I guess I will have to save my ramen noodles and ninja throwing stars for another day, as Conference Realignment Armageddon failed to materialize. Here are some realignment- and Hog-related links for you to peruse:
• It Took a Village. ESPN.com's Big 12 blogger David Ubben says Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe isn't the only one who deserves credit for the survival of the conference.
• Here We Go Again. Crimson and Cream, SB Nation's ponders which schools Beebee might target should the conference decide to add two schools to get back to a 12-team league. It should come as no surprise that the Hogs are mentioned. Here's the blog's not-overly-flattering take on the Razorback program:blog,
Could they be pried from the SEC? That is the big question. I'm sure the SEC could find another team that would finish in the middle of the pack in football, and perhaps shore up their basketball ranks - a team like Memphis, or Louisville. Arkansas is a traditional rival of Texas, and even of Texas A&M. They are on the fringes of SEC territory geographically, and originally were a part of the Southwest Conference - territory that is now covered by the Big 12 conference.
If Arkansas was presented with the choice to compete for titles in the Big 12 North Division (which they could do pretty easily as they are right now), or continue to be an average SEC team, I'm sure they would jump at the chance to move to the Big 12. Does Beebe have the guts to pull the trigger on this though? Probably not.
I highly doubt Jeff Long "would jump at the chance." I think the Razorbacks are happy where they are.
• Armageddon in Five Years? Spencer Hall of Every Day Should Be Saturday has these interesting comments on the still-intact Big 12:
It is difficult to disagree with the assumption that because of the carryover of existing revenue structures, the conference did just acquire a terminal disease that will eventually kill it. The comparisons to the SWC aren't point-for-point, but they are there: an initial departure of teams, the further tilting of the conference's competitive balance to one or two teams, and zero loyalty to the conference's long-term prospects. The next five years will be exit plans being built all around, and when pressure remounts within the conference, it will be the same rotten log that got kicked over for a few thrilling weeks here.
• We're No. 16! GatorSports.com has the Hogs ranked No. 16 in its preseason Top 25 poll and pegs Brandon Mitchell as the team's rising star:
The redshirt freshman showed his versatility in the spring game as a quarterback (69-yard pass) and lethal run threat (88-yard run). With good size (6-4, 220), expect Arkansas to find a way to get him on the field with Mallett or without.
• And We Didn't Think His Name Could Be Any Cooler. Couresty of AS360's "Penthouse & Outhouse" feature, we learned that Van Stumon's first name is actually "Ivandricks." The name came to light this weekend on the Washington County Sheriff's Web site after Stumon's drunken-driving arrest.
Ivandricks is "is a beautiful name, and why he would want to shorten it is beyond us," says 360. We agree wholeheartedly.