ASU’s big win is good for football in state … whether some admit it or not

We’ll just get this out of the way now … Blake Anderson and Arkansas State out-coached, out-prepared and out-played Kansas State on the road.

Whether you’re a fan of the Red Wolves or not, that win Saturday was good for football in the state of Arkansas. There will be some people disagree with that … and they are wrong.

With the Razorbacks not even starting to get ready for their opener against Georgia on Sept. 26 and the media shut out from the dress rehearsal practice inside the stadium Saturday, it was Arkansas State’s game that was interesting to watch.

The Red Wolves have now been on national television three times, the team a lot of Hog fans like to look down their noses at is the one getting the best publicity right now.

That will change over the next couple of weeks when we get to see something other than players jumping up and down or running individual skill drills … or the Hogs play a game.

How much longer Anderson will stay in Jonesboro is anybody’s guess, but he’s proven to be the most successful college coach in the state for the last several years and he just flat out-coached a Big 12 school Saturday.

The Red Wolves have shown what I’ve said for a few years that Group of 5 schools can get enough players to challenge any Power 5 team on occasion.

The big boys aren’t going to get every player. ASU’s Jonathan Adams is the best college receiver in Arkansas right now and will be playing on Sundays at some point.

Normally, I would have never seen the Red Wolves’ game with K-State. But in a strange year, I was able to see it because football, finally, is back.

Whether there should be football or not is an individual decision you can make for yourself. In the science and medical community there is no consensus. Whatever side you want to take there is somebody with better credentials to argue the other side.

The only thing we have a guide on is there is no evidence that playing football increases the spread of the virus among the players. That has surprised a lot of the national media, whether they want to admit it or not.

While there have been breakouts on teams and games cancelled because of positive tests it’s been due to players not making smart decisions off the field.

Other people can debate that for hours and feel free to have at it.

The only thing that really matters is football is back. We’ve had games played at every level and with the lack of big-time Power 5 conferences playing, ESPN2 broadcast the Texas-San Antonio-Texas State game nationally.

Unless you’re one of those that likes an entertaining 3-2 defensive struggle — which HAS happened in the modern SEC — it was like watching a track meet. I suffered through Auburn beating Mississippi State by that exact score in 2008. It was like watching two mules fight over a turnip.

Former Arkansas running backs coach Jeff Traylor was coaching his first game with UTSA and Texas State was trying to get it’s first win in that series.

Oh, it was far from an artistic masterpiece. Bless his heart, the Bobcats’ kicker ducked into the medical tent after missing a short field goal in overtime … after he blew an extra point at the end of regulation that would have won the game.

Neither team played much defense, which has pretty much followed the formula of what we’ve seen the first few weeks of college football. A lot of these teams were more scared of transmitting the virus than getting close in practice and it’s showed in games.

But Sunday afternoon we start the NFL season with a full day of games after a full day of multiple games at the same time in the world of college football on Saturday.

If we missed anything, it was Oklahoma jumping on Bobby Petrino’s first game at Missouri State … then proceed to repeat that throughout the first half to a 41-0 lead. I didn’t want to spend $60 to watch it.

A lot of folks would have liked to watch it.

We even got to see Saturday just how quickly a game can be scheduled if the athletics directors at both schools want to make it happen. Louisiana Tech cancelled a game with Baylor, who proceeded to get a game with Houston for next weekend. All of it was done in 24 hours or so.

Most of the teams at least appear to be TRYING to follow most of the guidelines. As for the fans, well, that’s their business. I can’t care more about the safety of them or the people they come into contact with than they do.

If they’re willing to take risks that’s their decision to live with however it works out.

The only thing I know is we’re a long way from anything returning to what used to be normal. The guess here is there will be a multitude of permanent changes from this, but we won’t know that for a few years.

With football back at least it’s a lot easier to deal with all these changes.

1 COMMENT

  1. Andy: Being a huge Hog fan! I was proud to watch. Ark. State beat K State. Congrats to Coach Anderson and the Team.. Glad to see college football on a Saturday. Also just a side note. Coach Pittman and his staff are doing a good job of stressing physical football at Arkansas…. Finally. Go Hogs

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