Arkansas has hired former Kentucky star John Pelphrey as their new head basketball coach. In terms of sheer idiocy, Arkansas' basketball offseason has to be up there. They fired a coach who has been to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments after inheriting a struggling-at-best program. They replaced him with a solid candidated in Dana Altman of Creighton, only to see him renig on his word. Now they've got a coach with an 80-67 career record.
The good news for LSU fans is Arkansas apparently thinks they're still the program they were in the mid-90s and will likely keep up this cycle for quite some time and never return to prominence. There's one less team in the SEC West to worry about.
ESPN.com's Rumor Central reports that the Oakland Raiders may pass on JaMarcus Russell as the first pick in the NFL Draft. In that situation, they'd take Calvin Johnson with the top choice then select Stanford's Trent Edwards in the second round. Either way, they're going to suck next year.
Which brings me to another point. I've never understood the need for every team to almost always take a quarterback with the top pick. What if he's not the best player? What if you don't necessarily need one, or could use another position more?
Since 1998, when this trend apparently started, seven of nine top picks have been quarterbacks. Of those seven, Peyton Manning and Carson Palmer have proven good picks. Meanwhile, Tim Couch, David Carr have clearly not fit the bill. Against my better judgement, I'm going to give Michael Vick a pass, but he hasn't been No. 1 material so far. I'm also going to cut some slack to Eli Manning and Alex Smith cause they're still so young. But at best right now, you're talking about a coin flip with the most important position on the field. If you home run, you're good for a while. If you don't, you're picking in the top 10 for the next decade, likely taking another quarterback.
Grambling legend Eddie Robinson passed away over the weekend. The 88-year old Robinson had been out of football for nearly 10 years after becoming the winningest coach of all time with more than 400 wins. Robinson is widely recognized as the man who brought sports at historically black colleged and university out of the shadows. He was a true pioneer from his when he took over in 1942 until he retired in 1997. His legacy lives on in all those he coached and mentored, including Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams, who was the first black quarterback to win the big game.