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Gary Patterson deflects Arkansas talk

Gary Patterson AP

It’s a combination of timing (which is awful) and availability (which is limited), but there just aren’t many coaching options for Arkansas right now in the wake of the Bobby Petrino firing. Athletic director Jeff Long said earlier this week in his press conference that he would begin a coaching search immediately with linebackers coach Taver Johnson serving as the interim leader of the team.

Long has said via his Twitter account he hasn’t been in contact with anyone yet about the vacancy; of course, that doesn’t mean someone from Arkansas hasn’t been making the phone calls for him. All that’s available now is speculation based on who we — meaning media and fans alike — think would be a good fit.

Gus Malzahn, Skip Holz and Bo Pelini — they’ve all said the same thing, more or less: “Thanks, but no thanks.”

That’s what you can expect, and TCU coach Gary Patterson is no different.

I’ve had my nose down,” Patterson told Cedric Golden of the Austin American Statesman about the UA job. “I’ve been working on two-days. Everyday we’re meeting on the stadium. Right now we’re concentrating on getting ready for the season at TCU.”

Questioning Patterson about Arkansas is completely warranted, though. If I was Long, Patterson would be at or near the top of my first-to-mind coaching list. Simply put, Patterson’s a hell of a coach and a big reason TCU is in the Big 12 right now (it’s certainly not because of the DFW TV market, already saturated by Texas and Oklahoma). His toughness would be perfect for the SEC.

I’d look at Paul Rhoads at Iowa State too. Rhoads just signed a huge extension with the Cyclones and may be perfectly content there, but if anyone has ever seen the way that team runs through walls for him, he’d at least be worth a phone call.

Both of those coaches certainly have had chances to take other jobs, and so far neither have. But coaching carousels typically revolve around windows. Patterson, Rhoads, Chris Petersen… they’re all in that window of hot coaching commodities. It’s about the right opportunity.

Arkansas is a good job too, and one that’s primed for success thanks to Petrino. Does that mean UA will be able to get someone in the next month or so? Possible, but Long’s options might be far more numerous and of higher quality in, say, December.

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12 Responses to “Gary Patterson deflects Arkansas talk”
  1. halbert53 says: Apr 14, 2012 1:27 PM

    Nobody worth having would take the job at this time of year. If they are willing to put their current employer in a bind now, it just shows they would consider doing the same thing to Arkansas down the road. Going interim is the way to go for now.

  2. opie333 says: Apr 14, 2012 2:00 PM

    Mike Leach!!!!

  3. jumbossportsblog says: Apr 14, 2012 2:03 PM

    Reblogged this on jumbossportsblog.

  4. larrybrown43 says: Apr 14, 2012 2:05 PM

    This was suppose to be a contending national championship season. Lighting in a bottle. You’d hate to flush it down the drain by passing it off to an assistant coach who may be in over his head. Plus, it creates descention among the other coaches on the staff who didn’t get the job.

    I just can’t see any other university giving permission to Arkansas to interview their own head coach at this stage of the year. If it happens. that would be great.

    It almost has to be someone who doesn’t have a head coaching job with prior HC credentials.

    What’s wrong with Tressel? Dare I say Houston Nutt? LOL. Even if it’s just for this year.

  5. voodoo4409 says: Apr 14, 2012 2:08 PM

    ^^^^^Contending national season championship??? LMAO…..that’s the best joke I’ve heard in a long time….

  6. larrybrown43 says: Apr 14, 2012 2:41 PM

    5th ranked in the country last year without the countries best running back playing a down makes me think they have a shot. The Highsmith injury hurts them but hopefully he can come back.

  7. meefaw says: Apr 14, 2012 3:21 PM

    The countries best rb?!?! knile davis was at least 3rd behind Marcus latimore and Trent Richardson. The ONLY thing Arkansas had better than anyone was qb….and that was due to a down year in the sec.

  8. halbert53 says: Apr 14, 2012 4:11 PM

    I hear Sean Payton is available for a year!

  9. drjem says: Apr 14, 2012 7:08 PM

    Mike Leach!!!! HIRE Mike Leach!!! We lost our opportunity to hire Coach Leach at the “U” because of that dammed democrat Donna Shalala; even after “The” Donald begged her to hire him she turned her back on Coach Leach. AND, even though it is my alma mater, I suspect the “U” will rue the day they let Coach Leach get away.. So, if UA hires Mike Leach (Forget about the money, politicians are so crooked in that state, Arkansas, that they can get however much money Coach Leach requires to make the move). Look, I’m telling you UA…….”HIRE” Mike Leach!!!! You won’t regret it!

  10. pdcooper08 says: Apr 15, 2012 4:49 PM

    Is Mike Leach available? Didn’t he just sign a contract at Wazu?

    Any big name coach that leaves where he is at now, is a total loser and sell out. You don’t need a guy like that in your program. You just got rid of the guy that sold his soul. Do it the right way, let Bobby’s brother run the Offense and stick to the intern for now. UA is talented and will win this year. Come December you go poach your coach like everyone else does.

    Good luck Hogs!

  11. sports_dude says: Apr 15, 2012 10:55 PM

    Just name Paul Petrino interim and be done with it. He knows the offense inside & out, and has a hell of a lot more integrity than his brother. I would also consider naming Phillip Fulmer interim HC. I’ve read that he actually offered to be interim for a season. He’s a good coach, TN just got spoiled.

  12. pdcooper08 says: Apr 15, 2012 11:20 PM

    sports_dude< I agree with everything you say other then the part about bringing in P. Fulmer for a year. Now if they want to hire him full time, that's another thing. Bringing him in for one year is like introducing fire and. He is so old school with his methods and offense, I can't see him getting good production from the pieces that are in place. He is not very innovated when it comes to offense and UA is set up now to make things happen. I think he would hinder there growth.

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