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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Saban getting Mr. Nice Guy persona down

by Wally Hall | September 28, 2022 at 3:20 a.m.

Sam Pittman and Nick Saban are old school.

Both spent time Monday during a SEC teleconference bragging on the other, but this was a bit different than Saban's usual, "we respect and take every opponent seriously."

The two coaches were genuine in their praise.

These days, coaches seem obsessed with winning even at the expense of having friends in the profession.

Guys like Saban, Brian Kelly at LSU and Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M make millions of dollars for winning football games, and too often it seems like if something isn't going to help them win and keep the long green flowing into their overflowing accounts, they aren't interested in doing it.

Saban would usually be painted with that brush too, but his respect for Arkansas' head coach was obvious, and there's also the fact he doesn't like to run the score up on anyone.

As a rule, if Alabama beats someone by more than 50, the second- and third-teamers scored the last two or three touchdowns.

If, and only if, the Crimson Tide get a comfortable lead this Saturday will Saban pull his starters.


Next week, ballots will be mailed to all Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame members for voting on the next class of inductees.

The ballot includes 49 men and women on the regular list and 46 on the senior and posthumous list.

Membership is open, and it is not too late to vote for the next class.

For information on joining, go to That's where you can also view the latest list of candidates and where members can vote. They can also mail in their ballot.

Some updating and tweaking have been done. In addition to bios on all the candidates, there is a cover sheet that lists them by sport.

The next induction ceremony will be April 14 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.

Members are also invited to several social events and have the right to nominate others for the Hall of Fame.

All members get a vote and all votes count.


When the 12 university presidents and chancellors voted unanimously on Sept. 2 to expand the College Football Playoff to 12 teams, a number of things happened since the last vote that was 8-3 and seemed to derail the momentum, at least on the surface.

Apparently, Mississippi State President Mark Keenum took control.

While the Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 voted against expansion, USC and UCLA were going to be members of the Pac-12, but as everyone knows, the landscape of college football has shifted and appears to be heading to two super conferences.

If that's the case, expansion isn't over. It is just taking its time in hopes of not making any mistakes.

What helped Keenum and the voters was that Atlanta and Miami opened as possible hosts of playoff games as soon as 2024.

The current agreement for a four-team playoff was supposed to be four more years, but all indications are 2024 is going to be a huge year in college football.

A source said that's the season Oklahoma and Texas will join the SEC, a year before their television rights contract expires with the Big 12.

Expansion to 12 teams is reported to mean $450 million in revenue.


Former Arkansas Razorback great and All-Pro center for the Detroit Lions Frank Ragnow is being plagued with injuries for the second consecutive season.

This season he first was sidelined with a groin injury and now has a toe issue.

He missed 13 games last season after having surgery for a torn plantar plate in his foot.

Just don't count him out. He's tougher than a claw hammer on a hickory nut.

Print Headline: Saban getting Mr. Nice Guy persona down


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