Can Arkansas be an elite program?

For decades my heart has said yes.

But reality suggests otherwise.

1 Like

Hope springs eternal.


Define elite?

1 Like

Elite? I doubt it.
Respectable? Absolutely!
Hogs should be able to be good enough to win most if not all its non-conference games and win three to five conference games on a regular basis which would put us in the 7-9 win category every season.
Occasionally, they could catch lightning in a bottle and compete for a conference title once in a blue moon, but not on a consistent basis.


I think we can be elite occasionally. Of course, if you define “elite” as one that is perennially in the top 10, no, we can’t. There are 3-5 SEC programs that just have better resources than we do. With the right coach, we can get there & spend a few years there. While I think CSM can get us there, only time will tell. A lot will depend on whether recruits see this season as a reason for hope or not. It would have been nice to have won a couple of those close games. It didn’t help to get killed the way we did today. We need to win our bowl game.

1 Like

We can’t judge anything until CSP has a couple of recruiting classes on the hill and we see what happens when the OL and DL are bigger and the team has more depth

1 Like

I’m with you, as long as we remain in the SEC, er, and Bama doesn’t join the NFL.

It’s been a long time since we were consistently pretty good.

1 Like

I don’t know about “Elite” for a long period of time, but Nutt and Petrino proved we can be competitive in the SEC.

We do it in all other sports. We should be able to do it in football.



Elite is relative. UA enjoyed great success 60s-80s. Periodic success under Nutt and Petrino.

1 Like

We just gotta try to get back to the Petrino days and I think that can happen around year 4 or 5 with Pittman but Elite will be tough

1 Like

Would assume “elite” means playoff team. Which means SECW champs at the very least.

Elite meaning Bama or Notre Dame or Clemson every year. Likely not.

Elite meaning a school capable of finishing in the top 5 once every 10-20 years. Yes

Elite meaning a school capable of being a top 25 school consistently. Yes


You need to define Elite in today’s football game. Alabama and Clemson will not be elite when Saban and Dabo are no longer the coaches. Today’s elite programs are like Ky in basketball today–they are attracting the top talent to get them to the next level. Few teams can replicate that on year to year basis–top five year and year out schools in national recruiting rankings can fit that mold today.

Arkansas can be as competitive as any program if two things happen. First we recruit better and more importantly if the coaching staff can match Broyles tenure of developing them and making gametime adjustments. Coaching and recruiting are the key attributes for success today.

One last thing, Arkansas has to be solid in special teams play which we have not been inmuch too long a time period. It is startling to see how poor we are compared to the days of Broyles, Holtz and Hatfield. SEC is too strong a league to over come poor play in this area. Coaching also addresses lining up in correctly , football smarts, and next man ready. Arkansas has to be very good in those areas to offset some of the talent differences we will face.

Pittman and staff have done a good job this year but they have much work to do yet.

Based upon yesterdays game, it sure doesn’t appear so. They could have beat us by 100

Superhog has it right. I know at Arkansas there can be anything you want as far as greatness. You have the right coach, give him time and it can be done. Too many others have done it in other sports and doing it now.

The talent in baseball, soccer, track is off the charts. None of that happened over night. It took the right coach. Basketball is on the verge of being there, too, both men and women.

I will argue this until the cows come home and they always do.


In the distance I can see the cows headed home. Just have to be patient.

And there are some bell cows in that herd…


It can be elite. I’m not saying that it will be, but it can be. Most of these items we’ve already done before–and not THAT long ago.

  1. You’ve still got to stabilize the program–meaning, we win the games we’re supposed to win, and compete in the games we’re not supposed to win. (I think we’re getting close to that now.)
  2. You’ve got to hit on a few 4* kids who play like 5* ones, especially at QB and defensive line. You have to generate a cultural buzz that brings the networks and the kids to your brand.
  3. You’ve got to upset a few of the big boys until they are no longer upsets.
  4. When you make it into the top 12, you have to stay there. You have to play like you deserve to be there. Blow out bad teams and break the hearts of up-and-coming teams by pulling away after the first half because you’re loaded with depth.
  5. Start bringing in top 10 recruiting classes routinely. (You’re going to have to become a globetrotting recruiter: Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma aren’t enough at this point. You want that 5* nosetackle from Utah, go get him.)
  6. Make your way into a relevant bowl and win by playing well, not by a freak accident.
  7. Build a culture of winning that essentially feeds itself.
  8. Congratulations, you’re elite.

Oregon did it; Clemson did it; Wisconsin did it; Nebraska did it; Auburn…umm…paid to move the timeline up a little bit?

Gentlemen, it can be done.

I don’t think it’s impossible.


Clay is probably right. The right guy could get it done. Nick Saban could have come to Arkansas instead of coming to LSU and built a powerhouse. He could have done it in a lot of places.

I have never seen a coach like Coach Saban. He is just the best I have seen in my lifetime. The pursuit of excellence is just relentless. The only thing that is going to stop Alabama is Father Time.

Agreed. I tell my friends we’re “0 for Saban” when we talk about playing Alabama.

As the great Apollo Creed once said, Saban has “retired more men than social security.”

1 Like

I admire Nick Saban. He is the best football coach I’ve ever witnessed. Relentless in his pursuit of excellence and he gets it from his players/coaches and staff. Reminds me of Vince Lombardi in many ways.

And let’s not forget his love for Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme pies. He’s the best unpaid endorser in the business. Clay Henry does his part as an Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme pie ambassador but Nick has just a tad bit better platform.

And I have sent Oatmeal Creme Pies to both. So technically both are paid ambassadors.