The Arkansas Razorbacks have had a tumultuous offseason. They lost their genius head coach in a scandal of epic proportions. They hired John L. Smith, the retread of all retreads. They saw all of their recruits jump ship. They saw their title hopes dashed, as folks got less than confident in the remaining staff's ability to navigate the savage SEC West.
Now, the folks in Fayetteville are getting a little goodwill. As Matt Murschel of the Orlando Sentinel is reporting, CBS Sports Network is going to be airing a new show called College Football Confidential: Arkansas, which will debut on Wednesday, August 29 at 7 p.m. ET.
This is a win on every side for the Hogs and for the fledgling network.
First, the network side of things. CBS Sports Network is a channel that, by and large, most people are still not even certain they have. It, like NBC Sports Network, is a new cable avenue for the traditional broadcast juggernauts to capitalize on the double revenue streams that ESPN has been making bank off of for years.
Advertisers pay them. Subscribers pay them. Two streams of income and plenty of money to be made, as long as they can get eyeballs on the station.
A college football behind-the-scenes show is a heck of a way to attract viewers to the station, and Arkansas is a great pick. The fanbase is rabid. It'll read anything, watch anything and click anything that has something to do with its Hogs.
CBS is also grabbing a story that people unaffiliated with the program are going to love. A Top 15 team, turmoil at the coaching position, elite players at the quarterback, wide-receiver and running-back spots, all while playing in the SEC West—that will sell across the board.
From the Arkansas side of things, this is a win as well. A program that desperately needs to build goodwill is getting a chance to do just that. The Hogs have good players and good people in that program, and now, thanks to CBS Sports Network, they are getting to show them off.
Obviously, we all know about Knile Davis, Tyler Wilson, Chris Gragg and Cobi Hamilton. This show is not only going to spotlight the star players, but also the guys who help make the Arkansas football machine go.
Much like Hard Knocks evolves into less-than-traditionally popular players getting some shine, so, too, will College Football Confidential: Arkansas. And with Arkansas as the test run, the Hogs get to—for the first time since the Petrino incident—write their own narrative.
It is an opportunity for the Razorbacks to take the in-game experience and carry it into the week for their fans and other interested parties. It is an opportunity for the audience—and more importantly, recruits—to see the inner workings of the team and how player-coach or starter-reserve dynamics play out on the college stage.
Great get for CBS Sports Network, a channel that desperately needs to add inventory. This is a show that the college-football fan is going to watch, regardless of allegiance. And that means people will be finding their way to the channel.
For the Hogs, that means people will get to see the program in a light that's wholly separate from the infamous Bobby Petrino incident.