Scott Faldon: Surprised? Western Kentucky Wins; Morris Axed

By Scott Faldon

As expected, Arkansas lost to Western Kentucky last week – which led to Chad Morris getting canned.

Sitting at the deer cabin as Charleston’s Ty Storey torched his former team, my cousin – an SMU graduate/booster – turned to me and said, “I told you Morris wouldn’t work out when he got the job.”

Oh, you didn’t expect the Razorbacks to lose that game? Have you not been watching this team? Do you not follow Bill Connelly’s SP+ ratings that listed the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers as 53-percent likely to win?

My old sports radio partner turned thoroughbred trainer, Ernie Witt, used to always say, “it’s not the final record or score that matters, it’s how you got there.”

So how did we get here? Arkansas lost to Colorado State, North Texas, Vandy, Mizzou, San Jose State, Kentucky, Mississippi State and Western Kentucky by an average of just more than 19 points per game.

Morris was put into a difficult position from the outset. He wasn’t ready for the SEC after his brief (and losing) tenure at SMU. He never should have gotten the job in the first place.

While many people have faith in AD Hunter Yurachek, I wonder if he’s got the backing to hire who he – not the boosters – wants.

Pundit after pundit has given a checklist for the next coach. “Arkansas ties” is usually included along with “head coaching experience” and “great recruiter.” (Morris was/is tight with the Jerry Jones family, which I guess was his Arkansas tie.)

The “Arkansas ties” is always an odd caveat. Aside from Frank Broyles, is it possible to say any Arkansas coach has a true coaching tree sprouting forth from his tenure in Fayetteville? Are Arkansas fans so insular that somebody must have lived in the 479, 501 or 870 area codes to be accepted as a head coach?

Regardless, I look forward to reading and hearing about whoever is chosen to be the next coach is “a perfect fit,” “going to be successful” and “going to turn things around in Fayetteville” – which are three direct quotes from opinion issued by media opinioneers after Morris was hired.

Scott Faldon is a veteran sportswriter and columnist covering the Razorbacks who is now retired from the newspaper business and gone on to pursuits that pay a living wage.

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Western Kentucky QB Ty Storey wins manning award after beating hogs

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