A question about FB program and Patience...

There have been a lot of threads in recent weeks about the status of the program and the amount of improvement since CBB arrived.

Some - myself included - lean towards there are worrisome cracks in the foundation and feel next year could be a pivotal year in determining if CBB will be here for the long haul or not.

Some suggest the program, though experiencing a slight step back, is in good hands and for the most part progress has been steady and patience is the key.

A question for all - let’s assume next year is another 7 win regular season. I would assume that would insure CBB is here in 2017. If so, when is it reasonable to expect a 9+ win regular season and hopefully similar results moving forward with a down year being 7 wins in regular season? For those that say patience is key when will it be reasonable to conclude if we can’t break through the 7 or 8 win regular season that we just don’t have the right coach as opposed to concluding more time is needed?

Others will probably disagree, but I don’t know if it is ever reasonable to expect a 9-win regular season. The league is too good to expect that kind of success each year unless you are Alabama and maybe LSU or Florida. Georgia did it pretty routinely under Mark Richt and the fans ran him off. Thirteen SEC programs missed that mark this year.

In the 25 years since joining the SEC, Arkansas has had five regular seasons when it won nine games. A 9-win regular season means you have to have a winning record in conference play and that has only happened seven times.

I think it’s reasonable to expect a quality bowl game every year and enjoy those 9- and 10-win seasons when they come along, because they are rare.

Acceptance of mediocrity will insure that we never escape it.

It depends on your definition of mediocrity. I don’t think an 8-win regular season in the SEC is mediocre, especially not in the western division.

EDIT: I do think a coach has to have some 9- and 10-win seasons to keep his job longterm in this conference because the money they are being paid demands it. But I don’t think it is necessarily mediocre to have some years when that doesn’t happen.

I have to step back when I hear fans speak of accepting mediocrity when 13 SEC teams did not reach 9 wins. We have tried it with 6 different coaches in the SEC and still have only won 9 games in the regular season 5x. We have fans that act as if we aren’t trying to win and that we just need to turn it on. We have fans that won’t say it publicly but want us to cheat like the other teams that cheat to win. They want to cheat while speaking code that we need to do whatever it takes to win. We play in a conference that has an bad level of cheating.

Going 4-0 in the non conference (especially with 3 rent-a-wins) and then 4-4 in the SEC would seem to be the definition of mediocre to me.

Going 4-0 in the nonconference assumes Arkansas beats its Power 5 opponent.

Let’s say Arkansas loses to TCU next year, but wins all the other nonconference games and five SEC games to make eight regular-season wins. That would mean it would have had to have won at least two of the following: Texas A&M in Arlington, at Alabama, at LSU, at Ole Miss and at South Carolina.

Would that be mediocre? I wouldn’t think so, but I know others will disagree.


Going 4-0 in the nonconference assumes Arkansas beats its Power 5 opponent.

Let’s say Arkansas loses to TCU next year, but wins all the other nonconference games and five SEC games to make eight regular-season wins. That would mean it would have had to have won at least two of the following: Texas A&M in Arlington, at Alabama, at LSU, at Ole Miss and at South Carolina.

Would that be mediocre? I wouldn’t think so, but I know others will disagree.
[/quote]We shall agree to disagree. Winning at Oxford and Cola shouldn’t be considered a feather in one’s cap IMO

That is going to be a tough year to reach 8 wins. I think we beat TCU in Fayetteville. LSU will be better. Ole Miss will be about the same but very tough to beat at home. One caveat is NCAA sanctions could change the team a bit. South Carolina is going to be better next year and they are tough at home.

I am looking for solid teams that play sound football. This year was a long, long way from that. I can handle L in the SEC West if they play sound. Playing touch or flag football and allowing fair teams to set offensive records is not sound nor close. Being too slow to play in the SEC is not sound. That MUST change. Not ready to toss coaches or anything like that. Just want to see vast improvements over this season and more, much more, speed on the team, especially defense. Now, if they continue to bring in plodders, then I guess something will need be done, but not for awhile. I will be watching 40 times closely this Feb.

Great points here, Jim.

To me, mediocrity will vary every year. This year was a down year for the SEC in all. But we were not mediocre, we were below that, we finished 10th in the SEC with a losing conference record. Mediocrity is a middle of the pack team, we were not middle of the pack but instead the tail end. We have a mediocre over all record with 7 wins but in sec play we were less than mediocre. Anything more than mediocre would be a winning sec record to me. The definition of mediocrity really comes down to how you personally look at the term. Really hope the coaches plan well and execute for this game plan to end the season atleast on a win. I expect some changes to made in the off season and we will see how BB handles next season, hopefully well!

I think CBB is safe until the stadium expansion is complete and in use. If the seats are not filled and he has not produced a 9-10 win season by then, I feel Long will be forced to make a change.

Good points to me as well. I think this program needs to break even or better in conference 4 out of five years for me to feel like we’re performing at the level I expect. That means we should be winning 8 games most years, 9 or more on occasion.

Since Bielema has been here losing records in league play 3 out of 4 years. I somewhat understand this due to the rebuild. Going forward though this should not be acceptable.

Matt posted the Ark record against the top 5 conference teams. It suggests annual progress and patience will be required. I think we took step back this year or the coaches over promoted the team and the leadership of the team but looking at the historical record and spending large $ to upgrade the stadium says bigger things are baked into the expectations of the program going forward. Staying the status quo is not part of the recipe.

My expectation is that we win every time we step on the field. Feel that is the team’s expectation, too. Is that realistic? History (and reality) says no. Expectations and reality are two different things. It is strange to me, for instance, to say it is unacceptable to lose to Ole Miss even though in 60 some-odd meetings, we are a little over .500 with them. I know, when it comes time to go to Oxford next year, my expectations will be a W and will be disappointed without it. All of this said, I think it’s hard to predict the future. This thread is predicated on if the Hogs only win 7 next year. What if it’s 4? What if it’s 9? What if it’s 11 and the year after that it’s 3? Instead of trying to guess the future, let’s just let it play out. Then again, we wouldn’t need message boards for that.

When Petrino had back to back 10 win regular seasons in his 3rd and 4th years, he created a feeling among fans that the Hogs can really do this in the SEC! When BP accomplished that, the SEC had just 2 real powerhouses in Bama and LSU. The SECE may have been a little stronger too with GA and FL.

After four years, I thought we were seeing a coach who would get us to the level that the occasional down year would be 7 wins, with a possible 11-12 wins when luck was on our side once every 5 years. What we don’t know is if he could have continued at that rate if he had stayed for 5, 6 or 7 years. I now don’t think that BP could have won 9-10 games with 6 SECW teams in the top 25, as happened the 4 years before this year.

If this past SEC year is going to be an indication of the next few years, a 10-11 win season should be possible. This past year there was only 1 powerhouse team, Bama. As an example, I believe BA’s last team would have had a real shot at 10 wins this past year.

In short, I believe that balance of power within the SEC will play the biggest part in determining if the Hogs can have 10 win seasons. If we go back to the days of Petrino, when the Miss teams, KY, Vandy, and even Auburn were down, the Hogs should have higher expectations.

I think fans define “mediocre” to broadly. Technically “mediocre” would be a team going .500 against average competition. Our competition isn’t average & going 4-4 against it shouldn’t be “mediocre”–at least not as long as the SECW is the best division in the country. Even if it’s just one of the 2-3 best, I wouldn’t consider 4-4 a mediocre record against it.

It’s certainly not mediocre if we add 3-4 non-conf wins to that 4-4. The subpar teams we beat from the lesser leagues are to be expected, but nonetheless, if we beat them we, we’re doing what we should.

I agree we should hope for more & expect to exceed that occasionally, but Matt is correct. Only 2 or 3 teams in the SEC can expect that. At the end of the year all SEC teams will be 4-4 against each other. For every win one team exceeds 4, one team must lose a matching game to finish with under 4 wins.

We finished horribly with our loss to MU. We all know that. It changed what would have been a reasonably satisfying season into a disappointing one, but we still have a chance to win our bowl game, finish at 8-5, & have a better than (our) average recruiting year. I like what CBB is doing & I don’t believe his “slow” progress is a sign he can’t get us as many wins as any coach can.

I couldn’t agree more, especially about the overall lack of team speed.

I went back and looked and not only did Petrino win 10 in the regular season his last two years, but Houston Dale Nutt won 9 games in the regular season in his first season (inherited a talented roster) and he did it again in his fifth season

So our last two coaches won 9 or more regular season games twice in their first five seasons.

Can CBB do it once? Year five is upon us and istory shows now is the time to take a step if he’s going to perform as program history suggests he should.