FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) - We know the immediate future; Arkansas is on bye, then still has two more games left to play this season, on the road at LSU and Missouri at War Memorial. Barry Lunney Jr, the lone holdover from Bret Bielema's staff and a former Hog quarterback, will be the interim head coach the rest of the season. Lunney spoke before the season on what he felt the team needed to succeed.
"Just overall the buy in, the sense of urgency, the sense of importance, has been made clear from the top, and I think that's gonna permeate through our organization."
What`s really important though, is what happens after that. Already, the search for a full time replacement is beginning.
"What I'm looking for is someone who can be successful in the Southeastern Conference, i've listed some of the factors that lead to that, but I wouldn't limit us only to people that have SEC ties at this point."
That`s what Julie Cromer Peoples was looking for two years ago, this time around, Hunter Yurachek will be in charge of the search. Many of the names floated last time are off the board; Gus Malzahn famously signed a massive extension with Auburn the last time Arkansas came calling, so a Gus bus return feels unlikely. The other major name was Mike Norvell- he did sign an extension, but his buyout remains doable, and Memphis has continued to excel, so expect to hear his name come up early and often.
More names are sure to pour out in the days and weeks to come. Arkansas fans clamoring for the return of Bobby Petrino and Houston Nutt are sure to be disappointed for myriad reasons, but there are other names with the all-important Arkansas ties. For now, and likely a while, that's all they are: names. Arkansas will have a new coach in 2020; for now, that's all that's certain.