A take on the season

I pretty much ruined the day-after-Thanksgiving for my family, sulking around, being pissed off. I’m sure several on this board were like that.

But, as usual, I awoke this morning determined to not be one of the pessimistic gloom and doomers, and to try to take a rational look at the season.

First, I admit I picked us to win 9 regular season games. But I always inflate and probably pick one more than I should. I think its important to note that most major services picked us to win 7. That’s precisely what we won. So I think its hard for any of us to say we underachieved. Haven’t gotten to where we all want the program to be? Yes. Failed to meet objective expectations for this season? No.

Looking towards next year, I don’t think there is any question that our offense will be better next year. Our o-line looks to be set. And talented. I personally think Ragnow will come back. For professional and personal reasons. Despite Rawleigh leading the league in rushing, there is no question this was the weakest rushing attack we have had under CBB. That should change with an offseason for this o-line. My opinion is we are talented…and I trust Bielema’s development scheme for o-line. I’ve sen him have too many great o-lines to stop believing due to one year. We will have some o-line depth too. Obviously the RB position looks very good, and AA will be that deadly thing opposing teams fear: a 5th year, talented QB. We lose alot at WR and TE. But, I think we will be fine there. Just my opinion. But I like what we have coming up.

The defense is what we all worry about. Recruiting will tell the tale here, as we need help in the secondary. Badly. Immediate help. At LB’er, We will miss Brooks more than people think. But Dre coming back will be major. He’s a major talent. Scoota will have to come through…as do the redshirt freshman. Ramsey needs to come through.

I am as bewildered as anyone about the defensive line. We don’t have Bama/LSU/Auburn talent there…but we should have been better than we were. If, and I say IF, Charlie Partridge is fired…I would go after him all guns blazing. I do think the D-line underachieved. That said, for the star-gazers, we four 4-star kids on the d-line coming back. One’s a senior that has been coming on lately. Bijhon…who was REALLY highly sought. There’s Sosa, maybe the most highly sought recruit of ours ever, and then Guidry and Capps. Considering all those played DT this year (well, Guidry was redshirted), I would love to see Sosa moved back to DE. In any case, we have talent on the D-line. Those were only the 4-5 starts I just named.

We do lose our punter and kicker. That is a concern. I think we are ok at kicker. Surely Cole and Blake…both HIGHLY regarded as recruits…can come through.

Bottom line is, I think we will be better next year. How much? Hard to say. Bama, Auburn, LSU will all be salty next year. And we just lost to a sorry Mizzou. But, I choose to believe we can and will be better. We get Auburn at home…and have always played LSU well…except this year, of course.

One thing we have to get back to…and this will make or break the season next year…is being able to SMASH it into the endzone just like MEEEEECHIGAN just did against the Buckeyes. 6 trips inside the 10 with ZERO points against A&M and Mizzou combined will be what I remember about this season. As Bo said, if you base your whole program on being able to play “big-boy football”…and then you lose the “big boy fight” inside the 5…that’s a problem.

As for coaching, I like Bielema. Even after yesterday. I like the offensive staff. I will be stunned if some changes aren’t made on the defensive staff. Regardless of what Coach said yesterday. IMO, he’s not going to hang anyone out to dry right after a game. If changes are made, it will be “mutual decisions” with assistants taking “other opportunities.” Again, that’s just my opinion. But–even if there aren’t changes–the defense has to get better. That is on Bielema. He’s a defensive guy. Either go get a new DC, or keep Smith, and make sure the defense improves. It was historically bad.

Regardless though, I will be there, cheering on the Hogs. As usual.

Great post

Yep. Discouraging for sure yesterday was (Yoda voice). I still trust the process. Players are graduating, staying out of trouble and easy to pull for.

Finish 8-5 and recruit hard this off-season. Offense will be able to put up points next year, and if we can muster an average defense we should have a good season.

My first preference, after watching these last 2 yrs’ defenses, would be to replace Smith. If, however, CBB doesn’t choose to do so, I believe next year we will have the players to play the triangle that worked so well for Smith in 2014. If Greenlaw comes back totally healthy, he can be our Spaight. I’m convinced Agim can be either our Flowers or Philon. We will have to see if a DE or a DT steps up among Capps, Bijhon, Guidry, etc. I do believe there is good talent to choose from to find that Flowers or Philon, whichever is needed.

Our secondary will probably be somewhat of a problem again. It doesn’t appear we have a Tevin Mitchell waiting in the wings (Tutt maybe?). But just like in 2014, a front six or seven that can create pressure on the QB will help make the DBs better.

Whew, I really had to try hard to come up with a positive post after watching that debacle of a 2nd half yesterday.

Good post

Yes I figured one less than you 8 wins then a Bowl win for 9

But dang losing to the worst team in the SEC that hurts

Maybe it’s a case of a young team they saw Mizxou 3-8 record and didn’t realize that taking care of business means taking them seriously and playing two halfs of football

I would personally move Sosa back to DE. DT may be his position in the NFL. But we have a need at DE. We need SOMEONE to disrupt there. I feel like between Capps, Jackson and Guidry…plus Armon Watts who got some time recently…have DT covered. 3 four-stars…with Bijhon having been a HUGE recruit. Not that all that matters on the field…but many on this board evaluate based on recruiting rankings…and we, like our chief rivals, have highly sought kids at the D-line spots. Now they gotta produce. And we need a DIFFERENCE MAKER. I think Sosa, if healthy, can be that.

And I think we will be ok at corner. I think we were ok there this year. Our safety play is terrible.

Great posts!
Why not move Greenlaw back to his high school position of safety since we don’t have any? We need to be able to play other linebackers that are not premeds which would require simplified defensive schemes.

I posted this the other day, but briefly reiterate. Bama, Albarn, A/M, and LSU have more returning starters than we do in 2017 and all but A/M have their QB back. We have to go to Bama, LSU, and Ole Miss on the road. We could be much better as a team and still have a similar record to this year.

I think Greenlaw has good speed for a linebacker…but would prove to have mediocre to poor speed for a safety. Ramirez is already slowish for a safety…though he’d be fine if he played a true strong safety type position. Trouble is they sometimes roll the safeties into positions where Ramirez has a huge swath to cover…and he’s not fleet. Liddell has proven to be pretty fast. He’s just not a good tackler. At all.