16 exciting 1st round matchups from the Ozark and Delta Regions (ok, maybe it's just a diversion from work) for you all this week and 16 1st round matchups next week.
Let's take a look at this week's matchups (vote in the polls to the side or email them into firstname.lastname@example.org):
The Ozarks Region (Fayetteville)
1 Frank Broyles, former coach and UofA athletic director
16 Jerry Van Dyke, actor
The winningest head coach in Arkansas Razorback football history, Coach Frank Broyles led the Arkansas Razorbacks to their only national championship in football in 1964 and then played Athletic Director for many years. Going on 85 years of age, the "Hog Father" is still active and can be seen and heard from at many Razorback functions to this day.
Jerry Van Dyke also known as Luther Van Dam, the assistant coach of the Minnesota Screaming Eagles on ABC's "Coach." A member of the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame, Jerry once owned a home between Malvern and Benton and is the brother of Dick Van Dyke.
8 Mike Huckabee, former Republican presidential candidate
9 Bo Mattingly, sports radio and tv personality
The former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee was a Republican Presidential candidate in 2008 before eventually bowing out to John McCain. Chuck Norris supported this guy, so think twice about voting against him. A one time fatty, Huckabee dropped over 110 pounds and plays (or did play) in a band called "Capitol Offense."
Bo Mattingly is the host of the popular "Sports Talk with Bo Mattingly" radio show and has been a fixture on tv for many years in this area. The knowledgeable Mattingly keeps close tabs on the pulse of the Arkansas Razorbacks.
5 Houston Nutt, former Razorback football coach
12 Donna Bragg, tv personality
Once and for all, these two will hook up and it won't be any texting that they're doing.
Former Arkansas football coach Houston Nutt brings his lightening rod to the tournament for a showdown against television news anchor Donna Bragg who is arguably the most famous news anchor in the state after rumors swirled about the textual relations she was having with Houston Nutt prior to Houston's departure. Nutt is entering his second season as head football coach at Ole Miss University. Bragg, the 40/29 star, has won several awards for community service and investigative medical reports.
4 Ronnie Brewer, professional basketball player
13 Keith Jackson, former football player
Ronnie Brewer, the former Arkansas hoop star, is now a budding star for the NBA's Utah Jazz. Too bad they don't allow television in Utah, because I'd really like to see him play someday. Oh wait, that's the Amish community that doesn't allow that stuff. I have seen Ronnie play some this year, and he's playing better than ever.
It's new school vs. old school, because standing in Ronnie's way is Big Keith. That's right, Little Rock native Keith Jackson takes his NCAA National Championship (at a University not to be named) and 6 NFL pro bowls into this matchup against young Brewer. Big Keith spent last season providing color commentary on Razorback football radio broadcasts.
3 Mark Martin, NASCAR driver
14 Veronica Campbell-Brown, track star
This dude drives fast and can make left turns like nobody's business. The pride of Batesville, Arkansas, Mark Anthony Martin has been running down opponents on the NASCAR circuit since 1981. #5 currently resides in Florida, but owns a couple of car dealerships in the Natural state.
This chick runs fast and also excels at left turns. Veronica Campbell-Brown is faster than you. The former Arkansas track star ran down a gold medal for her native land Jamaica by winning the 200 meter race in 2004 and defended that title in 2008. Bob Marley would be proud, mon (sorry, for me, anything Jamaican always ties back to Bob Marley).
6 Tracy Lawrence, country singer
11 Joe Nichols, country singer
The Battle of Country Crooners:
Paint this guy a Birmingham. The veteran Tracy Lawrence was raised in Foreman, Arkansas and attended Southern Arkansas University. The 41 year old Lawrence has produced numerous #1 hits including "Find Out Who Your Friends Are" back in 2007.
Joe Nichols is the 32 year old Rogers native hoping not to be sent to "Brokenheartsville." Nichols is hoping to celebrate the win with some Tequila and the singing of his hit "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off."
7 Corliss Williamson, former basketball player
10 John McDonnell, former UofA track coach
"The Big Nasty" recently returned home in honor of the celebration of the 1994 NCAA championship Arkansas basketball team. Corliss played 12 years in the NBA and now works as an assistant coach at Arkansas Baptist University and will still dunk on you if you get in his way.
The Ireland native, John McDonnell is the winningest coach in the history of collegiate track with 42 NCAA titles and 46 SEC championships. The dude cranked out championships in his sleep during his tenure at the UofA.
2 Bill Clinton, former President of the U.S.
15 Norm DeBriyn, former Razorback baseball coach
"Slick Willie" is the former President of the United States and current good will ambassador and supporter of his much more powerful wife Hilary. Famous for his adulterous affairs (and a few of his policies), Clinton was one of the most polarizing presidents in U.S. history.
Facing a tough task is a tough man. Former Razorback baseball coach Norm DeBriyn ran the Arkansas baseball program for 33 years accumulating 15 NCAA tournament appearances including four College World Series.
The Delta Region (Jonesboro)
1 Cliff Lee, baseball pitcher
16 "Strike", NWA Naturals Mascot
The reigning A.L. Cy Young Award winner, Cliff Lee has risen from the baseball ashes to the top of the heap. In the minors in 2007, Lee returned to the Cleveland Indians lineup with a vengence in 2008. The former Razorback finished 2008 with a 22-3 record.
"Strike" is the mascot of the one year old NWA Naturals team, a double A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. His gigantic frame and psychotic eyes make him a fan favorite. Children, on the other hand, are haunted during their sleep with visions of Strike eating them.
8 Billy Bob Thornton, actor
9 Josh Lucas, actor
Billy Bob Thornton is of course the once Mr. Angelina Jolie who has starred in numerous movies including "Sling Blade," "Friday Night Lights," and "Mr. Woodcock." Born in Hot Springs, "Bad Santa" has four biological children and one adopted son with Jolie. No word as to what happened to the vial containing a drop of Angelina's blood that used to hang around his neck.
Josh Lucas burst onto the scene with Reese Witherspoon in "Sweet Home Alabama" - "Why you wanna marry me anyway?" and continued his rise to fame portraying head basketball coach Don "The Bear" Haskins in "Glory Road" - a very fitting movie this time of year.
5 Mike Conley Sr., former track star
12 Chuck Barrett, voice of the Razorbacks
The Olympic Gold Medal winner in the triple jump at the 1992 games in Barcelona, Mike Conley Sr. won 16 NCAA titles in the triple jump and long jump while at the University of Arkansas. He is now a sports agent for NBA players Mike Conley Jr. and Greg Oden.
"The Voice of the Razorbacks," Chuck Barrett is the long time play by play man for Razorback baseball. Chuck took over play calling duties on football broadcasts two seasons ago after a car accident took the life of former broadcaster Paul Eells.
4 Sidney Moncrief, former basketball player
13 Joey Lauren Adams, actress
One of "The Triplets," Sidney Moncrief helped to lead Eddie Sutton and the Arkansas Razorbacks to the Final Four back in 1978. The Little Rock Hall High School stud was a five time all star with the Milwaukee Bucks and two time Defensive Player of the Year.
A North Little Rock native, Joey Lauren Adams has appeared in over 30 films including "Chasing Amy" and "Big Daddy" as Adam Sandler's love interest. She also appeared in the Vince Vaughn/Jennifer Aniston movie "The Break Up" and hopes to upset the higher seeded Moncrief.
3 Matt Jones, football player
14 Rick Schaeffer, walking Razorback encyclopedia
The Ft. Smith native was a star QB at the University of Arkansas and one of the fastest white boys I've ever seen on a collegiate football field. A cocaine possession arrest last summer has tarnished the once shiny image of the Jacksonville Jaguar's wide receiver.
Rick Schaeffer is a walking encyclopedia of Razorback athletics. Don't remember much about the Arkansas - Texas game from 1972? Rick will give you a play by play breakdown off the top of his head along with telling you the temperature and what shirt he was wearing that day. Don't remember where you even were that day? Chances are, Rick knows that too.
6 Mary Steenburgen, actress
11 Tyson Gay, track star
Born in Newport, Arkansas, Mrs. Steenburgen has been in over 60 films and can easily be considered the most famous actress born in Arkansas history. Married to Ted "Mayday Malone" Danson since 1995, Steenburgen has won an academy award for supporting actress along with appearing in the Will Farrell classics "Step Brothers" and "Elf." Also to her credit, "Philadelphia" with Tom Hanks and "Parenthood" with Steve Martin
Tyson Gay is fast. Damn fast. The U.S. record holder tweaked a hammy prior to this year's Olympics, but I'm still not sure anyone human could have beaten Usain Bolt. Gay is a former Razorback stud sprinter.
7 Ronnie Dunn, country singer
10 Gus Malzahn, asst. football coach at Auburn
Our third country singing star in the field is one half of the most sucessful country duo of all-time - Brooks & Dunn. Ronnie Dunn, an El Dorado native, has countless awards and #1 hits including "Maria," "Boot Scoot Boogie," and "Hard Working Man" and is a member of both the Oklahoma and Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame.
The rising coaching superstar Gus Malzahn led Shiloh Christian and Springdale High School to state championships before joining Houston Nutt's staff for one tumultuous season. After spending last season helping to lead the nation's #1 offense at the University of Tulsa, Malzahn is now the new offensive coordinator for Auburn.
2 Jermain Taylor, boxer
15 Mitch Mustain & Beck Campbell, USC QB and mom
The former undisputed middle weight champion of the world, Jermain "Bad Intentions" Taylor hails from Little Rock. Taylor, who is 27-2-1 in his career is a former Olympic bronze medalist and next faces Carl Froch in April.
Taylor will have his hands full with the duo of Mitch Mustain and his mom, Beck Campbell. Mustain is the former Springdale all-american now spending his playing days at USC. He throws a pretty spiral, but cross him or do him wrong, and momma bear may step in and you'll wish you never messed with the Springdale mafia.