OPINION — Like It Is

OPINION | WALLY HALL: Diamondbacks CEO has roots in Arkansas

There is an Arkansas top shelf tie to the World Series, which begins Friday night with the Arizona Diamondbacks traveling to Arlington to play the Texas Rangers.

The president and CEO of the Diamondbacks is Derrick Hall and his parents Larry and Annetta Hall grew up in Pine Bluff, but after graduating from Henderson State, where Larry was on a baseball scholarship, his career took them first to Dallas and then Los Angeles.

That's where Derrick and his older brother Jeffery were born.

Derrick, a 2019 inductee into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, took over the Diamondbacks when he was just 36 and immediately set out to wipe out $350 million of debt. In 2016 he signed one of the most lucrative TV deals in the major leagues.

Derrick did his undergraduate work at Arizona State and has a masters from Ohio University.

His brother is a highly successful set designer in Los Angeles.

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This will be the Diamondbacks' second World Series appearance and their first was in 2001, which set a major league franchise record for making it just four years after the team's inception.

They beat the New York Yankees in seven games and had two of the greatest pitchers in baseball history in Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling, who was almost as well-known for his feuds with sports columnists all over the country.

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With nearly three-fourths of the college football season gone, only nine teams remain undefeated and that number will definitely decline by one when Ohio State travels to Michigan on Nov. 25.

The Big Ten has two undefeated teams, the others are Oklahoma from the Big 12, Florida State from the ACC, Liberty from Conference USA, Air Force from the Mountain West, Washington from the Pac-12, James Madison from the Sun Belt and, of course, two-time defending national champion Georgia from the SEC.

Liberty, Air Force and James Madison will not be in the College Football Playoff.

Obviously the Final Four won't be decided until after conference championship games, but the College Football Playoff rankings -- when will first be released Tuesday -- will likely open with Georgia at No. 1, Michigan No. 2, Ohio State No. 3 and Florida State No. 4.

All of those have challenges left on their schedules.

On the outside looking in are No. 5 Washington and No. 6 Oklahoma.

Down in Tuscaloosa, Ala., after every close win, Nick Saban declares Alabama still controls its playoff hopes, but he'll probably need for Texas, which beat the Crimson Tide 34-24 in Tuscaloosa earlier this season, to lose another game.

A couple of notes of interest for the undefeateds is Air Force running backs coach is Tim Horton, who played and coached for the Arkansas Razorbacks, and Florida State Coach Mike Norvell played at Central Arkansas. Prior to his Norvell's arrival, Horton's father Harold coached UCA for eight years and had a 74-12-5 record.

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Hopefully the last note on Dan Enos for a while.

In the preseason polls, LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels was named first-team All-SEC and Arkansas' KJ Jefferson second team.

Daniels is currently the second-ranked quarterback in the NCAA for passing yards with 2,573. He's also thrown 25 touchdown passes and has only three interceptions.

In a new offense, Jefferson is ranked 54th with 1,547 yards. He has 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

There are six SEC quarterbacks ranked between Daniels and Jefferson.

Last season, Jefferson averaged 241 passing yards per game. This season, it is 193.

Hopefully some of the old offense will be added for the final four games and a lot of the complex offensive book from this season will be lessened.

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