The young man was suddenly jilted for his hot prom date.

So, he made a list of possible replacements: J-Lo, Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Aniston and Beyonce.

That’s not much higher degree of fantasy than the names some folks are throwing our for Razorback football coach — and now.

A week after Bobby Petrino resigned, many folks are living in both shock and suspended reality.

Just about every coach, former coach, looking-for-work coach with an agent, former coach who has a TV gig or former coach who is retired but is a recognizable name — anyone with a signature offense, signature defense or with a winning record in the past — has been tossed about on a call-in show or blog.

And it’s OK to dream for conversation’s sake. Many of us did that concerning the recent Mega Millions jackpot.

But it’s also important to recognize the reality — particularly with the timing of the situation.

Recruiting is over. Spring football is over. Plans are set for the summer and next year. Folks are locked in.

It’s not like you can throw money at a coach, add water and get someone who will lead the Hogs to a national title.

Just because a coach has had success at one institution or sounds great on TV (which can be a plum job) doesn’t mean he is a fit for Fayetteville.

This goes much beyond X’s and O’s and what’s in the playbook.

There are chemistry issues — with coach and administrators, coach and players, coach and major donors, coach and fellow coaches, coach and elements of what has been done before. There is generally a giant learning curve that cannot be minimized in a few months.

Throwing the wrong element into the situation right now could knock a good team off track — even with a good "name" coach and a good staff.

Most fans don’t understand the subtle nature and the importance of the little things that occur away from the spotlight in the spring and summer. Personnel groups are identified. Hot-buttons for players are learned. Fellowship and focus develop during the grind.

I think there’s been a bond among players and coaches during the recent upheaval. They’ve learned to lean on each other as never before. I don’t think you need to break the continuity from the players standpoint and jar the new unity and determination of the staff and its dedication to the players.

And the UA has $2.6 million tied up in its current assistants — a veteran staff, one that appears to be a very good staff.

The pool of quality coaches who are realistically available will be much greater in November than now. Who knows? An interim might display the qualities and abilities most everyone wants but can’t see right now because he’s in the shadows.

One major positive that has emerged is there is much greater confidence that Athletic Director Jeff Long can sort through the issues and candidates and make the right decision. Tuesday, it was announced that the UA got a $1.25 million donation from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation in honor of Long and the courage and integrity show in crisis management.

Some pretty good folks will likely fall from the trees. But things have to ripen.

And the process will likely take time.

(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 505-1235 or