Camacho and I have our favorites among the SB Nation blog brotherhood, and the dudes who run Arkansas Fight are among the greats. We asked some questions of Doc Harper and Ryan Higgins. Follow those dudes on Twitter. Now, CROSSFIRE INTERVIEW.
GBH: What are your thoughts on Steven Godfrey's piece "The Natural State" that he wrote a few weeks ago and do you still see a lot of in-fighting amongst ex-Arkansas head coach factions, or has the three-game win streak calmed a lot of folks down? Does one camp support Beilema more than another? Do you have close associates that have ever used the phrase "NUTT-HUGGER" unironically? I know that's a lot of questions. Sorry.
AF: I loved it. I was one of the people here he talked about things with, and much of what we discussed ended up in the story. The Hogville stuff was a lot of fun, especially seeing that they chose Larry's Pizza Buffet as their local spot to take Godfrey and hold their summit. The "Larry's Pizza Summit" has become a running gag with some friends. I also really appreciated the perspectives from the local high school coaches because that's not something you see a lot in the standard Bielema pieces.
I'll say at the moment people are pretty pleased, but things can always change quickly here. If things go really badly against A&M, Bama, and UGA (our next 3 games) attitudes could go bad again. There are some fans who jump at the chance to cry about how we should have hired Malzahn or shouldn't have fired Petrino, and if Bielema loses while they win, things can get bad like they did last year. But so far this year things are relatively stable.
I don't think I've ever heard someone say "Nutt-Hugger" in person, but can't be sure. I did work with a guy who is a respected business reporter in Little Rock who dead seriously and enthusiastically referred to the Nutt era as "THAT EVIL". Like he was damning the people who allowed THAT EVIL to take place at UA. And that was in 2010 or 2011, several years after Nutt left.
GBH: How much do you hate that we play at Cowboys' Stadium? Because we hate it quite a bit. Does this game take the place of one of the Little Rock games each year, or is there a scenario where you'd play twice in Little Rock and once in Dallas?
AF: I hate it but I often feel like the only person in Arkansas who hates it. Arkansas people luuuuuv Dallas, man.
I get why Arkansas plays there, or at least what they think they gain by playing there, but I don't see why A&M wants to play there. My hope is that y'all come to your senses when the contract is over and move the games back to campus since y'all are building that crazy new stadium.
I'm just a fan of games on campus. That's what college football was built on and those are almost always the best environments for games, at least to me. Leave neutral sites for the bowls.
GBH: Speaking of neutral games, how cool is it that y'all started playing LSU in Fayetteville again? Seems like even in 2012 the team was able to keep it close, so you've got to feel good about this year.
AF: Actually, I'm a Little Rock guy and enjoy games there, although I obviously admit the disadvantages of War Memorial Stadium compared to Razorback Stadium. It's a rare case of the off-campus venue maintaining or surpassing the on-campus atmosphere.
I don't feel good about playing anybody. I acknowledge playing LSU at home is probably one of the more winnable SEC games on the schedule, but I'm not at a point after the last couple years where I admit to feeling good about playing anybody. Those scars cut deep.
GBH: We know about the two-pronged rushing monster in the backfield, but who do you see as someone who can step up and be a second receiving threat to complement Keon Hatcher?
AF: Hell if I know.
If Demetrius Wilson plays, he can be a reliable receiver but he's not really a deep threat. Our freshman Jared Cornelius has a lot of talent and will play on Saturday. Drew Morgan had a great camp in August but hasn't produced as much in games so far.
But Hunter Henry can be a great receiving target. He had a big game against A&M last year as a freshman, so maybe this is the week he gets more involved.
GBH: What do you think Bert's ceiling is?
AF: I think he can be pretty successful here. Right now, Arkansas has some talented players as starters but there's a pretty big dropoff to the backups. Can he build up the necessary depth with a couple of recruiting classes? That's what we'll find out.
Can he win an SEC title here? Arkansas has come pretty close before so I don't think it's unreasonable to think he can if enough things fall right for him.
GBH: We hate Texas, y'all seem to hate Texas. What does the University of Texas represent to Arkansas fans?
AF: To Hog fans over 30 or so, they represent the eternal rival. Texas is The Grinch. They have termites in their smiles and so forth. They're immoral and filthy.
Texas was the school that thwarted several great Razorback teams in the 60s 70s and 80s in the SWC and the fans who remember those years will never accept any other true rival.
To fans under 30, they're just one of those old things that parents talk about. The younger fans generally don't care about the SWC rivalries at all. They get sick of hearing about it.
GBH: What's your game prediction?
AF: Like I said, I'm not at a point where I feel comfortable with anything yet, so I say the Aggies win. By how much? No idea. I can see it being a blowout and I can see it being close.