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Overrated

Posted by Christopher L. Gasper, Globe Staff  April 11, 2012 02:03 PM

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...That's what the Arkansas football job is. The Razorbacks are searching for a new head coach after firing Bobby Petrino in the wake of an embarrassing scandal. Petrino was dismissed following revelations that his motorcycle accident involved a woman he was having an affair with and whom he had recently hired as a University of Arkansas employee over 158 other applicants. Petrino guided the Razorbacks to a 21-5 record the last two seasons and the school has its share of tradition (1964 national champions) and talent (Darren McFadden, Felix Jones and Peyton Hillis were all in the same backfield from 2005-07), but it's not one of the premier jobs in college football or the Southeastern Conference. It's a place where the outsized expectations of the fandom often don't match the reality of the program. As long as LSU, Alabama and Auburn are still playing football, Arkansas is going to be the fourth-most high-profile program in the SEC's West division. It ranks below Florida, Georgia and Tennessee on the SEC prestige scale too. Plus, with the addition of Texas A&M to the Darwinian SEC, the Razorbacks' advantage of recruiting in Texas is mitigated. Arkansas is the type of job that gets even good coaches fired. You can win there, but probably not big enough.
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The word

Christopher L. Gasper riffs on the news

Dearth

...That's what the Patriots have when it comes to picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, which starts Thursday. After all those years of stockpiling picks the way a survivalist does non-perishables the Patriots have just five picks in this year's draft, thanks to Band-aid trades for Albert Haynesworth, Chad Ochocinco and Aqib Talib. Five picks would be the fewest draft picks in franchise history. (Part of that is attributable to the trimming of the draft to just seven rounds in 1994). Further complicating matters is that two of the Patriots' greatest needs are at wide receiver and cornerback, positions where they have sustained draft droughts. With that in mind, I'm convinced the Patriots are going trade back out of the first round of a quanity-over-quality draft where you're just as likely to pick a Pro Bowl player in the second and third round as you are in the first round.

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