At a loss

I’ve bought tickets and donated to the scholarship program since 1985 and will remain a fan regardless of the won/loss record. However, I just don’t get it. When you look at our facilities, the NWA area, quality of life, quality of educational opportunities, career opportunities beyond football, I cannot think of another program in the SEC that has any more to offer. And to be honest, there aren’t many programs around the country that have more of a total package. Sure, the Miami campus looks like a country club and there are some bigger stadiums at other schools but the UofA has a LOT to offer a potential recruit “and” their family. What is going on? In my heart of hearts, I’ve got to believe it is about recruiting. After humiliating the Hogs shortly after CBB arrived, Steve Spurrier commented that “Bret will have to recruit his way out of this.” I’ve got to believe that it can be done and NOT the way Freeze did it in Oxford. For the first time since 1985, I have not gone to all of the home games and could not give away my tickets tot he coastal carolina game. This sickens me. It’s not about the 700 mile round trip or the money, it’s about pride in the program. I’m truly at a loss. I like CBB. I like him a lot and truly hate to see a change made, especially, when you look at the financial impact of it. Does Jeff Long need to go? Look what he has done as far as facilities. He truly picked up where Coach Broyles left off but SOMETHING has got to change. There is too much invested and too much at stake to settle for LESS than mediocrity.

We have plenty of talent, not the best in the SEC, but we have enough to be competitive. The problem is the coaching staff, 2015 should have been a 10 win season (Toledo and Texas Tech), and last year 9 (Missouri and VA Tech). Beliema in my opinion, cannot get it done, and is just making excuses.

I agree. It would be more comforting to know that the facilities aren’t up to snuff and that we simply don’t have access to the resources necessary to compete at the SEC West level because at least we could hang our hat on something. But if you look at all the building and all money spent on the entire athletic department, we ought to be doing better in our football program. Had we been beat by Alabama 31-21 and Auburn 21-17 not to mention closer losses to LSU and South Carolina, my pessimism would not be so sharp and angry. Instead we got blown out. Bret Bielema is simply not the right guy despite his affable persona. The question is will Jeff Long make a necessary business decision and, just a importantly, hire the right guy?

What’s worrisome to me is that the entire culture of Razorback football has been devalued by Long when he says that “we don’t want to win at all costs”. While on its face it’s the proper way to approach things, a statement like that can’t morph into an excuse for not winning at all. That is what I am afraid has happened. If other programs are cheating call them out publically or privately - don’t just accept it and certainly don’t use it as a rationale for losing. I guess we just have to be patient and see what happens but I am losing faith in Jeff Long’s ability to make good decisions for the program that weigh the passionate nature of the hearts and minds of Razorback fans.

I totally agree when it comes to facilities and the great area we should be competing to get some of the best recruits available. Now you then have to look at the style of offense and defense a HC wants to run and are those type of recruits in your area.

Bielema wants to run a play action offense and for that you require a dominating running attack. For that in the SEC you need a big powerful offensive line. We recruit our state and have always relied on Texas to find recruits and they produce spread offensives where they don’t rely on massive 330lb linemen. We just can’t get the type recruits needed to run Bielema’s offense!

When we lost Pittman BB went out and hired a OL coach who was not a good recruiter but according to B.B. he could coach. Well, you can’t coach a kid to be a bruising run blocker. If you recall a couple weeks ago Tuberville said a HC should hire assistants who could recruit and then the coaching becomes easy. Well that’s exactly what we need, a HC who runs an offense that suits available recruits in our area and hires assistants who have a history of being great recruiters. Of course those coaches require top salaries but in the end the results will speak for themselves.

You are 100% right regarding recruiting (especially in our traditional recruiting areas) and the kind of offense we need to run to get those recruits.

Unfortunately, and as much as I love the NWA area, recruits usually stay within 200-350 miles within their school. I’ve seen a number of research posts on such; same goes with the average student who picks a college to attend. Of course there are anomalies to everything; but what kills the Univ of Arkansas-Fayetteville (roll my eyes), is there are not enough recruits in that particular area to pull a roster from.

Same holds true with most schools in the central part of the US. The majority of populations are near the coast. Or within major metropolitan areas. Oklahoma knows this well and they are only a stone throw away from the DFW area and they steal recruits from there all day because that city doesn’t have a major football school there. As nice as TCu and SMU are, they don’t have a great history for football like Oklahoma does.

I think this staff focused on Florida more than Texas which is a mistake in my mind. But we can’t change the past. Hopefully, the next staff won’t make that same mistake and will focus on Arkansas (given), Texas, Oklahoma, Memphis, Louisiana, Missouri (some hidden gems there), Mississippi and the JuCOs in Kansas, Mississippi, Texas, etc. those areas should really help fill a team for the Hogs. He’ll, I’m realistic and know that we won’t win an NC over and over, but within a ten year time period we should squeeze out a 9-10 wins season or two.

One thing I’ve noticed after out of state recruits come for and visit to a person the reaction to what their prior perception of what the University of Arkansas Campus and surrounding community would be like and what they found it to be like was surprisingly different.

What does this tell us?
It tells us that the University has a perception problem by those outside of our state and therefore the University must do a much better job in Marketing itself and all that it and the NWA area has to offer.

Because, we aren’t going to be able to take a significant step forward in Football unless we can recruit, compete and sign the occasional 5 star and many more 4 star recruits than we do currently.

Instead of talking recruiting, talk some will and determination. Our players aren’t that bad as we seen the last almost two years. We’ve been coached into mediocrity and lack of fire.

Also Bielema came in with the gonna Impose B1G football on the SEC. Bielema’s biggest weakness is the trenches and now he can’t get out of them.

You are right. It’s possible the entire area/state/region has a perception problem.