Wilson Shouldn't Play Against Tide

Other than "When will Gene Chizik talk about Memphis?," the biggest question in the Southeastern Conference this week is whether Tyler Wilson will play at quarterback for Arkansas against Alabama this week. Pardon the expression, but this is a no-brainer.



Alabama goes to Fayetteville Saturday to take on Arkansas in a game at 2:30 p.m. CDT and scheduled for telecast by CBS. Alabama is 2-0 and ranked number one in the nation. Arkansas was ranked eighth in the nation until the Razorbacks were upset last week by Louisiana Monroe in overtime.

A primary reason Arkansas lost last week is that star quarterback Tyler Wilson suffered an injury, presumably a concussion, and was still groggy on Monday. The temporary coach of the Razorbacks, John L. Smith, said a decision would be made later this week on whether to play Wilson against Alabama.

Alabama is not preparing for Wilson to play or Wilson not to play. Alabama will prepare for the schemes – the Arkansas formations and plays. The Razorbacks have not prepared one offense for Wilson and another for his back-up, Brandon Allen, or possibly the former quarterback turned wide receiver Brandon Mitchell.

In fact, every available moment of practice time and meeting time at Arkansas this week should be spent getting the next quarterback ready to play.

Arkansas had Wilson last year. He completed 22 of 35 passes for 185 yards. He suffered one interception. He threw two touchdowns, one that tied the score at 7-7 in the first quarter and one that didn't do anything when Alabama had a 31-7 lead en route to a 38-14 Crimson Tide win. Along the way, Wilson took quite a beating from Bama defenders.

That is not to say that Wilson is not a very good quarterback and that Arkansas would have a better chance of beating Alabama with him than without him. Nor is it to say the Razorbacks cannot beat Bama without Wilson.

But Bama is not the opponent to have a groggy quarterback preparing for.

Moreover, this is not the end of the Arkansas football season. (It might as well be, though, if the Razorbacks get Wilson hurt more seriously by playing him against Alabama.)

Arkansas thought that with both Alabama and LSU coming to Fayetteville this year and with the Hogs having the top quarterback in the league, along with the return of tailback Knile Davis, that this might be the year the Razorbacks join the parade of Southeastern Conference teams winning the national championship.

Thus far it appears that Davis is not back to the form he showed in 2010 before missing all last season. Now the Razorbacks have a loss to Louisiana Monroe. A national championship isn't happening.

But Arkansas can still have a very good season. Lose Wilson, however, and the season will likely be in the tank.

That's just the football part of it.

If I was the head coach with a quarterback who had suffered a concussion, I would not send him out against Alabama unless I had letters of approval signed by the neurosurgeon, Wilson's mother, the school president, and the executive director of the Arkansas Bar Association.

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