Ryan Mallett Stays at the University of Arkansas: Listen to Audio of the Announcement

Ryan Mallett of the University of Arkansas Razorbacks

Ryan's hope

Should he stay or should he go? After that frigid Saturday in Memphis, wasn’t it obvious? Today, University of Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett made it official, calling eager ears to the Hill to confirm that, yep, he’s still on board and not-yet-NFL bound.

So Arkansas fans can at last breathe a sigh of relief. Meanwhile, ArkansasSports360.com Editor Jim Harris notes how Mallett scored crucial points in announcing his decision, not only in the PR, score-some-time-on-ESPN-and-the-sports-section sense, but in the way he came off polished and assured in the Friday afternoon news conference. Prepped or not, Mallett came off, dare-he-say-it (yes, he dare!) Tebow-esque.

He said all the right things. He didn’t repeat himself, he didn’t seem distant, and he didn’t come across like an arrogant star. Mallett has this kind of cool, hip vocal delivery most of the time, but he came across almost Tim Tebow-like, or at least like someone who might command the kind of attention Tebow has for the past three years.

So there’s that.

You can listen to audio clips of today’s news conference here. Now I suppose everyone can really start talking about next season. It’s going to be a looong time ’til September.

Follow @ArkSports360 for Liberty Bowl High-, Lowlights

Houston Nutt won his today in the most boring Cotton Bowl in recent memory. With OSU unable to get it done despite choice turnovers, Houston gets another “special” victory and, I think, goes 2-fer-2 in bowls while at Ole Miss.

But who cares? Let’s go to the action in Memphis, where it’s so cold Mallet can barely throw the football. This is also shaping up to be a barn-burner. Fans in the frigid stands are pinning their hopes on by-God Eddie Money to get things started, even though he’s appearing sans Ronnie Spector.

At any rate, get the play-by-play on today’s game via Twitter from @ArkSports360 and @cbahn, who’s got his long- handles on today for sure. Stay frosty!

Jeff Long Talks to Chris Bahn in This Month’s ArkansasSports360.com

Nice work, guys

Nice work, guys

Congrats the Arkansas Razorbacks on their big win on Friday over LSU. You can read more complete coverage of the game and its aftermath on our sports Web site, ArkansasSports360.com.

Meanwhile, there’s more Hog coverage to chew on in the December ArkansasSports360.com print edition. Northwest Arkansas Editor Chris Bahn gets a sit-down with the new Hog-in-Chief Jeff Long. Bahn’s piece opens with a great anecdote about Long’s very first Hog call:

In his first act as athletic director, Long couldn’t afford to flub the most sacred tradition in Arkansas athletics. He took instruction on how to do it, ran through a couple trials and headed off to his introductory press conference.

More than a year later, he’s still not 100 percent confident in his ability to call the Hogs.

“I’m not sure I’ve got it totally down now,” Long says with a laugh. “Sometimes I come forward too quickly. It’s a work in progress for me.”

There’s more in the full cover story, available here. And in this sidebar, Long talks about the need for more transparency in the notoriously secret Razorbacks Foundation.

Long, on the cover

Long, on the cover

And then there’s this great cover shot of Long by Mike Pirnique, with Long rolling up his sleeves, ready to get to work.

Also this month:

Chris Bahn in a bid for fan patience

Jim Harris on change at the UA

Steve Sullivan on the strange 2008 high school football season

David Bazzel on the Anointed Ones

Justin Acri on the UCA non-championship

(Photo courtesy David Bazzel)

Casey Dick on the New ArkansasSports360.com

The new edition of our monthly Arkansas sports magazine, ArkansasSports360.com, sports Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Casey Dick on the cover.

Our debut cover last year featuring Darren McFadden was pretty sweet. But this one gives it a run for its money, I think.

Both cover shots were taken by Mike Pirnique, our extraordinarily talented staff photographer. Mike also shot Razorbacks coach Bobby Petrino, who landed the cover last month as part of our first Arkansas high school and college football preview.

You can pick up the magazine Monday on newsstands and inserted in Arkansas Business. You can check all the magazine’s content, including this cover feature on the UA quarterback, on ArkansasSports360.com this weekend.

Chris Bahn – Time to Take the Credit

At the beginning of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, our ArkansasSports360.com Northwest Arkansas Sports Editor Chris Bahn was a little gun shy about making his picks. He thought he had about as much business picking the tournament winner as his beagle, Hoops.

Well maybe Bahn does know a thing or two. He picked the Kansas Jayhawks to go all the way:

2008 National Champ: Kansas. Granted, we’ve thought the Jayhawks were hot before only to watch them flame out, but this team is rolling right now. Peaking at the right time is crucial to a tournament run and the Jayhawks look like they might be doing just that. They’ve won seven in a row by an average of 17.7 points. Coach Bill Self has been to the Elite Eight with Tulsa, Illinois and Kansas. This is the year he adds to that resume and all the recruiting he’s done in Lawrence pays off.

Last night’s win puts Kansas in our Penthouse. I think Bahn – and Hoops – deserves a slot there, as well.

More: Patience Pays Off for Jayhawks in NCAA Title Game

And: Memphis, who just couldn’t get it done.

NCAA Tournament Wrap Up

It’s a been a hectic few days here at Arkansas Business, with our sports Web site and newspaper, ArkansasSports360.com, working the NCAA Basketball Tournament in North Little Rock. Here now, a look back at the weekend that was, with a few dispatches from Raleigh tossed in:

The Sunday round-up –  Razorbacks buried; Texas and Memphis advance; the Alltel crowd comes alive; celebrity sightings and more.

The Friday round-up –  Jim Harris has the best seat in the house; video from Alltel Arena; the Razorbacks surprise the Hoosiers; and a photo slideshow of all the action.

The Thursday round-up –  The calm before the storm; Rick Barnes gets booed; and previews galore.

Now wasn’t that fun? Here’s hoping this circus comes back to town soon.

Our Coverage of the NCAA Tournament in North Little Rock

Our sports publication, ArkansasSports360.com, is all over the NCAA Basketball Tournament in North Little Rock. Jim Harris is live at Alltel Arena, Chris Bahn is filing from Raleigh, N.C., with the Razorbacks, and Tre Baker and I are holding it down at the central hub at Arkansas Business Publishing Group offices downtown, as team busses barrel by every half hour or so. An exciting weekend.

Click here to see a round-up of Thursday coverage. And all our coverage is warehoused here, including links to other blogs, message boards and news sites.