State of the Hogs: No Panic, Please

The dryer is fixed and that's about the only thing worth worrying about this week. Let Jeff Long work on the coach search. He's done just fine so far. Here's a front-page commentary.

Got the dryer fixed earlier this week. The expert had it done in 15 minutes. It would have been 10 if he hadn't stopped with his body half under the appliance to make me spill my guts on Jeff Long's quest in the Arkansas football search.

I didn't know, so I got the full charge. But the dryer works and order has been restored at our house, quickly.

The coach search will come up at Thanksgiving dinner at our house, just as it will everywhere else in Arkansas. I will divert the conversation to Psalms 100, which speaks to the more important issues of the day. My cup is full as I think about this holiday. My ladies are healthy and our home will be full of beauty.

Seriously, I do not worry about the coaching search. It's been handled in a professional way by Long, the newly rewarded Arkansas athletic director. He's done this exactly the right way.

He was prepared and knows his professional life hinges on getting the prize. He is skilled at his job. So is his staff.

I'm convinced that the process has been superb, with great candidates still available and on his short list. He may have his guy. Long is smiling and happy. His head is up. He's exactly where he thought he would be last spring when he knew it was best to wait until after the season.

I don't know the next coach. But I am convinced that there are more good coaches available who covet Arkansas than at any time the job has been open. And I'm also convinced there are lots of good coaches around the country who can win at Arkansas.

I've seen more good football this fall than at any point in my life. I've watched more, knowing that I might get a glimpse of the next Arkansas coach about anywhere in the country. I've watched more of those Tuesday night games, just to check out coaches. I've watched more west coast football, staying up late to watch games on the DVR which I finally know how to operate.

Guys like David Shaw at Stanford, Jim Mora at UCLA and Steve Sarkisian at Washington are fascinating prospects. I don't think California high school football is like what I've seen from Texas to Florida where everything in town revolves around the Friday night game. So I think the SEC brand is better than what they are playing on the West Coast, but it's not because of the coaching. These guys are top notch.

So I think the pool Long has to dip from is out of this world. There are many that can win at Arkansas. And because of Long and the way he's conducted the search and what is being built here, I am confident Razorback football is going to be good again soon.

I am also confident it's not going to be Jon Gruden. Oh, things can always change. I was taught to stick in that qualifier from a wise reporter when I read him a big story once.

But I'll leave you with a funny Gruden reference from our message board at We have a chat room that has a plug-in down, which makes it blocked. But at the top of the message board there is a link that also gives you the running total of how many users the chat room contains. For several weeks, it has read: 1 fan in chat room.

I promised to get it fixed and check who might be stuck in the room. What could we all be missing? I had a technician -- not the guy who fixed the dryer -- work his way in. The one fan: JGruden.

Thankfully, not. We don't need another round of rumors.

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