Wally Hall is the managing sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock after an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, he is a past president and member of the Football Writers Association of America, member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, past president and current executive committee and board member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and voter for the Heisman Trophy.
Like It Is:
Razorbacks QB has full support of his team
In this Nov. 2, 2013, file photo, Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen (10) calls a play in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Auburn in Fayetteville. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)
Within a couple of minutes after it was confirmed that Brandon Allen's truck had been torched, several Arkansas Razorback football players tweeted that if you mess with B.A. you mess with the entire team.
It was a message that has been reverberating throughout the Boston Mountains for months. These Hogs are a team. A family. They like each other. They have great chemistry.
They love their coach and his staff.
Exactly how many victories that translates into is a big mystery, but it has been a really long time -- perhaps Houston Nutt's first season, when he inherited great leadership in his experienced offensive line -- since this type of cohesiveness has been seen.
The burning of Allen's truck is being investigated. Arson is suspected, and since another truck also was burned it doesn't look as if the junior quarterback was targeted.
What made everyone think he had been targeted was because some punks, who probably don't know how to put on a jock strap, egged his truck last season.
Allen has been a frequent topic on talk radio, but here are a few things to consider going into Saturday's season opener with Auburn:
m He played most of last season banged up.
m With more of Coach Bret Bielema's system installed, there is more pressure on the offensive line and the running backs and Allen is going to be allowed to be more of a game manager.
m Coaches with decades of experience picked him to be the starter. They picked him because he's the team leader, the experienced quarterback and he moved the offense. The coaches believe in him.
What else is there to know? Allen didn't cause the Hogs to go 3-9 last season, and he deserves the support of the fans.
What he didn't deserve was to have his truck egged or burned, but he quickly learned he has the backing of the entire team.
Reknowned sports medicine physician Dr. James Andrews will be a visiting professor on Sept. 5 at UAMS' annual Orthopaedic Forum.
As a surgeon Andrews has probably saved more careers than ESPN.
He is the founder of the Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham, Ala., and has treated some of the most high-profile athletes in the world and is an orthopaedic consultant for Alabama, Auburn and the Washington Redskins.
His specialty is repairing damaged ligaments.
An All-SEC pole vaulter at LSU, Andrews' list of patients is literally a who's who of athletics, including Tom Brady, C.C. Sabathia, Michael Jordan, Jack Nicklaus, Troy Aikman, Robert Griffin III and dozens of others.
For one day, Andrews will be a visiting professor at another great hospital.
Here is a prediction on the first Final Four Playoff by seed:
1. FLORIDA STATE There is a lot to be said about being a great football team in a basketball conference. The Seminoles open against Oklahoma State in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and close the season hosting arch-rival Florida.
2. ALABAMA For Nick Saban it is always about defense and a good offensive line, and the Crimson Tide are primed to fill six spots on defense by simply saying "next." All Saban needs to do is decide on a quarterback.
3. OKLAHOMA Bob Stoops made his reputation as a defensive coordinator, and the Sooners return nine starters. Quarterback Trevor Knight led the Sooners to a victory over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. The Sooners must go undefeated though since they don't have a conference championship game.
4. PAC-12 CHAMPION It is almost impossible to separate UCLA, Southern California and Oregon, and Stanford might be good enough too. A Southern Cal-Alabama final would be filled with irony for Lane Kiffin.
Sports on 08/27/2014