Hog Opera IV | Arkansas Blog

Hog Opera IV

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ESPN's final installment. This one focuses on the unhappiness in Northwest Arkansas, Springdale particularly, over the Mustain/Malzahn debacle and suggests a divide between that part of the state and the rest over the Hogs, or at least over Coach Houston Nutt.

Message to UA bosses: If you haven't figured it out, this is not good. More and more, UA is NWA University. If Frank had had his way, remember, all home games would be played in Fayetteville. The big money supporters -- athletic and academic -- are clustered in NW Ark. And you're letting Houston and allies stir up noise about how the problem is with NW Ark. darksiders? Stoo-pid. Jim Harris is right. Somebody needs to shut Houston Dale up. And take away his cell phone.

Three prominent coaches in northwest Arkansas, Daryl Patton at Fayetteville High, Ronnie Peacock of Rogers High and Barry Lunney at Bentonville High, declined to speak on the record.

Lunney, a former Razorbacks quarterback whom Nutt considers a good friend, initially agreed to an interview with ESPN.com and called Nutt to alert him. Within the hour, Lunney called back to decline the interview after discussing it with his athletic director and his principal.

"I have friends on both sides," Lunney said.

Nutt, when informed that Lunney declined, said, "That's sad. That's pitiful."

It's just another indication that the offseason controversy has forced Nutt to expend some of the goodwill he banked in last season's run to the SEC West championship. Does he have enough left?

"You don't ever know," he said. "You don't know. I think the bottom line is you gotta win. You gotta win no matter what."

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