As I reflect on the current football season, I am left with a lot of unanswered questions which I think greatly affected the Hogs lack of success this year:
- Why did the Hogs fail to improve throughout the season resulting in a strong November finish?
- Why were the Hogs so consistently inconsistent?
- Why did the DL with five seniors fail to dominate the LOS?
- Why did the Hogs red zone inefficiencies (for TDs) plague the Hogs all year?
- Why did AA regress after the Bama game? Injuries? Or coaching (asked to release the ball earlier to avoid sacks)?
- Why was leadership and motivation so lacking this year with a team full of seniors?
- Relatively speaking compared to last year, why were so few passes thrown to the TEs, most especially Sprinkle? I was expecting a HH type year for him. Failed to happen.
- Where was the fight in the Hogs this year? Most especially against the Aggies and Tigers (all of them).
- Why was our defense so pitiful? Again?
- Lastly, when will Arkansas be competitive again with a never quit attitude which was so lacking in some of our blowout losses and give aways (Misery) this season?
This is an oversimplification to your question but I will answer the first part of those questions with this one. Of the starting players , if you were another SEC coach who would you draft from our lineup. I would take the center, tight end, two running backing backs, qb, and two receivers. On defense I would take none of the starters after Greenlaw got hurt—I do not include the freshmen d line as they started only in last 1\3 of season. I would take the punter.
Simply stated IMHO, our talent was better last year with key players that left for draft or graduation and we did not replace them from current roster. We lost depth with poor recruiting in Coach B’s first two years and early departures of those that were good. We have over relied on development versus higher rated players who could fit in sooner. We chose to avoid JC route due to poor results but we have an unfilled void from the group that left. There is no excuse for lack of speed when you face it every week in this league.
Finally the coaches tried to make a silk purse out of the sow ears that they had left on hand and they paid a price for it. It will take two more years with better selection and retention for us to be where we though we could be this year. Coach can do us all a favor by being more angry and getting results on the field that speak for themselves compared to statements that this is his best defensive line ever but cannot pressure the passer or stop the run. He and staff deserve all credit for improvement in graduations rates and quality of the players BUT the players and coaches are here to win games and compete for championships. Other teams in this league are doing the same thing so you do not get any days off.
Spending $100m to improve a stadium for the game day experience is not enhanced by what was on the field at Mizzou, esp. after being called out by a player earlier in the week. To quote Al Davis, RIP, " Just Win Baby".