Completely sold on Bielema

I’m completely bought into CBB and his system. I look at the big picture. Maybe it’s my business experience, where it’s taken 12 years of consistent work to close on some of our big accounts.

My analysis: CBB wants a dominate OL; we didn’t have one this year. That’s fixable. He’s proven here, and at Wisc that he can, and usually does, have a dominant OL. Had we had a dominate OL, we would have finished the season 10-3, and the bad loses would not have been so bad. The prior two years, our OL controlled the line of scrimmage. We wore down our opponent’s DL, and controlled the time of possession in the 4Q. This year, our OL was overmatched. The OL worked so hard trying to protect AA in the first half, that they were worn out by the 4Q. The opponent’s DL dominated our OL in the Q4.

Why wasn’t the OL strong this year when CBB puts such an emphasis on OL?
Did we miss on OL in recruiting?
Did CBB miss on Pittman? Didn’t CBB give full OL responsibility to Pittman, including recruiting? Mistake?

My take: It looks like we’re not putting a great emphasis on OL in the 2017 recruiting class. My guess is we have quality young OL that CBB doesn’t want to play before they’re ready. He’s said before that he had to play Skipper and Kirkland too soon. He’s said that he expected Kirkland to return this year. He’s said that he’d rather not play OL until their RS Soph/Jr year, and he’d like to have an OL of fully developed upperclassman.

CBB wants a strong defense. You know he’s not satisfied with the D. He’ll work to improve it. Maybe he’ll replace the DC. That said, our offense and time of possession is supposed to be our best defense. That falls on the OL. Put last year’s OL with this year’s team, and we’re 10-3. It’s not like the whole team is broken. Fix an area that CBB is proven to excel, the OL, and we’re in good shape.

We need stability in the program. CBB will give us a winner. We cannot have a fanbase placing ads in the ADG to fire the coach, or flying banners. Give him our support, and he’ll give us more than our share of 10+ wins over time.

Good post. Maybe a little simplistic, but it’s good to support CBB.

Thanks! Enough already of the gloom and doom.

How long do you expect it to take for us to start having “more than our share” of 10 win seasons?

Well, hopefully there won’t be any ad postings, banners flying or phone record checking. I don’t want to see that again either.

It was year 5 for Saban at MI St before he had more than 7 wins. He was 6-6 in year 4; 9-2 in year 5. I’m betting on year 5 under CBB to be a great year.

I feel your post and I once was on the same side, but this year I seen a lot of things that made my eyebrows raise and it was every other game. CBB said that the d-line was solid and was deep as it ever had been, that was a big bold lie. We had problems stopping the run and just plain out setting the edge and at times you could look at the alignment and tell we were about to get gashed for a big play. Also he will not play his playmakers such as Whaley, Hammonds and O’Grady those kids should have been playing from the start of the season and the O-line was down right horrible majority of the times. Also he needs to get some big time recruiters on his staff, beside from the WR coach there is no one that is bringing big time recruits on campus… If he comes out next year with the same mess he will loose the state and maybe the team, the one thing I can say about BP is that he showed that you can win at Arkansas and win big so that is what we expect now instead of blowing leads on teams that we should be beating…#HE NEEDS TO SHUT HIS MOUTH AND GET THE TEAM READY TO PLAY BALL!!!

I agree on everything. I have one concern that the Def was so bad for 2 years in a row combined with poor in-game planning overall. He needs to make a change at DC soon.

This situation feels similar to where we were in 1997 with Danny Ford.

Ford was fired by Clemson in 1989 (after a 10-2 season) and took over at Arkansas in 1993. Those few seasons off didn’t help him deal with the challenges at Fayetteville. Ford had trouble getting his staff right. It must have been hard to put together a coaching staff after four idle seasons.

Bielema had no experience with starting a coaching staff from scratch. His first Wisconsin staff was handed to him. Bielema did have to deal with attrition, and results were mixed. It’s a completely different challenge to move to a new school and conference + build from zero.

If Ford had done a little better job of recruiting/retaining RBs and QBs, his Arkansas teams might have stayed right around that 7- or 8-win level in 1996-97. Arkansas is better manned on offense now vs. then, but the defense is seriously behind the SEC standard.

Anyway, this situation feels familiar for these reasons:

  • Chronic staff turnover caused issues with recruiting and continuity.
  • Near-total failure on one side of the ball, leading to desperation moves.

Arkansas brought in Kay Stephenson (former Buffalo Bills coach) to modernize the offense. Didn’t work, still only scored 16 ppg, and Ford was gone.

The major question for me is whether the Hogs’ defensive roster is as problematic as the offensive personnel that Stephenson took over 20 years ago. Are we looking at a multi-year rebuild, or is this the right time for new leadership to make a difference?

Amen and Amen

I have felt all along that a gap control Dline funneling plays to the LB’s is fine…if you have run pluggers on the line and SEC quality LB’s. The problem is that we had fast twitch athletes like Agim and Ledbetter playing gap control. Wise was inside a lot too. Taiwan Johnson is not big enough to be a run plugger. Did you notice how well our Dline got after the VaTech QB in the first half? We turned the gap control Dline loose and let their real talent shine via an attacking Dline. I think the front 7 is going to be OK but the back 4 scare me outside of Pulley.

We’ve already been told that the defense will change. There may or may not be a DC change. Smith transformed the D into a top-10 D in year 1. I can understand CBB giving him year 3, after the poor year 2. We all saw what Smith did in year one. He’s capable. Does CBB still believe Smith is the right guy for a 3-4?

This was year 3 for smith, next would be year four. His first year was a good defense, the second was awful, and this year was historically bad. It looks like his first year was a fluke, he is similar to the team and can not make adjustments. VT killed us in the second half with quick throws because our corners were 10 yards off the ball, and we never once moved them up to try and take that away.

I am with Coach B too. Tough times don’t last! ghg