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story.lead_photo.caption Alabama coach Nick Saban, left, talks with punter JK Scott during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Nick Saban has many reputations, including not running the score up on opponents. The Alabama head coach may not again Saturday against Arkansas, although many expect him to because the Crimson Tide beat Texas A&M just 27-19 last Saturday.

Saban seldom seems to do what the public expects him to except win.

Plus, he made his statement when he beat Vanderbilt 59-0 and Ole Miss 66-3. He doesn't miss, or need, Lane Kiffin or even Steve Sarkisian as offensive coordinators.

Saban seems 100 percent focused on his football team, but he knows University of Arkansas, Fayetteville head Coach Bret Bielema is getting a lot of heat, and he may not want to turn the flame up.

With Saban you just never know until the game is finished.

Charles Cella, president of Oaklawn Park, has commissioned a statue of American Pharoah, the winner of the 2015 Triple Crown who prepped for his incredible feat at Oaklawn.

The statue will be the centerpiece of the new parklike setting that will greet guests next season.

American Pharoah was the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. To get there, he won the Rebel Stakes by more than 6 lengths and followed that up with an 8-length win in the Arkansas Derby.

Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, American Pharoah won the Kentucky Derby by a length and followed that with a 7-length win in the Preakness. He won the Belmont by more than 5 lengths.

He raced 11 times, won 9 and ended his career in the winner's circle at Keeneland after capturing the Breeders' Cup Classic by more than 6 lengths.

In his 11 starts, he was the odds-on favorite an incredible seven times, including both his wins at Oaklawn.

This is a huge weekend for the University of Central Arkansas as its 1991 NAIA national football championship Bears will be inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.

The event, sponsored by Steve and Claudia Strange, will be at the McCastlain Ballroom on the UCA campus in Conway. Doors open at 5:30 with the banquet to begin at 6:30.

Tickets, and there are not many left, are $60. For more information, call (501) 313-4158.

The Bears started 0-2 that year against then powerhouses Mississippi College and Mississippi Valley, but head coach Mike Isom, a former player at UCA, got his team rolling and did not lose another game to make the playoffs.

The Bears (9-2-2) then won three consecutive games to become national champions.

It is a much deserved honor for a team that did it the right way.

Under former head coach Harold Horton, UCA tied for the national championship in 1984 and 1985.

In 1993, the Bears moved up to Division II, then to the Division I Southland Conference in 2007.

It briefly looked like the NFL might get a slight reprieve in TV ratings last weekend, but then came Monday night's game and it was down 17 percent from a week earlier.

On Tuesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had gotten the message loud and clear and said the NFL believes players should stand for national anthem. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has said any of his players who disrespect the national anthem, the flag or the military will not play.

This is just one opinion: When this kneeling/protest started last season, fans were a bit more sympathetic because of a number of police shootings. Since then, many fans believe it is just disrespectful to kneel when the national anthem is being played, which is when the flag is being presented by the military.

It is definitely complicated. Freedom of speech is a great right Americans have, which includes turning off TVs.


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Sports on 10/12/2017

Print Headline: Expect Saban to ease up on Bielema, Hogs

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  • MaxCady
    October 12, 2017 at 9:45 a.m.

    I don't think that Saban will take his foot off the gas just because he feels sorry for the hapless Hogs. He don't play that game. I honestly don't think the hapless Hogs will score a point. I do see the Tide covering the 29 1/2 point spread though.

  • HenryP
    October 12, 2017 at 11 a.m.

    Buyout? If the bus is about to leave Fayetteville, Jeff Long should be the first on it....Do you seriously trust this man to hire the next coach?

  • HarleyOwner
    October 12, 2017 at 11:46 a.m.

    It's going to be ugly regardless. I will be surprised if Arkansas even scores until Saban puts in his second team.

  • Delta2
    October 12, 2017 at 3:05 p.m.

    Saban should want Bielema to stick around, as he has no problem beating Arkansas year after year. Then again, it probably doesn't matter who coaches Arkansas, Saban will still have little problem.

  • Goad
    October 12, 2017 at 3:10 p.m.

    Oh I hope so! If he doesn't remove 1st team after half will be terrible bloodbath. Maybe he feels like his subs need experience.

  • wildblueyonder
    October 12, 2017 at 6:27 p.m.

    Saban's second team is made up of 4 and 5 star players so that won't help the Hogs. Is there still such a thing as a forfeit, say 2-0 ? That would look a lot better than the actual score. Years ago, we could expect the Hogs to pull off an upset, even against a No. 1 team. No more. When they get off the bus I think they know the outcome already.