Franks Broyles’ appearance at the Arkansas Sports Club and the Heisman Trophy race provided a quite a few tidbits. Here are a few:
The former University of Arkansas athletic director consider’s Paul Petrino’s move to the offensive coordinator’s post at Illinois University as a resume builder.
Broyles thinks Paul Petrino needed to get out of the shadow of his brother (head coach Bobby Petrino) to realize his dream of becoming a head coach.
"Even though he’s offensive coordinator, he’s not calling the plays, he’s not getting the credit and he’s not getting the training, in the eyes of the public, that he needs as to become a head coach," Broyles said.
He has become a fan of Bobby Petrino’s offense, a more passing-oriented one than Broyles used during his career.
"The options he has in the passing game reminds me of all the running options in the old triple option," he said. "They (quarterbacks and receivers) rotate through their options, 1-2-3, and they learn it. He’s making the passing game look like the 3 yards and a cloud of dust in my day."
He thinks Petrino, who came to the UA as a coaching nomad, is entrenched in Arkansas for awhile.
"I’ve been around enough to know the little things that a person does in his job that shows a person is not looking for something else," Broyles said. "I’ve seen those things in Bobby."
Broyles was asked by a member of the audience whether he thought UA quarterback Ryan Mallett could be a top Heisman Trophy candidate next year — if he doesn’t enter the pro draft.
"He has the potential to be an All-American," Broyles said. "But his pro career will be a lot better and he can make a lot of money to begin with if he stays another year, in my opinion."
AT GEORGIA TECH
Broyles, reflecting on his college days at Georgia Tech, when the Yellowjackets were members of the Southeastern Conference and bitter rivals with the University of Georgia, gave a clue to why he’s been so adamant in his philosophy as athletic director in not allowing the UA to compete against other state schools.
One of the major appeals when he first became Arkansas coach was to go to a state that the Hogs had no rival for recognition for any other state or professional team.
"I remember, while at Georgia Tech, what it was like to battle Georgia for every player, every newspaper article, every fan, every photo," he said.
It has come from nowhere in a few years to gain status as one of the major awards during the football season.
"It was all David Bazzel (former player and radio personality)," Broyles said. "He came to me about an award in my name and I said one thing that was missing was recognition for the assistant coaches. The assistants at Arkansas would get publicity in Little Rock and those at LSU would get publicity in Baton Rouge but they didn’t get it in many places. It was all David’s Bazzel’s doing. I just get the credit."
He said 17 former finalists for the Broyles Award have gone on to become head coaches.
He finished fourth in the balloting, but Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamkung Suh changed the dynamics of this year’s award.
Suh’s dominating performance in the Big 12 championship game threw a clearing block for Alabama’s Mark Ingram to win the Heisman. I think he took away a lot of votes that might have gone to Colt McCoy and won the Texas quarterback the award.
Ingram had the most modest statistics of any Heisman winner but he performed well in the big games, particularly the decisive confrontation against Florida in the SEC title game. With the movie "Blindside" inspiring everyone, Ingram also had the best story — with his father in prison.
What so often decides the Heisman is which player has the best game in the game that most observers consider the big one of the season.
But I believe McCoy was the leader in the clubhouse until Suh burst upon the scene and his bubble.
(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 505-1235 or firstname.lastname@example.org)