Should Sean Payton coach at Arkansas in 2012?


Wouldn’t this just piss folks off down on the Bayou?

Hear me out, because I think this would make perfect sense. Could suspended Saints head coach Sean Payton spend his year away from the NFL in a head coaching role? Assuming that the terms of his suspension don’t forbid him from coaching at other levels, it would be a perfect way to stay fresh for 2013.

He wouldn’t even have to go far from Louisiana to find a head coaching job that would be both high-profile and built for success. He could look no further than one state north.

Payton could, and should, become the next head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Even for a Falcons fan, built to dislike everything Payton stands for, I think it would be very cool to see him on a college football sideline. Hell, any sideline other than the one in New Orleans would be fine by me.

Let’s be honest — Arkansas isn’t going to find anyone worth their weight in Skittles to coach their team this fall, after Bobby Petrino left them high-and-dry due to his own vices. If Gus Malzahn were going to take the job, he would have done it by now.

What the Razorbacks need is a one-year fix that will get them through what could be a very ugly season, considering all the distractions. It could also be a national championship season, considering Petrino is leaving one of the best offenses in the country to his successor.

If you watch five minutes of a Saints game, you get the feeling that Payton is one of the best offensive minds of our generation. His offense almost looked bored at times last season, and I don’t think Drew Brees deserves all the credit for the smoothness of that group.

Imagine what Payton could do with an offense that, in the 2011 season, averaged 300 passing yards per game, 36.8 points per game and is expected to be even better this year.

It could be scary.

The question is: could it be plausible? Payton lives in Texas, not Louisiana — so I don’t think he’d be so dedicated to the state where he coaches that he wouldn’t consider coaching for LSU’s rival. I don’t think it should matter that much to him anyway; if he keeps winning, he’ll have the support of the Bayou.

And if he starts losing, the fans will just stop showing up, because that’s what Saints fans do.

All shots at the Falcons’ rival aside, I think it would be smart for Payton to take the job, if Arkansas offers it to him. It would be intriguing and the Razorbacks would have the attention of the college football world.

For the right reasons, this time.

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