I always enjoy the Little Rock Touchdown Club meeting and August 20th was better than I expected. Mark May did a great job. I thought his answer concerning Tennessee being a sleeper team was an excellent description of them. I have not heard many commentators talking about the Vols challenging for the SEC East conference title. However, they do have some very good receivers and a fine quarterback in Tyler Bray.
I also was surprised that David said he did not invite Mark Henry to speak till his son committed to be a Razorback. Maybe David is right but I thought the members of the LR Touchdown Club would be able to rise above that. Keith Jackson played at Oklahoma and he has been on the radio broadcast for years.
By Harry King
Arkansas News Bureau
LITTLE ROCK — Decked out in shorts and a colorful button-down collar shirt, ESPN analyst Mark May dropped by a Little Rock radio station to talk a little football on Monday morning.
Off the air, there was a conversation about his blunt assessment of the Penn State mess and how his employer appreciated his honesty to the point of wanting May to weigh in on all things controversial in college football.
You know the man is candid when he tells several hundred football fans from Arkansas that if he had a son who was a top recruit, he would encourage the young man to go to Alabama and play for Nick Saban. He is the best at developing talent, May told the Little Rock Touchdown Club.
The Outland Trophy winner while at Pittsburgh, May was a good leadoff hitter for the TD Club. Before May was introduced, club president David Bazzel reviewed the lineup of speakers, including the interesting timing of UA coach John L. Smith on Sept. 24 and UA athletic director Jeff Long in mid-October. Smith will be 10 days post-Alabama and Long is up when Arkansas is halfway through its Southeastern Conference schedule.
May had high praise for Long, crediting the athletic director with putting UA football on the map nationally, for the way he handled the dismissal of Bobby Petrino, and for hiring Smith as a CEO to oversee the program. Asked about the next coach, May said “most of those big names, you can’t get them,” but that if Long zeroes in on somebody, he would pursue him like a “rabid dog.”
Tossing out names, May mentioned Cincinnati coach Butch Jones, Louisville coach Charlie Strong, Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, and Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. At our table, Smith’s successor received more attention than the upcoming season.
On the 2012 season, May said what Razorback fans want to hear, that Arkansas has a “road to the national championship.” Whether they heard his preamble, who knows.
He said Petrino left the cupboard full, but that he wanted to see running back Knile Davis get hit before the season opener, that the defense is still a question mark, and that the Razorbacks needed big plays from special teams. May noted that Arkansas would be favored in nine games and said fans should make sure the atmosphere is raucous for Alabama and LSU in Fayetteville.
He did say that he believed Alabama would win the SEC, that the loss of Tyrann Mathieu would hurt LSU severely, and that USC is thin on defense and has a weak schedule.
May had some fun with Lou Holtz, his foil on “Final Verdict” with robe-wearing Rece Davis, including word that the bit is never rehearsed. Holtz gets ticked when he loses, particularly after his golfing buddies in Florida chide him about being outdone by May. “Have you ever been threatened by a 73-year-old?” May asked.
Bazzel got the jump on May, playing the tape of a phone message supposedly from Holtz. Bazzel’s former coach said he would have liked to have been in Little Rock for the meeting, but that he has a busy schedule. “Mark May doesn’t,” the caller said.
May did say he and Holtz would be putting in about 16 hours each Saturday since the Pac-12 has promised a 10:30 p.m. kickoff every week and that there is a wrapup show to follow.
May encouraged questions and picked Tennessee as a possible surprise in the SEC. He said he is not a big fan of the new four-team playoff in college football, pointing out that a team that goes through the rugged SEC must still win a conference championship game and a semifinal game to reach the title game while a team in the Big 12 has an advantage since there is no conference title game.
Harry King is sports columnist for Stephens Media’s Arkansas News Bureau. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year’s Little Rock Touchdown Club speakers are very exciting and I am really excited about the first one being Mark May. Below that are some of the posts about past speakers. Here is more about Mark May from Wikipedia: Mark Eric May (born November 2, 1959) is a former American college and professional football player who was [...]
This year’s Little Rock Touchdown Club speakers are very exciting. Below is this year’s list followed by some of the posts about past speakers. Mark May – ESPN ESPN College Football Analyst teaming with Lou Holtz for the popular College Football Scoreboard. Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005, May was a 1st Team [...]
I enjoyed the Little Rock Touchdown Club and have posted a lot about it all fall. I have links below to earlier posts. Yesterday Wally Hall and Steve Sullivan had some good insights. Below are some of the thoughts of Jim Harris that he shared at the lunch. BUILDING THE DEFENSE: How nice it would [...]
I saw the end of the Tennessee/Vandy game on tv and my brother-in-law went to the game (pictures from him below). I have written about the game earlier on this blog so I will not go into that again. I just wanted to comment on the video clip above. I think it is fine that [...]
They both lost to #1, 2 and 3 ranked teams in the same year (Iowa St in 1971 and Tennessee in 2011). As an Arkansas fan I take great pride in other schools complaining about having to play us. Did you know that Iowa State’s staff included head coach Johnny Majors who had left the Arkansas [...]
Uploaded by TheMemphisSlim on Sep 3, 2010 Johnny Majors from Huntland, TN tried out for the UT Football team weighing 150 pounds. His Father, Shirley Majors his HS Coach,encourage him and then 4 younger brothers all to be Vols. Johnny Majors was the runner-up in 1956 for the Heisman Trophy to Paul Horning, on a loosing Notre Dame [...]
Interview with Johnny Majors after 1982 Kentucky game Below is a picture of Lane Kiffin with Johnny Majors. I enjoyed hearing Johnny Majors speak at the Little Rock Touchdown Club on 11-7-11. He talked a lot about the connection between the Arkansas and Tennessee football programs. It reminded me of what Frank Broyles had said [...]
Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2011 Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley reacts as Arkansas scores their seventh touchdown of the night at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)
FB: The Best of Johnny Majors at Iowa St I got to hear Johnny Majors talk on 11-7-11 and he talked about the connection that Arkansas and Tennessee had with their football programs. Two years ago I got to hear Frank Broyles speak at the Little Rock Touchdown Club and he said that too. As [...]
Rex Nelson mentioned this story below before former Tennessee coach Johnny Majors was introduced at the Little Rock Touchdown Club on 11-7-11. Here is the story below from Yahoo: It was 6:10 p.m. when University of Tennessee student Derrick Brodus got the call. He was lying on the couch in his frat house, waiting for [...]