two opponents from the opposite division.

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                Smith Is Ready for a One-Year “Fight”

                For starters, John L. Smith’s introductory press conference — his reintroduction, actually — had the assembled media presence looking forward to this summer’s media days. You can add Smith to the list of SEC coaches who, when given the opportunity, create must-see TV: Miles, Dooley, Spurrier and all have a new partner, and the league becomes even more interesting from Sunday through Friday. But what’s left to be asked? Smith hit on all the main points during his press conference, candidly answering questions on how he reconnected with Arkansas, how he views his short-term task, what he’ll change, if anything, and whether this will be his last go-round in major college football.

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.