I must admit that I really want the Arkansas program under John Pelphrey to succeed. One reason is obvious. Pelphrey is a Kentucky boy with roots in my part of the state and he played for the most beloved UK team in history. But the other reason might not be as obvious. The fact is that the SEC is better when Arkansas is playing well. There are no set of fans that are rowdier and make basketball atmospheres better than the group from the Razorback state when they go calling the Hogs. UK-Arkansas games in the mid-90s were as good as it gets and that atmosphere needs to be rekindled to stoke basketball in the SEC West.
But things arent looking good in Fayetteville. This article on an Arkansas website (hat tip to Wildcat World), says that Arkansas has been drawing less than 7,000 people a game this season in Bud Walton Arena. I find that unfathomable. There was a time in the 1990s when Arkansas was one of the top 5 programs in America…and now they are drawing less than 7,000 fans to see the team play in a rebuilding year? One has to feel for Pelphrey and his difficult situation…player turmoil, a depleted roster and now a loss of fan support. And it may be the case that surviving this will be tough for the redheaded one. But I am pulling for him…the SEC needs Arkansas to be relevant, and 7,000 a game just isnt getting it done.