1959-1989 v 2020: Can AR make it in the SEC?

After the schedule was released there were some who said we should leave the be SEC. Others claimed we shouldn’t for any number of reasons including 1) we want to compete against the best, 2) the money is good, 3) we are a top 20 program historically and can compete given the right coach, 4) as evidence, we have had success under Nutt and Petrino.

I might argue that CFB is now different and any historical comparisons - even those from 10 years ago - are nearly moot. CFB now resembles the NFL sans salary cap. There are only a very few teams with any hope of a national championship and the vast majority of those are in the SEC.

The others are in the ACC then WAY down the ladder B1G and Little 12.

I don’t want to belittle our State’s football prowess but, folks, let’s be real here: we will never experience SEC success as we did SWC success. I mean, even if we hired the next Frank Broyles, the CFB landscape has changed so much as to be incomparable to our past.

I think it’s time we come to grips with the fact that we will never again be the sustained football power we once were. Maybe that’s okay. Maybe we’re fine with being middle of the road 19/20 years with one heartbreaking game keeping us from playing for the NC on the remaining year. Everyone gets to set their own expectations and define their own happiness.

I just don’t think anyone should ever again expect sustained competitiveness at the highest level - or even mediocre level - as long as we’re in the SEC/in the current CFB landscape.

The game is different than it was from 1959/1989. We play in a conference that is completely different than the one we played in from 1959/1989. However, our State’s ability to garner the most talent seems to have diminished compared to 1959/1989.

Maybe the variables will shift as they always do and we will be back in the mix, but I think the shift required for this to happen would be so seismic as to dwarf the New Madrid.

I suppose I’m complaining without proposing a solution. Here goes: let’s focus on sports other than football.

The competition is more stiff than it used to be, but that’s true for everyone. Do we have inherent disadvantages that 4-5 teams in the SEC don’t have? Absolutely. Will we be one of the top 3 teams in the country for a decade like we were in the 60’s? Highly unlikely.

However, I don’t for one second want to leave the SEC or “accept” that we can’t compete at or near the top often enough that we’re proud of our team & program. I’m all for backing the other sports. But I don’t think it’s an either/or proposition. We can succeed in all of them. We need some breaks. We need good coaches. We need to keep the one unique asset we enjoy—statewide domination of fans, media, & attention. Broyles & Barnhill knew how important that was for a team from a small state. Even Long realized it. I’m disappointed HY doesn’t seem to appreciate it.

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I think CFB is approaching a point where there needs to be another division. This division would consist of about 15-20 teams that have any consistent, legitimate shot at a NC. This new division would probably be called the NFL farm league, but at least that would be honest.

When ever I read someone write “let’s be real,” I sort of lose interest. That is a trade off for I’m not listening to what you think because I’ve made up my mind. It appears you did that.

There are cycles to everything. I look at Arkansas in many different sports and the key to all of them is the coach. You get the right coach, things change. It’s no different in football, track, golf, soccer, basketball or any other sport.

Eric Musselman is showing what you do to change the landscape, you recruit. Sam Pittman gets a chance to do that, too.

How can Arkansas lay the wood to North Carolina in soccer? You hire a coach who can recruit … as you did with Colby Hale. It took him a bit to assemble a few good classes, but he did it.

So with that, I’ll say, "Let’s be real … "


I’m looking to be real

Clay, would you agree it’s easier to turn around a 13 man roster than an 85 man roster?

Is there another college sport with such an engrained hierarchy that requires as many resources as CFB?

You can compare CFB to soccer and BB but you could also compare asparagus to zebras.

Well that ain’t happening

I remember telling a friend of mine some time ago that Clemson was a decent program, but I didn’t think they would be able to win the big games.

There are blue bloods. But, every so often a program comes in and reminds them that not everyone is just going to roll over because you wear an Alabama jersey or are from Notre Dame. We could be that next program to rattle the blue bloods, but it’s going to take hard work and a bit of recruiting luck thrown into the mix. We don’t need to leave the SEC.

Like Dudley said, time for AR to put their big boy pants on and play big boy football. Again!

No reason to leave the SEC which has the best teams, best players, and the best money.

Well Big Ten actually has the best money but we’re not getting in the Big Ten, not would I want to. But the Big Ten Network paid out $54 million per school in 2019. SEC Network paid $41 million.

Is the Big 10 payout larger than the SEC due to a better television contract? What would be the primary reason or reasons for a larger payout? I would think the much larger population of people in the Big 10 region may be the ultimate reason, but I don’t really know.

Big Ten Network is the reason. They’re more widely carried than SECN. The population of the SEC footprint is actually greater than the Big Ten footprint (85 million for BT in 11 states to just about 100 million for the SEC in 11 states), but BTN had a few years’ head start. Also the BT pulls in the New York (Rutgers) and Washington (Maryland) media markets even though those cities are just outside the footprint. However, SECN lists 70 million subscribers to 60 million for BTN, although the BTN figure was for 2014 and I don’t know if it’s been updated.

At this point it appears the SEC payout will beat the BT big time…

What I don’t know is what proportion of revenue Fox gives the league for BTN. It seems like I remember that ESPN is keeping 50 percent of SECN revenue.

USA Today reported in February 2019 that the Big Ten passed the SEC in per-school revenue during the 2018 fiscal year, citing new TV agreements that went into force for the BT that year.

I think you can turn around ANY sport with the right coach. I believe that to my very soul. I do not think it’s a 1 or 2 year fix. Maybe not 3-year. But it can be done. I did not see it happen right away in other sports, either.

Don’t give up. Don’t quit trying. Don’t quit believing. It isn’t easy. But it can be done.


If you don’t believe that , you will not be a winner in most sports. I figure Vince Lombardi was worth three all-conference players when the season started.

I havent given up so much as I’m not expecting much either

This must be how a old dog feels thats seen one hand full of dog treats and in the orther hand a newpaper

Just when the dog thinks its going to get a treat it gets wacked with the newspaper and the Master laughs -

eventulaly the dog doesnt even see the treats all he sees is the newspaper about to hit him

Newspapers hard to find. Dogs are lucky.

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And lets face it. The better coaches are the best salesmen. From recruiting to results on the field, they need to make a good impression on everyone.

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Good response Clay

Blessings to you