On Monday morning, Arkansas State Coach Bryan Harsin was ready to keep game-planning for the Red Wolves' forthcoming match-up with South Alabama. After heavy fog rolled into northeast Arkansas, Harsin thought that maybe he would be forced to cancel his appearance at the Little Rock Touchdown Club. But ASU official Jeff Hankins wasn’t going to allow it.
“So we loaded up in the SUV, and we were on our way,” Harsin said.
After making his way to the dais a few minutes late at the club’s weekly meeting at the Embassy Suites in west Little Rock, Harsin talked at length about all points of the Arkansas State program. Among the more popular highlights for the first-year coach were the program's proposed indoor practice facility, recruiting players around the state and improving the facilities, particularly upgrades to Liberty Bank Stadium.
“Things have gone well. Things have not gone well. We’ve got some things we’ve got to improve,” Harsin said to the crowd of about 120 members.
On the field, the Red Wolves will have an uphill climb just to get back to a bowl for the third straight season. Currently sitting at 3-4, ASU will have to win three of their last five games to become bowl-eligible, then they'll need some favorable outcomes by some conference opponents to be selected for one of the Sun Belt Conference’s two bowl tie-ins.
There is a chance ASU could get into a bowl as an at-large pick, depending on whether any conferences can’t fill all their bowl allotments.
“I think we’re a team that needs to be more consistent,” Harsin said.
Harsin said the schedule the team has faced in his first season in Jonesboro is nothing like he’s ever previously experienced. The Red Wolves played their first five games in 28 days, then have played two contests in the past 24. Harsin said the coaches have taken advantage of that by hitting the recruiting trail hard.
Harsin said he thinks the unorthodox schedule is just something that he’ll have to get used to while coaching in the Sun Belt. He added that as a coach at Boise State, he was involved in games on varying nights of the week as well.
Read more about this story in tomorrow’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.