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Big East eyes turn to Arkansas

4/12/2012

Who knew Bobby Petrino would have such an impact on the Big East!

  • The ousted Arkansas coach was already persona non grata in Louisville, so you know Cardinals fans were watching with amusement as all the sordid details of the last several weeks were revealed.

  • Rutgers is set to play at Arkansas Sept. 22, so you know Scarlet Knights fans are wondering whether their chances of winning have been boosted with Petrino out.

  • USF coach Skip Holtz has deep ties to Arkansas, having lived there when his father coached the Razorbacks. His name already has come up for discussion, so you know Bulls fans are wondering whether they will their coach.

Rutgers and USF remain in wait-and-see mode, for now. Despite the coaching shake-up, the Razorbacks should still go into the season ranked in the preseason top 10 and be favored over Rutgers. But nobody knows whether Arkansas is going to go the interim route or try to hire a coach right away, but it appears athletic director Jeff Long will take his time in deciding.

Holtz already has shot down speculation linking him to the Arkansas job, telling Greg Auman of The St. Petersburg Times:

"I am not looking to leave here. I am not calling anybody. I am not trying to put my name out there. I want to be the head football coach here," he said. "I enjoy it here. I like it here. I addressed this in the offseason when some other opportunities were open. I said then I think we have a lot of things we want to get done here. We've got a great senior class coming back, and the attitude and morale of this football team is my No. 1 priority."

He went on to say:

"I'm sure there's going to be a long line of people that are going to be looking to be the next football coach there. I'm sure they've got a lot of great candidates in mind. It's a good place, and I have some great memories there. My home is in Tampa. My wife is here. My kids are here. This is where I want to be."