About that taste in our mouths

I don’t know how many times I’ve read the comment “If we had beaten Missouri and Va. Tech we would have a very different feeling about the state of the program”. I believe this is what you call a non sequitur. If we had beaten Missouri, we would not have played Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl. What if we had beaten Missouri and then lost in a slightly better bowl. How would you have felt then? Personally, I would have felt a lot better. That Mizzou loss was a bitter pill to swallow. Just an awful team that we should have trounced.

This is an under-performing football program. Period. I don’t care if Bielema is the 7th highest paid coach in the conference, or whatever it is. Nor do I care about recruiting disadvantages (which are real, especially with LR football in the tank). Nor do I care about our great APR (which really isn’t that great anyway). The bottom line is that other coaches have gotten it done here. Bielema hasn’t. Let’s see what happens this year.

I was convinced the week of the Missouri game that it was probably going to be the Belk Bowl in either respect. Not sure that game changed the bowl trip that much.

It’s just possible that 7-8-9 wins is exactly where this program should be. We don’t have the resources that Bama or LSU or Auburn have, or many of the schools in the East either. We just don’t. We’ve punched above our weight against LSU, largely due to Miles’ mismanagement I suspect. When Petrino was winning 10, Ole Miss was bad, MSU was bad, Auburn and LSU were up and down. Right now nobody in the West is bad, although Ole Miss is sinking fast. But somebody has to finish last. I don’t think it will be us for a while, but we’re not going to be in the SECCG any time soon either unless lightning strikes.

I don’t find those as excuses. I see them as facts. Occasionally, we will overcome those facts and have a 10- to 11-win season. If we’re truly great, 12 wins. But more often than not, we’re going to be 7- to 9-win team because of what Swine has indicated. Until the balance of power moves a little more eastward in the SEC (and it will), we will have trouble winning big in the SEC.

All the talk about our place in the SEC and all of that is true, but that is not “the taste.” The taste comes from losing to a very bad MO team after we had a nice lead. We came out unprepared for adjustments in the 2nd half and made none ourselves. Our defense was pitiful allow pass after pass to go over the heads of the Dbacks while the offense did nothing, especially blocking. That should not have happened.

Va Tech was a much better team than MO. Losing to them on the road (and it was on the road) was no disgrace, but it was a disgrace to give up that sort of lead and give it up is what we did. They made some good half time adjustments and we did not counter. The offense was helpless while the defense was its normal bad. The same offense that marched up and down the field in the first half could not make a first down in the second.

Those things have nothing to do with where we rank in the SEC. It should not have happened and it must not happen again.

Come on. It’s not that we don’t have the resources. It’s that we are not committed to having the resources. Big, big difference. I’ve said for a long time Jeff Long is not really committed to winning football. If he was, he wouldn’t have fired Petrino and hired the guy that sent him a handwritten note. I think a lot of people are either fine with this or are not discerning enough to see Long’s agenda. Long gives winning football about fifth priority, behind academics, good student behavior, fundraising, new AD offices, and football being “fun again” around the water cooler because he can yuck it up with Bielema. Programs like Bama give winning first priority, and realize winning takes care of the rest of it. And programs like Bama damn sure don’t care whether their coach is miserable to be around. I’ll tell you what’s miserable: getting your ass beat in the second half by Missouri. That’s miserable. Losing to Toledo and Texas Tech. Never beating A&M. Having Auburn hang half a hundred on you with the most embarrassing defense in program history. Sheer misery. But Long seems to be fine with it. I know you are a good Hog fan. I don’t question that. But I don’t understand how you can accept the football product we have seen over the last 5 years. Arkansas can play good football. As soon as we all accept that we can’t, we might as well give up.

I think we can be a regular contender at the top of the SEC West and occasionally win it, but it will take more talent than we are currently getting in our recruiting classes. We have one elite player on defense and a bunch of guys who, if they played hard and mistake free, we might get above miserable to mediocre in the SEC. On offense, we have to shore up the offensive line three deep to play Bielema ball effectively. His system worked and is still working at Wisconsin. It will take more talent at Arkansas, but it can work here too. It is time for him to prove all of that to be true.

As far as your gripes against Long, I am proud of his firing of Petrino and am not willing to support any program that would tolerate him or anyone like him. Winning no matter what the cost is not acceptable.

Good post Hogmodo !! I feel the same way. WPS

I’m not saying win no matter the cost. But what I am saying is that we need to prioritize winning much more than we now do. I understand the Petrino argument. That’s over. But Long’s overreaction to Petrino’s screw up and his firing of Petrino is the starkest example of Long’s willingness to let the football program lapse into mediocrity. So long as Long can achieve personal good optics and his other agenda items just enough to keep us hoping, he thinks the fans will be just fine. But we are about to run out of hope with Bielema. Results and wins should count the most at some point and Bielema doesn’t have a lot of good results and wins. I don’t see it getting any better either.

[quote=“Hawgjawbend”]
I’m not saying win no matter the cost. But what I am saying is that we need to prioritize winning much more than we now do. I understand the Petrino argument. That’s over. But Long’s overreaction to Petrino’s screw up and his firing of Petrino is the starkest example of Long’s willingness to let the football program lapse into mediocrity. So long as Long can achieve personal good optics and his other agenda items just enough to keep us hoping, he thinks the fans will be just fine. But we are about to run out of hope with Bielema. Results and wins should count the most at some point and Bielema doesn’t have a lot of good results and wins. I don’t see it getting any better either.
[/quote]CBB is building the program the right way.

Just listened to a Bo Mattingly podcast. Bielema makes more money in bonuses for having a high APR than for winning the SEC. See, this sort of stuff in an example of not prioritizing winning enough. What a bunch of crap, especially given the fact good grades don’t equate to winning under Bielema. His team basically quit on him last year, despite all the academic rah rah.

We probably are a 7-8-9 win program but we’ve blown waaay too many leads under BB

That is not true. He would make $250,000 if he won the SEC Championship Game. The most he can get out of the APR is $100,000.

I have to agree here. Plus I think most all programs put winning as top priority, Each does it in a different manner. If we didn’t put it at the top of the list we wouldn’t have the facilities we have now or be renovating RRS stadium. Long brought in the Coach he thought could best resurrect a downtrodden program. A program that had spiraled to the bottom of the pit.
Someone who could do it the right way without cheating.
We could always follow the Auburn or Ole Miss way of prioritizing.

No, Matt, Bo said he gets a $75,000 bonus of he wins the SEC (maybe not the championship game) and $100k for some APR metric. Like me, Bo seemed a little perplexed by the priority.

When the coach you tirelessly defend doesn’t produce the next step is to change tactics.

Ladies and gentleman allow me to introduce the “We’re little Ole Arkysaw” tactic.

Bo is wrong. I have the contract.

Bielema would make $100,000 for an appearance in the SEC Championship Game and $150,000 for winning it.

The most he can make in APR in a year is $100,000. He made $75,000 of that this year.

Ok, so it’s equal. $100k for SECC game and $100k for APR max.

Still troubling to me. The message is that doing well, APR-wise, is as important as winning the SEC West.

Really? For an SEC football coach? Is having these incentives on a par with one another common in the SEC West? I bet not.

It incentivizes Bielema to recruit lesser-caliber athletes that are better students, doesn’t it?

We have a hard enough time getting good athletes here to begin with. Now, we’re adding an extra layer of difficulty to it. They need to be stellar students, too.

Little wonder our defense is historically bad. But, hey, our APR is up.

Shout it from the mountaintop.

You do understand the APR has nothing to do with how intelligent a player is, correct? And you do realize that players have to remain eligible in order to play?

That’s what the APR does: calculates how well players remain eligible and are retained from semester to semester. It doesn’t add any difficulty in the classroom; it just makes sure they are staying eligible, which is one of the conditions of their scholarship.

Head coaches at every school - including all six others in the SEC West - have academic incentives built into their contracts because keeping students eligible and graduating is the priority of their employers, the universities. And half of that equation - eligibility - is of utmost importance to the football coach. If you think recruiting is difficult now, imagine what it would be like with postseason sanctions or reduction of scholarships, because that’s what happens if the APR is bad.

I don’t understand the uproar from fans when schools announce they have good APRs or GSRs. You should want that as a fan. Celebrating it doesn’t equal a concession to on-field progress. You can have both.

Bielema has $800,000 per year in on-field incentives; $200,000 per year in academic incentives. For Bo or anyone else to insinuate that he could make as much from academic incentives as on-field incentives is silly, and evidence of poor homework.

You can disagree with a coach getting an academic-based bonus if you want, but just understand that if Arkansas doesn’t write that into the contract, it is at a disadvantage to its competitor schools when it comes time to hire a head coach. It’s what the market bears. Academics are part of the job and the coaches want to be compensated when that job is done well.