Midnight — Time to pack and get ready to head back home. As the snow falls on Fayetteville, remember that the Razorback women’s basketball team opens SEC play — the first ever 16-game regular season schedule — with Florida at 2 p.m. at Walton Arena.
11:45 p.m. — The last pieces of video are in from Matt Wolfe. Did you notice that Blair Cartwright had the highlight package up almost at the same time I finished out the first re-write of the game story? Most nights, you will get your info here first.
11:00 p.m. — We have revised final stats (minor adjustments in the participation, nothing in the actual numbers) and we have the Liberty Bowl’s notes up now.
10:10 p.m. — Settling in to the hotel to get some last details and run down to the official party’s hospitality room. Bump into several players, and anyone who thinks that the playoff system would be better than the bowl system hasn’t really been close to college athletics. Here is a group of young men who finished the year 8-5 — but tonight, and for the rest of their lives, they will be the 2010 AutoZone Liberty Bowl Champions. Champions.
I’ve had the opportunity to participate in the I-AA (I refuse except when officially bound to use our new NCAA mandated labels) playoffs back at Northeast Louisiana, and I’ve been a member of the department and football staff to win a national championship — got the ring to prove it. But there are no bowl games for that level, and until you’ve been around what bowls mean for the teams that aren’t in the "championship" game, it is hard to explain.
I have finished more than my share of basketball seasons in 25 years of college athletics — almost every one of them concluded with a loss. That’s your last memory, your last image.
That won’t be how our seniors reflect on their time at Arkansas.
10:00 p.m. — As you might expect, the team hotel is packed and Beale Street is Razorback Red tonight.