Bret Bielema’s lower buyout total changes nothing for Arkansas, Jeff Long

Bret Bielema-Jen Bielema-Arkansas football

Arkansas football rules the world of Razorbacks sports. So, with your bacon, have some Hogs for Breakfast and get caught up. It’s SEC Country’s weekday column and roundup on all things Arkansas … especially Arkansas football. Opinion, numbers, inane babble and more! And now with ironic exclamation points! There is no place like it on the web.

Bielema buyout numbers don’t change a single thing

Lawyers, man. There is a reason no profession on the planet has more jokes made about them than attorneys. You know, the whole Dewey Cheatham and Howe schtick.

Thing is, as the phrase goes, you always hate lawyers … until you need one.

Arkansas needed one. Well, disgruntled Arkansas fans did. So, Tom Murphy and Matt Jones found one. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporters ran Arkansas coach Bret Bielema’s contract past their company’s lawyers and, turns out, the buyout most everyone thought was $15 million? Yeah, Arkansas wouldn’t owe half that.

At least, according to the lawyers Murphy and Jones had read the contract. But you know lawyers. What’re the odds Bielema’s attorneys see it the same way? Probably slim.

Still, one thing is clear: The total isn’t $15 million as initially suspected.

The question posed by several sharp minds Thursday, too — why is this just now coming out? The verbiage has been in the contract for a long time.

And that’s absolutely true and fair. We as a collective media failed on not realizing it sooner. But, thing is, we all did. None of us are lawyers. A look at the contract and it looks like $15 million. There was no reason to think otherwise.

I’m betting the numbers came out because someone somewhere floated the notion “Hey, the Bielema buyout isn’t really $15 million. Have your attorneys take a look.”

Thing is, doesn’t matter. Athletic director Jeff Long and the board of regents are the ones who came up with the contract for Bielema to sign in the first place. They have been fully aware of what the university would owe Bielema if the coach is fired.

So don’t go thinking the now publicly known lower number changes the way Arkansas brass deals with the situation. Whatever decision they make is not going to be influenced by the total becoming widely available knowledge.

Dramatic, backroom stuff. It wouldn’t be an Arkansas coaching hullabaloo without some drama like that.

This seems to just be getting fun.

One 4-star O-lineman will finally get a shot

Brian Wallace’s first season on campus at Arkansas was a redshirt season. But it wasn’t like others. Bielema thought so highly of Wallace, he took him on road games. And that’s no small thing considering the number of players teams can take on the road is limited. One would think every coach would maximize the number of playable bodies.

Bielema thought Wallace was worth maybe burning the redshirt on. If someone went down, Wallace was his future. That was the thinking.

Four years later, and it still hasn’t happened for Wallace. He has started a handful of games but hasn’t played much at all this season. That might finally change Saturday against Alabama.

Bielema said Thursday during his coaches show the most talked-about backup on the roster (not named Cole Kelley) should finally get some real time against the Crimson Tide.

As much as the Arkansas offensive line has struggled, you can almost hear a “finally” coming from the mouths of Razorbacks faithful.

Arkansas-Alabama predictions

Nary a soul on the SEC Country Arkansas staff is picking the Razorbacks to pull an upset on Saturday. Only one of us is even predicting Arkansas to hang around the more than 4-touchdown point spread.

The average final score between myself, Trent Shadid and John Nabors is 49-14. Coincidentally, the exact score I picked, personally.

The bigger question is what this game will do to the future of Arkansas football. A 49-14 score is probably meaningless in the big picture. Teams are smoked by Alabama all the time. Arkansas would not be alone in that regard.

Something more than 5 touchdowns, though, probably expedites the decision-making from the decision-makers up on The Hill. A close loss (think: 14 points or less) only exacerbates frustration among a fan base that is sick of the Razorbacks being “close.” A win … well, a win complicates things beyond measure.

Those are your options, folks.


Tweets and the like

So, Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension was upheld. Could big things be in the offing for the greatest player in Razorbacks history now?

OK, so defensive lineman Emmit Gooden is one of the most highly touted junior college commits Arkansas has right now. There was some drama Thursday (when isn’t there drama lately?) when a social media thing came out about Gooden de-committing from Arkansas. Well, Gooden said he was hacked. So there’s that.

Former Diamond Hogs pitcher Dallas Keuchel is getting the start Friday night for the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees.

Skip Breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here.

The post Bret Bielema’s lower buyout total changes nothing for Arkansas, Jeff Long appeared first on SEC Country.

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