Like It Is:

Plenty of eyes watching what UA does next

By: Wally Hall
Published: Friday, November 17, 2017
University of Arkansas chancellor Joseph Steinmetz talks to the media about a $120 million gift for the art school on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.
Photo by J.T. Wampler
University of Arkansas chancellor Joseph Steinmetz talks to the media about a $120 million gift for the art school on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.

Before getting to this week's picks, the search for a new athletic director is on everyone's mind and it carries some good news and some not so good news.

The not so good is Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz hasn't been at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville two years, and it doesn't matter how educated anyone is, you can't fully comprehend the passion and pride that surrounds the Arkansas Razorbacks that quickly. He's on the point for the search for the athletic director. He confused many when he appointed Julie Cromer Peoples the interim AD simply because she has less experience than several of the other staff members.

Steinmetz may be about to make the biggest hire of his career and his background is arts and neural psychology. The clock is ticking.

The good news is that every single person on the UA board of trustees was raised in Arkansas, and everyone of them has a degree from a school in the UA system. Not saying they are all Hog calling fanatics, but they all know the importance of athletics at the UA. If they didn't, they wouldn't have made the bold move to terminate Jeff Long.

This story will be followed closely by the media, not just statewide, but across the nation.

As for this weekend, this is the one ESPN dreads with four nonconference, non-entertaining games. Alabama and Auburn get to prepare for their showdown next Saturday by playing cupcakes. A scrimmage would be more challenging.

Didn't fare well last week, going 6-3 to bring the season record to 82-21.

Here's this week's picks:

Mississippi State at Arkansas

The Razorbacks' coaching staff may be a little distracted after Long's firing, but the Bulldogs may have an Alabama hangover after losing on a late touchdown. A small, but loud, crowd is expected. Mississippi State 38-28.

Texas State at Arkansas State

The Red Wolves tripped last week and lost their first conference game and may need to win out to get a share. They will get bowl eligible at home. Arkansas State 42-17.

Mercer at Alabama

Mercer or Sisters of Mercy, same result. Alabama 52-7.

Alabama-Birmingham at Florida

Gators have lost five consecutive games under two coaches. Randy Shannon, the interim head coach, needs this one, but knows the Blazers (7-3) are looking for glory. Home-field advantage. Florida 24-21.

Kentucky at Georgia

The Bulldogs were sacked and racked by Auburn and need to get their swagger back. The Wildcats are bowl eligible but not very good -- especially between the hedges. Georgia 35-17.

LSU at Tennessee

The Tigers seem set to get a second consecutive easy win against a Vols team that gave up long ago but might be revitalized with Brady Hoke as the interim head coach. Stranger things have happened, but probably not tomorrow. LSU 31-24.

Texas A&M at Ole Miss

The Rebels are fired up about Shea Stewart coming on board as communication specialist for Ole Miss (his last day as associate features editor here is today) and should dedicate this game to him. It's November which has not been good for the Aggies and Kevin Sumlin. Party on in The Grove. Ole Miss 31-28.

Missouri at Vanderbilt

As outrageous as it seems, the Tigers could get bowl eligible. The Tigers have the most productive offense in the SEC, having scored 379 points and Vandy has allowed 307. Missouri 35-21.

Wofford at South Carolina

Wofford is an outstanding academic school that emphasizes study abroad. The Gamecocks are tuning up for their showdown with Clemson. South Carolina 45-0.

Sports on 11/17/2017

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