In the week since Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long gave coach Bobby Petrino the unceremonious boot, about the only new development regarding UA’s “coaching search” is that there haven’t been any developments… at least publicly. Everyone from Gus Malzahn to Gary Patterson and former NFL coach Steve Mariucci has, in some form or fashion, deflected any talk connecting them to the vacant position.
Still, that hasn’t stopped some from throwing out possible names on a Daly basis (*nudgnudge*).
Via his official Twitter account, PGA member and Arkansas alum John Daly* (pictured) decided he would toss another name into the UA coaching hat for consideration: former NFL coach and ESPN analyst Jon Gruden.
Been trying to help, all is in @JeffLongUA hands & I’ve passed all info to him–if that is the route they want to go I think that Gruden would be the perfect fit! Razorback fans would welcome Gruden with open arms! I know it’s a long shot but I live for Arkansas!
If we can’t get Gruden we need a NFL coach–Petrino raised the bar in Razorback football & I’m hoping @jefflongUA gets us someone strong is my point! I’m here to support our Hogs & the decision that is made!
For the past two years, Gruden’s name has, at least in passing, been associated with every single coaching vacancy at every level of football — even Pee Wee. And, every time, it hasn’t happened. Now, one could make the connection that because of Gruden’s QB expertise mashed with Tyler Wilson‘s growing buzz, this would be a match made in heaven. Beyond that? That’s up to Long to see if there’s a fit. If Gruden’s interested. If Long’s interested.
(*Before anybody asks, no, I don’t know if Daly gets his pants at Grandmothers “R” Us. Lay off, will ya?)
Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema will not be disciplined by the SEC office for his brief interaction with Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson last weekend. A video showing Bielema exaggerating his interaction with Robinson at the end of a play was reviewed by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, and the commissioner has discussed the situation with the Razorbacks coach.
“I visited with Bret over the phone on Monday and we discussed the play that has now become widely reviewed through a brief video clip,” Sankey said in a released statement. “Football is played in an intense competitive environment and I reminded him of the need for head coaches to resolve with their own players issues that may arise, which was his intent. The unsportsmanlike penalty assessed on the play was not directly associated with Bret’s efforts to intervene at the end of the play and we are moving forward in a positive manner.”
That appears to be the end of the discussion regarding Bielema’s act. I personally think there should have been some more done here by the league’s commissioner, but we will see if Bielema avoids putting himself in a similar position moving forward.
In the midst of what could be a dream season in South Philadelphia, the Temple Owls announced a rare sellout for a football game this afternoon. The October 31 game at home against Notre Dame has sold out Lincoln Financial Field. This is the first time Temple has sold out two home games in the same season since 1976, when the Owls began playing home games in one of Philadelphia’s pro sports stadiums.
This is the second sellout of the season for Temple, but it is also worth mentioning who the opponents are for those two games; Penn State and Notre Dame. Penn State is always Temple’s biggest draw when they get a chance to host the Nittany Lions and their legions of fans in and around the Delaware Valley. Temple dominated Penn State in the season opener, snapping a long losing streak against the in-state power. Notre Dame is also a big draw everywhere the Irish go, and there is a solid fanbase in the southeastern part of Philadelphia as well.
It is also a rare trip to Philadelphia for Notre Dame. The Irish last played in Philadelphia in 1993 when they faced Navy in Veterans Stadium. Navy also hosted Notre Dame in Philadelphia in 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1972 and 1974. Notre Dame and Temple have never played in Philadelphia, although they did face each other in the 2013 season opener. This year’s game is the second game of a home-and-home series.
The game could potentially prove to play a key role in the evolving College Football Playoff and Group of Five conversation as well. If Temple avoids slipping up this week against UCF and next week at East Carolina and USC holds off USC, then we could have an undefeated and top 25 Temple program hosting a top 15 or even potential top 10 Notre Dame on Halloween. Let’s not put the cart ahead of the horse here, but that could be a very attractive matchup worth paying attention to at the end of the month for many fanbases.