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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Football slate may be Hogs’ toughest ever

by Wally Hall | May 1, 2022 at 2:47 a.m.


Random thoughts while wondering how to survive three more weeks of televised political ads:

It seems like every year the Arkansas Razorbacks have one of the toughest football schedules in the country, but the bar has been raised for this season.

Forget how tough the SEC is every year and look at Arkansas' nonconference opponents this season:

Home against Cincinnati, which was in the College Football Playoff last season, posted a 13-1 record and finished No. 4 in the nation.

Home against the Missouri State Bears, who were 8-4 last season, made the FCS playoffs and are coached by Bobby Petrino.

At BYU, which was 10-3 and finished the regular season ranked No. 13 in the nation.

Home against Liberty, which was 8-5 last season, 10-1 the season before and coached by Hugh Freeze.

The Razorbacks also play seven consecutive weekends before getting an open date on Oct. 22.

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Our man Bob Holt has heard some thought is being given to a multi-million dollar renovation of Walton Arena.

As hard as it is to believe, the Basketball Palace of the Midwest turns 29 next year.

With an official capacity of 19,200 and a sellout of more than 20,000, it no doubt has had some wear and tear. But the thought seems to be that when it is renovated, it is to make it more of a multi-functional facility (think capable of hosting a rodeo or a tractor pull).

With somewhere around 3,000 less seats.

Which means those fortunate enough to get tickets will endure even more inflation as the price has to jump and not just maintain the income, but to increase it.

One word of caution, the $160 million improvement to Razorback Reynolds Stadium was to add more premium (think expensive) seats and has become such a huge debt money had to be borrowed to pay just the interest.

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The World Cup is being played in Qatar from Nov. 21 to Dec. 18 and it is no secret Russia, which hosted the world wide soccer event in 2018, is no longer invited to play.

Russia appealed but on March 30, less than a week before team drawings, withdrew its appeal.

However, Russia is still appealing suspensions from international gymnastics, rugby, rowing and skating.

While sports is incredibly important in the entertainment world, it is not even in the same stratosphere as to how serious what Russia is doing to Ukraine.

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There were a multitude of trades during the NFL Draft, but the biggest shocker may have been when the Tennessee Titans traded star receiver A. J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles through New Orleans.

The Titans got the No. 18 pick (and 101st) from the Eagles, and with their first pick of the draft took Warren and University of Arkansas Razorback receiver Treylon Burks.

Brown was wanting a new contract, which he got for $100 million at Philly, but the Titans must have seen enough of Burks to think he was capable of replacing a guy who in three NFL seasons had 189 catches for 2,984 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Last year's No. 18 pick in the draft was defensive end Jaelin Phillips by the Miami Dolphins, who signed a $14 million contract with $7.6 million bonus.

Each year, first-round contracts increase a little, but it appears the Titans have let Burks know he is being counted on heavily and immediately.

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Have the Los Angeles Lakers allowed LeBron James to surround himself with players that make him look like he is 27 instead of 37.

James has been and still is a great player, but he was always at his best when surrounded by other great players. That's how he won four championship rings.


Print Headline: Football slate may be Hogs’ toughest ever

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