Can Arkansas be an elite program?

Then it depends on the definition of what elite is. Or at least as it relates to AR football. We should be at the very least be a perineal top 25 team and occasional top 10, top 5 team. If that’s elite by AR standards then yes we can or should be time permitting.

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My standard snack for fly fishing trips - either for the trek out west in the truck or when I step in the river. Delightful every time.

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Back in the day my thought of Arkansas as an elite program is a program that in bad years is 8 wins

In good years 9-10 wins

That Arkansas as an elite SEC program wins the SEC West 2x every decade

And wins the SEC Title at least 1 time a decade

With our need to fill in the spots that our state talent doesn’t fill for Power 5 talent

There will be a natural heart beat in the win loss record but every 4-5 years that heart beat of talent should challenge fir the SEC title and win it at least once a decade

With Arkansas resources I think that’s the best we can expect and I would be overjoyed with that

As an elite program I want every game to be what I saw vs MSU/Ole Miss and Even Auburn where it’s a fight and Arkansas can knock anyone off any given Saturday

Just my observations - because back in the glory days in the SWC that’s what Arkansas was like

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No… Too many things work against us.

Clemson was a good program, not great one before Dabo got there. They’re elite now even though they average about seven in-state signees a year and have to go out of the state for the others.

From 1981-2009 the Tigers won 7.7 games a year. Much different since Dabo arrived.

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"Clemson was a good program, not great one before Dabo got there. They’re elite now even though they average about seven in-state signees a year and have to go out of the state for the others.

From 1981-2009 the Tigers won 7.7 games a year. Much different since Dabo arrived."

THIS.

Don’t forget when Hatfield went to Clemson, it was considered by most to be a lateral move. Not a move up.

Do I expect us to find a Dabo? No. Possible? Yes. I do think we can get back to being respectable. I think we can get to winning 7-9 games a year, Every now and then having a bad year and winning 5 or 6, every now and then having a great year and winning 10 or 11.

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Agree 100% on the Hatfield move.

If there’s a program that fans should look at and say it can be done it’s Clemson. Arkansas doesn’t split in-state talent with an in-state school like Clemson does with SC.

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Thought I was on the basketball board for a moment…

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In the last 20 years, Arkansas has had three very good football teams.The D MAC team that played Florida in the SEC Championship was a very good team. This team probably had the best talent but it was obliterated by USC in the season opener and lost its last 4 games. Petrino’s last two teams were also very good.
The 2010-11 team should have beaten Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl. The 2011-12 team won the Cotton Bowl and was ranked fifth in the final AP poll.

If that level team would be considered elite, we should be able able to achieve this level with 2-3 teams a decade. If elite is to make the College Football Playoffs most years like Alabama and Clemson do, it would be a fantasy to imagine that Arkansas would be able to pull that off. 8-10 wins a year would satisfy all but the most delusional fans.

I think that Arkansas can be a top 15 program. With great coaching and some great recruiting classes, it would not surprise me that we could have some more top 10 finishes. The SEC will be tough and to be a top 10 team, you will have to average 6 SEC wins per year.

To me, that is not elite. A top 20 team team most years probably would put us in next level below elite.

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Unless we figure out how to recruit at an elite level, the answer is simply no.
That’s the key.

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Aloha,

There are two major limiting factors which affect UA from being an elite football school:

Minimal SEC in-state talent.
Distance from major metropolitan area.

Other factors (coaching, facilities, academics, etc…) can be over come.

GHG!

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There are two major limiting factors which affect UA from being an elite football school:

Minimal SEC in-state talent.
Distance from major metropolitan area.

With DFW metroplex at almost 7 million population, endless football talent, & only 4 1/2 hrs from Fayetteville, the market is there. Half the students at Arkansas are from TX, & Hogs have a massive presence & following in DFW. That is in part due to strong Walton Business & other UofA academics plus high GPA TX kids getting in-state tuition at AR. OU gets many of their top players out of DFW so we can too. ut & aTm primary focus is on Houston & SA markets.

Arkansas has the advantage over dysfunctional Big12 conference since we play SEC which gets the players NFL attention. We just need a competitive football program again to make us marketable. TX recruits allegiances to Big12 & TX universities is not what it was in the SWC days.

We turned our back on Texas recruiting after the SWC & we have paid for that. Would hope there would be an opportunity for Arkansas to again schedule UofH & TCU/SMU for our non-conference games to regain some TX exposure & press while we are also playing aTm. The opportunity to clean up on recruiting in DFW & TX is there. There are many more elite players like Catalon who will come to Arkansas.

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I guess since I was at the U of A in 1964-65 I’ve gotten an unrealistic idea concerning being an elite program. Texas and Nebraska fans remember those days well too.

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Like Clemson did with Dabo?

It was not long ago that Clemson was an average football program in an average conference & with a much smaller enrollment than Arkansas. If Clemson is now an elite, no reason that Arkansas can’t do the same. It is not going to happen if UofA relies on the State of Arkansas for $, strong student body, alumni base, & in-state talent to move forward.

Arkansas has inherent advantages, including being adjacent to the best & fastest growing HS football talent pool in this country. I would expect us to embrace & pursue Texas to rebuild the program. Without Texas, would OU be an elite program? Does not hurt that Arkansas has a large alumni base in TX & on most TX HS short lists for college bound students. Despite minimal state funding, UofA hugely benefits from wealthy donors & hope that continues - Waltons, Tysons, JBHunts, Jerry Jones, etc.

What are the qualifications that make or enable a football program to be elite? wealth, alumni base, size of student body, traditions, recruiting base, coaches, geographic location, etc?

What keeps those programs elite especially after they lose great coaches? So Cal, ut, Mich., PSU, Tenn, FSU, & NE were considered elite but not today. Clemson is now an elite, but for how long especially after Dabo leaves? After Bear left AL, they had decades of drought but were fortunate to hire Saban. Concern about AL is that they have a backlog of proven coaches when Saban retires. Unfortunate that UofA did not feed off of AR base - ie Bear, Switzer, J. Johnson, etc. Perhaps CSP is one that we were fortunate to bring back & find success again.

Today’s current elites include OU, OH State, AL, Clemson, & ND. Schools like LSU, ut, aTm, Aub, FL believe they are entitled to be elite & spending the $ to reach that level. Not unrealistic for Arkansas to reach that level again.

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I’d agree.
He definitely got them there quick.
They are the hope and model for us.

But at the end of the day, we have to start getting more 4 stars than non 4 stars. Their first national championship team had the least amount of 4 stars or higher (blue chips) of the last 15 + years, and their percentage was at 49%. (Of teams that had won a national championship)
I bet we aren’t even at 30%.

This was from an article a year or two ago, I actually think I linked it here once.

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Deshaun Watson was the game changer for Clemson. Arkansas needs that elite QB that makes everybody around him better. That can help you get to where you want.

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Yeah I agree.

A Sammy Watkins and Deandre Hopkins wouldn’t hurt either.
Granted we have Burks who is compare-able.
Either way, it’s not happening anytime soon. I have high hopes for the 22 class, hopefully it’s a big step in the right direction, and better than this years.

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Comparing this season to the past few seasons the Hogs improved. Coach Pitman can coach and mentor a staff. He earned the respect of the players in short time and won more games than Chad Morris with the same players. Call it what you want too but in my eyes our hogs are headed in the right direction!
As far as elite goes I want a clean respectable athletic department. Win the right way or not at all! Blue collar and go to work that’s what Coach Pitman said when he got the job!
They play tough and won or lose they do it as a team.

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There’s no reason we can’t win a national championship at Arkansas. The odds are against it, but it can happen. As others have said, we have to get the right coach (and we may have him), and some of the right players. It’s hard to get players when we’re in such a rural state. Even Mississippi, that’s just as rural, has better demographics & a better high school system for producing top players. Schools like UGA, Fla, LSU, & A&M have a much better recruiting area. Alabama no longer recruits regionally (MS, Ala, GA, & TN), it recruits nationally. We play against these teams & that makes it tough for us.

Regardless, we can do it. One good thing about being in the SEC is that lots of players want to be part of it. The top schools can’t get all of them. We need a few breaks. We have the facilities. We have a large fanbase (essentially the whole state), especially relative to our state’s population.

We’re elite in baseball & have been recently in basketball. We can be in football

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