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Would Arkansas Give Michael Dyer A Chance?

gfx - they said itFormer Auburn running back Michael Dyer is an Arkansas native who would like to play for the Razorbacks.  Dyer, who left  Auburn after the 2011 season, and was dismissed at Arkansas State in 2012, says he would like a third chance in Fayetteville for Bret Bielema.


“If I was given the chance, I would definitely do the best that I can for [Arkansas] and for the coaches and for the fans,” Dyer said. “To be able to play at home, I think any kid would love that dream to come back home and start over and play at home. But I’m just, you know, sitting here, I’m going to play it out and I’m going to let God do the rest for me.”



At Auburn , Dyer admitted in court that his pistol was used in a robbery by teammates.  He transferred to Arkansas State where then head coach Gus Malzahn attempted to give him a second chance.  That second chance ended in the summer of 2012 when he was dismissed after details about a traffic stop emerged – going 96 in a 70 MPH zone and evidence of marijuana.  He’s been at Arkansas Baptist College as a student, not a football player, since then.  He’s set to graduate this spring.  He’s expected to announce his future plans in the next few weeks.

Update: WholeHogSports says “Dyer will not be walking on at Arkansas despite the rumors saying he will.”


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Mizzou Adds Arkansas State To 2013 Football Slate

mrsec-breaking-newsMissouri has set up a home-and-home football series with Arkansas State that will see the Red Wolves travel to Columbia in the fall.  The Tigers will reciprocate the 2013 game with a trip to Jonesboro in 2015, an usual move for a Southeastern Conference team.

Arkansas State went 10-3 this past season and launched Gus Malzahn into the Auburn head coaching job.

Mizzou’s 2013 non-conference slate features Murray State, Toledo, Indiana (on the road), and Arkansas State.

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SEC Coaching Headlines 12/5/2012

Coaching News/Rumors/Reactions

1. Did Auburn repeat a mistake and skip over more qualified candidates?

2. Stewart Mandel: “Auburn AD Jay Jacobs essentially conceded what many already believed — that Malzahn was the real brains behind Chizik’s 2010 national-title team.

3. Bo Jackson on Malzahn: “(A)ctually, we were surprised that he was as sharp as he was.”

4. When Auburn phone Bobby Petrino this week, the questions and comments  “all revolved around Petrino’s personal life and why Arkansas fired him in April.”

5. Bret Bielema was a surprise hire at Arkansas to many people, including the state’s governor.  “I never heard him mentioned, so it is a surprise.”

6. Andy Staples on Bielema: If he considered (Urban) Meyer a ruthless foe, wait until he meets Nick Saban and Les Miles.”

7. Dan Wetzel: “There’s hardly any legitimate competition between the Big Ten and the SEC anymore. At least, not on the field. That’s just reality.”

8. Bielema’s deal worth $3.2 million annually over six years.

9. “Both schools found capable coaches, but chose very different approaches.” The challenges the two men will face.

10. Texas A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury a possible candidate to replace Gus Malzahn at Arkansas State?

11. Texas Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown on rumors linking him to Kentucky.

12. Ellis Johnson reportedly interviewing for defensive coordinator at Auburn. Future plans for Gene Chizik?

13. What does the future hold for Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo?

14. What about former Florida coach Ron Zook for the University of South Florida?

15. For the fifth straight year, the Bowl losing a coach who guided team to postseason.  This year, both teams, Arkansas State and Kent State, will be looking for new coaches.

16. Butch Davis to Florida International?

17. All these coaching searches have sparked an Internet feud.

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Coaches Already Denying Interest In The Arkansas Job

Earlier today, we made the case that Arkansas AD Jeff Long should simply find or promote an interim coach for 2012 and use the next eight months to thoroughly research every possible coaching candidate in the country.

Who else gets that kind of time to find the right man for a job?

Apparently, UA seems to be heading in that direction.  Matt Jones of The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette writes that “an interim coach seems the most likely route for Arkansas to take” this fall.  In his words, “This is an experienced and invested staff of assistants with which the players feel comfortable.”

If Long’s smart, that’s exactly the route he will take.  But there’s good money — or at least good pageviews and ratings — in kicking around the names of coaching candidates.  So before Bobby Petrino’s coaching casket was lowered into the ground, website and talk radio shows were already targeting his replacement.

Garrick McGee, Butch Davis, Gus Malzahn, Skip Holtz, Dana Holgorsen, Kirby Smart, Art Briles, Charlie Strong, and on and on.

Of those mentioned, two “candidates” have already distanced themselves from the rumors.

Arkansas State’s Malzahn told a radio show this morning that he’s “the coach at Arkansas State” and that he’s “committed” to staying in Jonesboro.

Skip Holtz of South Florida also shot down the speculation.  “I have not talked to anybody from Arkansas… 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.”

Coaches lie, folks.  So I have no doubt that Malzahn or Holtz would jump at the Arkansas job if it were eventually offered.  After the season.

But to move between spring practice and the fall?  That’s a heckuva mark to put on one’s resume.  Such a move wouldn’t be forgotten.  See: Petrino’s own midseason departure from the Atlanta Falcons.

A new coach would also be walking into a complete mess.  How would players embrace him?  Would he come alone and use Petrino’s old staff?  Would he bring in his own staff and learn Petrino’s system from the players?  Would he implement his own system during fall practice?

The right thing for Long to do is to find the best man for Arkansas this year and let that interim handle things in 2012.  Then, by December, Long will have had plenty of time to uncover the perfect choice for next year… and beyond.

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Freeze Hoping For “Buy In” From Rebels

Hugh Freeze is hoping to avoid the cold-shoulder from the Ole Miss football team.  The new Rebel coach tells The Jackson Clarion-Ledger that he knows he won’t win over everybody, but he hopes to reach the vast majority of players:

“At the end of the day, you hope 80% of your team has chosen to buy in.  that’s the buy-in principle.  And your 20%, you hope they’re not negative influences.  If you can ever get a team that’s about 90% or so to buy in, I think you got a special group.  But that’s always a challenge.”

Freeze was a head coach for one season at Arkansas State.  He’ll be asking his team to buy-in on faith, not on a long, distinguished resume.  His players, therefore, will likely want to see some early positive results before they buy-in completely.

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Report: Dyer Given Release From Auburn

The website and The Associated Press are reporting this morning that star tailback Mike Dyer has been granted a release from this scholarship with the Tigers.

Dyer was the MVP of the BCS Championship Game last season and he is the first Auburn back to break the 1,000-yard rushing barrier in each of his first two seasons.  (First, as in Bo Jackson didn’t even do that.)

The Arkansas native rushed for 1,242 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2011.  His 103.5 yards-per-game average was second only to Trent Richardson in the SEC.  That figure was good for 11th place on the SEC’s total offense list.

It’s likely just a matter of hours before Dyer touches down at Arkansas State.

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AU’s Dyer Not Gone To ASU Yet, But What’s Up ‘Tween Chizik And Malzahn?

So much for the report that Mike Dyer was enrolling at Arkansas State yesterday.  It seems no one at the school has seen the Auburn tailback put pen to paper.

The athletic director at ASU said yesterday, “there’s nothing I can confirm or deny.”  He added, “I have no knowledge of anything in that regard.”

Still acting as the Red Wolves’ coach through their Bowl appearance, David Gunn also dismissed the talk:

“A few days ago, maybe a week or so ago, some things had gotten out on Twitter.  That was, I guess, quickly put to rest.  Now this is the second time I’ve heard hat and the first time today.

With all this speculation, it’d be most appropriate for me not to make any comments.  Michael Dyer’s a heck of a football player.  He’s had an outstanding career at Auburn and I’m sure they would want that to continue.”

Matt Harris of The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette tweeted a quote from a source close to Dyer who said, “I’m telling you, he has not filed paperwork to do anything.  If that happens, trust me, I’m sitting beside him.”

So Dyer’s not at ASU at the moment, but it sure sounds like Arkansas State is his clear fallback choice should things end in divorce at Auburn.

Meanwhile, contacts on the Plains say that Dyer’s status has not changed and that he remains suspended indefinitely from the Tiger team.

Charles Goldberg of wrote last evening that “someone familiar with the situation” told him that Dyer “is considering asking for his release so he can transfer to another school.”

The website AuburnUndercover — sorry, the story’s behind a paywall — also reported yesterday that Dyer plans to transfer.  They claim he is asking for a release from his scholarship, but such a release has not been granted yet.

All this begs the following question: What’s up with the relationship between Gene Chizik and Gus Malzahn? At last week’s Chick-fil-A Bowl the two appeared hunky-dory.  Is there a rift between the men behind the scenes?

From our view, there are two possibilities:

1.  Chizik has had it up to the collar of his leather jacket with Dyer — despite his two 1,000-yard seasons — and he’s ready to jettison the kid from his program so long as Dyer and/or his family come to meet with the coach first.  “If you fly right, we’ll keep you.  Otherwise, hit the bricks.”  If that’s the case, then Chizik probably wouldn’t mind Malzahn taking a shot at Dyer.


2.  Chizik is ticked as hell that his offensive coordinator might have been luring his tailback to the coach’s own new program while said coach was still on the Auburn staff. 

As is the case with everything else in this story, there seem to be no solid answers coming from inside the walls of Fortress Auburn.  For every rumor, report or leak, there’s an equal and opposite rumor, report or leak.

At this point, it certainly appears as though Dyer is inching closer and closer to Arkansas State.  What that means for Malzahn’s relationship with Chizik is still a very gray area.

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Report: AU’s Dyer Filing Paperwork To Enroll At Arkansas State

You can throw another log on the Mike-Dyer’s-leaving-Auburn-fire this afternoon.  According to the website, the suspended Tiger running back filed paperwork this afternoon to enroll at Arkansas State.

Two ASU players tweeted and Facebook’d “welcome” messages to Dyer a week ago, but Auburn coach Gene Chizik said at the time that there had been no change in Dyer’s status — he was still indefinitely suspended from the AU squad.  Still, Dyer was noticeably absent from Auburn’s bowl media guide and from a postseason highlight reel that was shown in the Georgia Dome during the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Dyer’s former offensive coordinator at Auburn — Gus Malzahn — has just taken the reins as Arkansas State’s head coach.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE — Matt Harris of The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has now tweeted a follow-up to the above report/rumor from  “Hearing from a source close to Dyer the #AState transfer paperwork rumor is bunk.  Family wants to meet with Chizik at Auburn.”

And that’s why used the “rumors” icon in connection with this one.  When it comes to Dyer, we want to hear an official word from Chizik or Malzahn before we believe he’s moving from one school to the other.

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Dyer’s Status At Auburn Still In Question

There’s a vacuum when it comes to true news on the status of Auburn tailback Mike Dyer.  Last week, a pair of Arkansas State players welcomed him to Jonesboro via social media.  Then Gene Chizik announced that Dyer’s status on the Plains was unchanged suggesting that he was still not currently part of the team — due to indefinite suspension — but was not dismissed from the team, either.

There have been plenty of rumors since, but no hard facts. 

Kevin Scarbinsky of The Birmingham News believes Auburn’s decision to nix Dyer from its bowl media guide and some end o’ the year highlight videos give you a good clue that he may be done with the Tigers.

Chris Bahn of states that there’s been no new information out of the Arkansas State camp.

For now — after talking to several people around the Auburn program — it sounds to us at like more people expect Dyer to be elsewhere in 2012.  And that likely means with Gus Malzahn in Jonesboro.

But even those close to the situation are being tight-lipped.  So until Chizik announces a change, we really can’t do much more than speculate.  Even if everyone seems to be drawing the same conclusions.

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Rumor: Dyer Done At Auburn, Heading To Arkansas State. Chizik Says No

Michael Dyer has been a bellcow for the Auburn program since suiting up as the Tigers’ top tailback last year.  Unfortunately, there have also been off-field issues and an indefinite suspension to go along with all his rushing yards and that BCS Championship Game MVP award.

Now, rumors are swirling that Dyer is finished on the Plains and will be transferring to Arkansas State… where it just so happens Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn will be taking over as head coach.

At least two Arkansas State players have already welcomed/congratulated Dyer on his move to Jonesboro via Facebook and Twitter (though that page no longer exists).

But Gene Chizik said today that the rumors that first kicked up yesterday are just that — rumors.

“Michael Dyer’s status has not changed.  If it does, I’ll let you know.  I’m not aware of any of that.”

Pressed for more information, Chizik simply said: “I’m not going to go into details of my discussions with Mike Dyer.  I’ve told you guys his status, and that status hasn’t changed.”

So is Chizik simply avoiding the question until after the bowl game?  Stay tuned.

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