A devout fundamentalist who has appeared on evangelist Pat Robertson's TV shows, Arkansas coach Ken Hatfield used to open his own Sunday TV program with a quotation from the Bible. After last season's last-second 16-14 loss to Texas, for example, Hatfield came on the air and said plaintively, "Jesus wept." To many fans, that was almost as objectionable as his inability to win big games. "He's always preaching at us, and he can't beat Texas!" complained one Arkansan.
Well, today that fan should be in Hog Heaven, so to speak. Not only has Hatfield dropped scripture from his show—at athletic director Frank Broyles's behest—but he has also made amends for last season's excruciating loss to the Longhorns by directing the Razorbacks to a 27-24 victory on Saturday in Austin. It was only the second time in 22 years that Arkansas has won on its most hated rival's field.
That gave the Razorbacks a 6-0 record and kept the Hogs on track for what would be only their third Cotton Bowl trip since 1965. The Razorbacks, the least celebrated of the seven remaining unbeatens in Division I-A, were led by quarterback Quinn Grovey, who passed and ran for 212 yards. Nevertheless, Arkansas fans had better wait before making plans for a Jan. 2 trip to Dallas. In their final two games the Razorbacks meet defending Southwest Conference champ Texas A & M and defending national champion Miami.
At least the win over Texas may have taken some of the chill off Hatfield's relationship with Broyles. Then again, maybe not. When told recently that Broyles was negotiating with LSU for a home-and-home series if the NCAA expands the college season to 12 games, Hatfield said, "Like anything else, it's an athletic director's decision, and it's based on money.... They would schedule 17 games if they could."
Amen, coach, amen.
When the Effigy Bowl was held in Knoxville, Tenn., last Saturday, the stakes were depressingly clear. To the winner would go a week's reprieve. To the loser would go a cigarette, a blindfold and maybe a rock thrown through the office window, which is what Alabama coach Bill Curry found the day after the Tide's 22-12 upset loss to Ole Miss the week before.
When 'Bama rebounded with a 28-20 win over Tennessee, running the Vols' alltime worst start to 0-6, it was Johnny Majors, Curry's opposite number, who found himself twisting slowly in the wind. As Majors walked off the field, two fans with bags over their heads screamed unprintable invitations for him to seek new employment. "It doesn't take a lot of guts to put a bag over your head," said Majors. "That's kind of like the Ku Klux Klan."
One wag had observed that the rock that shattered Curry's window was thrown so accurately that the suspects couldn't have included Jeff Dunn or Vince Sutton, the backup Tide quarterbacks who called signals against Ole Miss and didn't complete a pass. Of course, it was just Tennessee's luck that David Smith, Alabama's first-string quarterback, who had been out with an injury since Sept. 10, was ready to go against the Vols. Smith restored the forward pass to the Tide attack by completing 10 of 18 attempts.