An attempt at an objective analysis of CBB

First, let me say that I like him and want him to succeed. I think all the complaining about his weight and the TV show and all that other stuff is really immature and comes from people who wouldn’t have the nerve to say any of it if they were in the same room. Internet tough guys.

That said, despite liking him and being a supporter, I’m starting to have creeping concerns.

Those concerns have nothing to do with style or recruiting. In fact I think his style is a good fit and he does about as well in recruiting as anyone would do unless and until we win more or start blatantly cheating.

My concerns are that he is more of a CEO-type head coach in that he delegates and his primary concern is program culture, roster and staff management, etc.

And, when that’s your role, you can’t have huge weaknesses on your staff and you can’t get outcoached, tactically on major things like clock management, challenging plays (reviews) etc.

The biggest knock from Wisconsin fans was that he wasn’t a good gameday coach. I’ve seen issues, there. Once things turn, he all-too-often is unable to rein it in.

Part of that is instincts. He had to know that the 2nd Morgan fumble was vital. Win that challenge and we probably coast to a win. Those things add up and swing games that could be salvaged at a program with no margin for error.

But, my biggest concern is a losing culture has set in and that is so difficult to turn.

I don’t think the players are bad people. I think as a whole they’re good people and many are good players. I think the same regarding the coaches.

But, once that culture sets in–the one where losing isn’t quite expected but it is the most likely result as soon as anything goes wrong–it is very hard to change.

That’s Bielema’s toughest task at this point. He has to recruit off of available playing time and mixed on-field results.

And, more importantly, he needs to find some junkyard dogs amongst his group of redshirts and newcomers.

They have to find some kids who (absent the very regrettable act that led to his ejection) play like Morgan and care about it as much as Him and usually far exceed expectations.

If he can’t change that aspect of the team (ie subconscious “quitting”) then he will end up being fired. I hope that he recognizes it’s a problem and shakes up the staff, the 2-deep and his own coaching approach.

Agreed for the most part. I think we are in a “funk” right now where when something bad happens, we expect everything to go wrong. It was like that in his first and second seasons. It happens a lot with young basketball teams when they go on the road. They have to learn to win. In any football game, there is going to be adversity. This team was young, as far as starters offensively (with exception of receivers, tight end), and seemed to implode when they needed to step up most. I don’t know the answer, but would say I would expect the spring theme should be how to handle adversity, consistently putting the team in a bad situation and making them fight their way out.

This is pretty much where I am. Excellent post

Yeah, it’s a good post. I mostly agree and I personally like CBB. I think he will be fired, that monster buyout becomes manageable after next season if my info. is correct…I think he needs at least 9 next year.

I don’t think he needs 9 wins. I think he has to be competitive and not lose games like he did this year.

We can see all sorts of problems but lack explanations. I’d like to believe the future will be better based on the accumulation of talent and repetition of systems. The biggest problem I have is hearing Bielema make assurances, followed by a failure to deliver. Clearly, he did not have the right read on things – maybe unaware of what he should be saying, but more likely overpromising because he was wrong about the state of his team.

That’s what makes things seem off track. The coach should not be that out of touch.

As a supporter of CBB how disconcerting is it o you that there are this many problems, questions, concerns four years deep in his tenure? Shouldn’t the program, if rebuilt properly, be hitting its stride in year 5 rather than discussions about all of the changes needed to get this program moving forward?

Really good post Pig. I agree whole heartedly

Obviously. Hence the concerns. I thought surely that can through in the post. My guess is it did, but the reply was a way to get in another dig.

But if it was actually meant to further the discussion, My apologies.

I do think it’s a concern that they took a step back in 2016. I’m not one that does a lot of the Year 5 handwringing.

I see that with MA. They were really good in 2014 and bad in 2015. So 2014 is ignored and “I can’t believe where the program was in 2015 begins”.

Programs aren’t static. Players and coaches leave. All but the top few programs have peaks and valleys.

The question/concern I have isn’t as much why we had a disappointing season (there were many factors, some controllable some not) but whether he can right the ship.

Those questions are yet to be answered. Things aren’t trending in the right direction the last month.

That’s why the response of CBB and the team are very important.

I expect changes on the staff and 2-deep. We will see if those help.

Pretty much in the same boat here. I thought early on he had us on the right track. Bringing in good coaches even when some good ones left he didn’t want to lose, but I think some of those coaches left just to take the high road out and some replacements although good coaches don’t seem to be the right mesh ie on the defensive staff.

This was a disappointing season no doubt. Its squarely on CBB’s shoulders to get the right fit with players and coaches alike now, because that good ole boy approach has run its course and its time for W’s.
I like all he has done for the program in every aspect, but honestly I expected a better product on the field this year and the time has come to produce that.
I could go on and on with areas I think he is lacking, but all of that has been addressed by everyone else around here, most are correct assessments, some are a touch extreme.
I’m still hoping for the best next year for him and the Hogs.


Very good OP.

This post is pretty good as well, but I’m not sure about staff changes other than possibly bringing in another guy. My assumption based off what he said was possibly Partridge to manage the program while he is with Jen and baby. I also considered the Mad Hatter, but I think I’m wishing there. I know a lot of people blamed Smith for the let downs, but scoring drives of 5 and 9 yards aren’t gonna be stopped by a lot of teams (the other three were 30, 44, and 76, only one was really a let down by the D, the other four, one first down would have resulted in at least 2 TD’s and 2 FG).

I do think there are some good players coming in, just like with CMA’s future class.

Nice post Pig.
It seems to me that 2014, with 3 great intelligent, instinctive defenders gave a false impression of a Robb Smith defense. Those three players were game changers and were able to operate that defense perfectly. I believe too much credit went to Smith when most of it was those three stars. Since they left the defense has been horrible. Without intelligent, instinctive players the defense does not work. Perhaps no defense works when it lacks those two ingredients. In particular the secondary lacks any sort of instincts at all. Two highly regarded coaches have not been able to get through to that bunch.
The loss of Denver Kirkland was a killer on offense. Froholdt had no business being a starter. A line with Kirkand and Skipper at tackles and Ragnow at center would have been SEC caliber. Kirkland leaving was not CBB’s fault. It was stupid, like Sprinkle’s decision.
CBB has a major job on his hands. Once again he needs to rebuild the offensive line and the entire blocking scheme to SEC quality. The entire defense needs to be rebuilt. You can’t be both slow and lack instincts. The safety situation with those upper classmen who play like freshman is a real rebuilding problem.
And I think he needs to seriously look at his approach to coaching special teams. Having secondary players that can’t take angles or tackle and putting them in kick coverage is insane. He needs a special teams specialist like Sheibest to change the entire culture.
I have no idea how you fix so many problems at one time, but he is smart enough to figure it out if he fights the urge to think he knows it all already.

I, too, think Pig’s post is straight on. I sure want CBB to succeed because he is flat out likable. He’s a talented marketing guy and as Hog fans we all want to believe. You need a coach with confidence, but if you keep talking about a team’s toughness and resolve over and over with the kind of results we are seeing, he should expect a backlash and erosion of trust. Few will be buying what he is selling if we’ve not competitive and continue losing (even occasionally) like we have endured this year. He has two more years because of the buyout and let’s hope the upcoming teams have a more focused and grittier attitude or it won’t be pretty.

Jeff Long just tweeted:

“Razorback Nation I reject notion the sky is falling! We are strong & will make changes to become stronger!We will fight we will #Neveryield!”

I may be reading too much into this, but it sure looks like a coach or two may leave (not saying HC).

That’s how I read it too. I am looking forward to the changes.

But what if the changes (coaching staff) aren’t what everybody is expecting or hoping for?

What makes y’all think that?

What makes you think something different? Said I may be reading too much into it, just curious on your viewpoint.

I just read it as a response to backlash, not anything about coaches leaving.

Fair point