ook past the Bears is a mistake new A-State head football coach Butch Jones can’t afford to make – just ask Blake Anderson, the former Red Wolves coach who saw his 2016 team upset by the Bears 28-23. It was a loss that shook Jonesboro to its very core! Even though Anderson repaid the Bears last season with a 50-27 thumping, Red Wolves fans are still cringing from 2016.

But let’s pretend these Power Five snobs decided to break away from the system that has nourished them to create a Super League. Who gets left out? Pitt? Colorado? West Virginia? Vanderbilt? Sure! But also Arkansas, Michigan State, Washington and Utah. Suddenly, those programs would feel the second-class distinction felt by a select group of programs.

Universities invite change, culture, exotic foreigners, weird art, spiritual awakenings, alcohol use, dancing, sexual experimentation, diversity, exposed abdomens, traffic, and a rainbow of criminal activities – drivers of growth both positive and painful that are at odds with Jonesboro’s unofficial charter of peace, quiet, and predictably. For decades, Arkansas State was viewed by many locals as a potential powder keg whose only purpose was to destroy the status quo. Jonesboro likes its quo.