Blog Archives

Bielema misses chance to take high road

For the first time in a while, someone said something more controversial than Bret Bielema. Unfortunately, the University of Arkansas coach didn’t take advantage of it. He made it worse. Instead of taking the high road and making Texas Tech Coach Kliff Kingsbury look like the hothead, Bielema fired back at his weekly presser Monday. And the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette took full advantage of a slow sports-news day to blow up the feud with a huge front-page spread and story. The whole thing started when Bielema spoke at the Texas High School Coaches Association in July. According to the story’s timeline, “Bielema apparently rankles some coaches in Texas by saying his style of play should be equipped to handle Spread offenses without a fullback who throw the ball a lot.”

Sounds pretty benign and no mention of Texas Tech. Since Bielema took the job, he’s had to repeatedly comment on his more physical ball-control style compared to the up-tempo Spread and finesse of many of the other SEC programs. However, Kingsbury obviously took exception, and after his team beat Arkansas 35-24 on Sept. 19, he wasted no time bashing Bielema in the postgame presser. According to the Democrat-Gazette, Kingsbury “referenced … Read more >

A Q&A with University of Arkansas pitcher Jackson Lowery

NWA Democrat-Gazette/ANDY SHUPE Reliever Jackson Lowery of Arkansas celebrates after getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the second inning against Missouri State Saturday, June 6, 2015, in the Super Regional at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/ANDY SHUPE
Reliever Jackson Lowery of Arkansas celebrates after getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the second inning against Missouri State Saturday, June 6, 2015, in the Super Regional at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.

The University of Arkansas baseball team has its share of stars. Sophomore outfielder Andrew Benintendi has won different national player of the year honors, junior outfielder Tyler Spoon is a four-year starter and a standout power hitter, Keaton McKinney was a freshman All-American pitcher, and All-SEC closer Zach Jackson has endeared Hogs fans by pitching more than three innings in a Super Regionals clinching game against Missouri State University Sunday, June 7.

However, the team is also loaded with a talented supporting class that has helped the Hogs dig out from a 1-5 start in the SEC to one of the more dangerous teams in the College World Series field. Senior relief pitcher Jackson Lowery, a Pulaski Academy alumnus, is one of those role players who has stood out. Lowery has notched a 7-1 record, mostly coming out of the bullpen, but in just the third start of his career, he led the Hogs to a 4-3 win against St. Johns Univeristy to clinch … Read more >

Hogs, Cyclones could be the best nonconference matchup this season

Two Top 20 teams from power conferences that boast high-octane offenses, standout coaches and NBA-caliber players is a recipe for an outstanding nonconfernece clash.

That’s what could happen tonight when Arkansas plays Iowa State at 8 p.m. on ESPN 2 in a Big 12/SEC Challenge game.

If both teams are playing their best, this is a game that could be talked about nationally for awhile, particularly as both teams make their case to the NCAA Tournament selection committee in March.

Arkansas has become one of the suprise teams so far starting 6-0 for the first time since 1997. It appears coach Mike Anderson, with a team full of his recruited players, has been able to fully implement his system, that has made some Hogs fans harken back to the old days when Nolan Richardson’s teams were turning turnovers into easy buckets.

Most teams can’t run with Arkansas. Iowa State is one that can. Under former Cyclone star Fred Hoiberg, the Cyclones have pushed the ball and shhot as many three-point shots as possible. Something will have to give tonight, most likely the scoreboard which could flip to triple digits. Iowa State is hard to pressure with sophomore point guard Monte … Read more >

Eating well in Iowa

As mentioned in this space, we have planned our trip to Iowa since May. During that time we have made hotel arrangements made plans to see family and friends and scheduled some of our favorite places to eat.

Just two days into the trip, and we have aleady eaten like kings.

Tuesday

After a long drive, we pulled into Des Moines hungry. We made our way to a neighborhood favorite called Skip’s. A small, cozy restaurant that seemed to speicalize in steaks by looking at the menu.

At the urging of my friend and road companion, Justin Acri, I opted for the steak de Burgo. After some research I discovered the dish is a beef tenderloin topped with butter, Italian herbs and garlic.

Turns out, the steak is a Des Moines favorite and was introduced by a Des Moines restaraunt owner who discovred the topping while serving in the military in New Orleans in the 1940s.

image imageIt ended up being a great choice. Tender, corn-fed beef wtih the savory toppings. The baked potato side wasn’t great, but the beef made up for it,

 

Wednesday

What a food day. The past two years I have made an effort to eat … Read more >

Anticipated Hogs road trip to Iowa has been memorable

The text messages came before I even heard the news. It was May, and it was just announced that Iowa State was playing Arkansas in basketball.

One friend asked me who I would be rooting for. Then as I read the official press release of the announcment of the game that is a part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge, I received a text from my friend and fellow native Iowan, Justin Acri.

“Arkansas at Iowa State, we are going.”

By June we aleready had a hotel booked. If you have listened to Acri’s show, The Zone heard on 103.7 The Buzz with co-host Pat Bradley, you have heard the trip mentioned often. And for good reason.

Acri and I grew up die-hard Iowa State fans, and most of the time that wasn’t easy. We both grew up near the campus and had family who attaended ISU. I started going to games when I was three. My dad, an ISU alum, was extremely proud of his alma mater, and every time we visited the campus he showed me an old dorm, an old class building or another landmark. I loved every minute of it, and he had hooked me. I was … Read more >