Jacksonville State coach Jack Crowe returns to Arkansas on Saturday, leading a team in Razorback Stadium for the first time since he was fired by Frank Broyles after the 10-3 loss to the Citadel in 1992.
So how did this reunion for the former Arkansas coach, which comes nearly 20 years to the day of the Citadel loss (Sept. 5, 1992), come about?
Crowe provided a little insight this week, saying he placed a call to former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino to make it happen.
"I appreciate Bobby Petrino for, on really short notice, I think we did this in the winter of 2010," Crowe said Monday. "I think he had to do a lot of things to make this happen. I feel very much favored by having the opportunity to play something thatís important for us. ... This is part of who we are. Itís part of what we do."
Crowe said it is important for Jacksonville State, a Football Championship Subdivision school, to secure "higher dollar" games against Football Bowl Subdivision programs because of the financial benefits. The Gamecocks also have Florida on the schedule this year. But he said it has been more difficult for Jacksonville State lately and their recent success may be a reason. The Gamecocks took Florida State to the wire in a 19-9 loss in 2009 and beat Ole Miss in 49-48 in overtime to open the 2010 season.
No one really wants to endure the potential consequences of losing to a lower level team (like the Citadel), right?
Crowe mentioned one opportunity which fell apart his news conference Monday. He said Jacksonville State had a contract out to Kansas State and simply was waiting for it to be signed and returned. However, he said the Florida State game must have changed those plans. Kansas State sent the contract back unsigned.
Arkansas is paying Jacksonville State $450,000, according to the Associated Press, for Saturday's game. Crowe credited Petrino for making it happen.
"I quite honestly wish I could see Bobby and heís not going to be there," Crowe said. "But I tell you whatís there, he built a hell of a football team. He built a hell of a football team. And we get a chance to test ourselves against them. So thank you Bobby.Ē
ó Robbie Neiswanger ē Arkansas News Bureau