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Draft King Analysis

November 21, 2007
Lou Pickney,

Reader feedback is always welcomed here at Send your thoughts to me at

From: Lee Fowler
Date: Nov 21, 2007 6:34 AM
Subject: (no subject)

Hello Mr. Pickney. I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to go the the Razorback game in Little Rock. Yes sir, I'm a homer!!! But, being from Arkansas, I know its tough for us to ever get any recognition. Not that we deserve it all the time. But, I think your comments were right on. I believe Darren is the safest bet in the draft. With Felix, Peyton, and Monk all having so much talent, I look forward to following their careers to come. Just curious of your opinion, I think Peyton Hillis might even be an H back. Kind of like a Dallas Clark. He has great hands and speed. If not there, maybe a Mike Alstott type. He's young and will continue to bulk up. I hope he doesn't just play fullback is all. He has taken a lessor role on this team the past 2 years for Darren and Felix. He deserves much more. Also, all 3 of these backs have been team first players. It's been a pleasure to get to watch them. DMac for Heisman!!!!!!

Lou: The trip to Little Rock was well worth it to see McFadden and company play. It's interesting to me that Arkansas plays at least three home games at War Memorial Stadium every year (details are available here), since it holds 53,727 compared with the estimated 76,000 capacity that Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville has (officially it's 72,000, but they've topped 76,000 in attendance before.)

I understand the concept that Arkansas is a state school and that, from a recruiting standpoint, it helps to have a strong Little Rock presence. The tradition of playing in Little Rock is nice, and it worked out well with similar stadium capacities until the major stadium expansion in Fayetteville in 2001; prior to that, Razorback Stadium held just 51,000.

From a financial outlook it seems that a sellout in Fayetteville would outgross a sellout in Little Rock by about $650,000-$750,000 per game, depending on ticket prices. I paid a scalper $50 for a $35 ticket on the 50 yard line, which seemed quite reasonable to me as it was likely the best seat I've ever had for a I-A football game.

I used to have a great view at Evansville Aces I-AA (non-scholarship) football games from the broadcast booth when I worked for WUEV, back when they still let students broadcast sports events (you know, providing education and experience like a college station should), but then the school dropped the football program during my junior year. Those bastards. Yes, I'm still bitter nearly 10 years later.

Little Rock itself seemed like a nice enough town; in my past life as a TV news producer, I worked with a couple of people (John Harding and Christine Haas) who were once news anchors in Little Rock. I distinctly remember Christine having two AP awards hanging above her desk that were shaped in the state of Arkansas, which was pretty cool looking. But if Arkansas moves to playing just one game there per year (probably the LSU game in years that Arkansas is the host school), it wouldn't surprise me at all. In college football as in life, money talks.

While it has been nice having Arkansas in the SEC, they really got the short end of the stick when it came to losing their natural rivalries with Texas and Oklahoma when the school jumped the sinking ship of the now-defunct Southwest Conference in early 1991 and competed as an independent in football in 1991 before joining the SEC in the sport in 1992. Arkansas would have been a much stronger (and more logical) addition than Baylor to go with Texas, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma in merging with the Big Eight, which became the Big XII in 1996, but that was not an option.

It is quite possible that Peyton Hillis could fill an H-back role on the NFL level and might transition into a Dallas Clark type of spot. An over-enthusiastic fan one row behind us was raving about Hillis before the game, albeit in a voice that was a little too loud because he was wearing radio headphones to listen to the game's radio broadcast.

If Arkansas had a better starting quarterback than Casey Dick, and if Marcus Monk had avoided injury, who knows how the season might have turned out for them. But Hillis demonstrated his pass-catching skills in the Mississippi State game, and scouts would be well-served to look into that relative to how he can help out teams in the draft.

McFadden will have one last chance to make his case to Heisman voters on Friday against LSU, in that somewhat contrived rivalry for the "Golden Boot" trophy. I can't wait to see how he matches up with that stellar LSU defense. It should make for some fun post-Thanksgiving fireworks.

But I know where I'll be on Saturday night: watching the Kansas vs. Missouri game on ABC. Has there ever been a game that could arguably be said to be the biggest game EVER for BOTH teams involved?!? With the beer flowing at Arrowhead Stadium, and with a full day of tailgating involved for fans of both teams, it should be a raucous environment.

Enjoy the NFL triple-header tomorrow, everyone. It's going to be quite the sports weekend. I'll fill in the gaps by doing my Christmas shopping online (I question the sanity of those who will wait in line for hours to save $50 on a purchase) and catching as much of the action as I can.


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