A few posters have pointed out in other topics that Arkansas sacrificed football relevancy for financial security when we joined the SEC. Some have argued that perhaps a mediocre football program is worth our other sports preforming well in the Conference. That the fat checks are worth our football program being usually the bottom wrung of the latter in the West. But is it? Before the move to the SEC, our other programs were doing well. Basketball, baseball, and track were in rather great shape. If you are happy with this arrangement. If 6-7 wins are the average, with an occasional 9 win season every decade or so is okay,then perhaps we, and I include myself, should stop complaining or expecting excellence on the football field. If lower tier in the SEC is the norm, then we should just embrace it and look forward to bowl games in Memphis, Shreveport, Nashville, and Houston playing other lower tier teams. Just throwing it out there.
A worthy discussion IMO. David Ubben’s article a year or so ago did a great job encapsulating what a failure the move to the SEC has been for the football program and fans.
PAYWALL: Why the SEC hasn’t been right for Arkansas, and why the Big 12 would be better for Razorbacks fans: Ubben - The Athletic
People like to trumpet our TV deals and SEC performance in bowl games. Frankly that doesn’t bring me much satisfaction, but others it does.
If you look at where other teams have been (down low) at times in their program, for example the Shula years at Bama, I don’t think it is unreasonable to have higher expectations. It’s all about getting the right coaching staff. I do think it is harder with football than other sports but it can be done.
I still think CSP is learning on the job and it’s a steep learning curve. I’m not ready to give up on him. I do think he needs to spend some time this offseason visiting with some other elite level coaches in college and the NFL to continue to develop his skills as a HC. (Edit: my perception of CEM and CDVH is that both are VERY detail oriented, beyond the average level. I think that’s what super successful coaches have to be.)
I get so tired of this talk about sacrificing football for the sake of SEC money. I mean, come on. That is ridiculous. Our own Clay Henry has said several times we can compete at a high level in football, with the right coach, and points to UA success in other sports to substantiate that. It’s been proven at times we can, especially by Bobby Petrino. Muss has certainly proved it in basketball after we were wandering in the wilderness for 20+ years. Basketball was mismanaged for a long time. But we got out of the ditch.
Stay in the SEC and use the damn SEC money! Hire the right coach! Recruit in football like others in the conference recruit! Hire Deion Sanders if you have to! Insist on winning and excellence!
Football has to be the leader. I and a lot of others will be out if we turn into Kansas in football. What a joke that is.
I do not get the defeatist attitude. Let’s throw up our hands and go join the Little Dozen! The sky is falling! Both sound equally silly.
We went 6-6, not 1-11. Everybody is disappointed in how we played Friday, but that’s one game against another midpack team.
We can win in football. The only thing Clemson has that we don’t is a stronger base of talent within 150 miles of campus, with both Atlanta and Charlotte falling into that circle. Until Dabo got there, Clemson was essentially equal to Arkansas.
And we beat the team that beat Clemson yesterday, don’t forget.
It’s possible that Sam was the right guy to get us out of the ditch but not the right guy to build from there. We shall see.
I must say, that yes, we did sacrifice football relevancy for financial security. The evidence is clear for anyone to see. Yes, the right coach could elevate the program to new heights. Petrino was an example. But he messed that up. As for most of the rest, the University has been trying either the wrong coach with the wrong system “Burt”, or get an up and comer on the cheap “Chad”. The University has shown over the years it does not have the appetite in forking the money and resources to hire a top notch coach. I like Sam too. But to think he is another, Kelly, Saban, or Kiffin is silly. He’s a middle tier coach that will deliver middle tier or lower results.
I’m disappointed in how we played in in those six losses, it would be a very different attitude around AR if we would have won the four we should have (aTm, Liberty, LSU, Missery)
You mean the little dozen that just won 2 Natty’s in Men’s Basketball. That almost always get’s a team or two to Omaha? That always completes well in women’s sports? For many of you, jumping to the little 12 is a humiliating step down. But is it more humiliating to be pushed off the field by Bama every year. Hey! We might sneak up and upset them in year 20 of our losing streak to them? Yep. Start booking you winter vacation spots to Memphis and Shreveport for the next several years.
Then why don’t you just go find a Big 12 team to root for and leave us alone? Defeatist attitudes drive me nuts, and you have one in spades.
Hawgjawbend and Swine are right on this! We’ve shown since the 50’s we can compete with the big boys in football. Yes, it takes the right players and coaches. We have facilities, support and tradition! Just do it! To take our ball and go crying to the Big 12 is absolutely ridiculous…
We were a doink from beating A&M, even with the QB sneak screwup, and about an inch from forcing OT with Liberty. LSU we win if KJ plays, I am very certain. Misery, we just couldn’t block for some reason and we still lose by 2. Ifs and buts aren’t candy and nuts, I know. But you gotta win that type of game in the SEC. Last year we won them, except for Ole Miss. This year we didn’t. Not ready to throw the baby out the window yet.
We could have/should have ended the season with at least an 8-4 record. Sometimes the breaks and injuries fall the wrong way.
Nostalgia is such a devious thing. In the last fifteen years before we joined the SEC, we were “relevant” in a crap conference where we got treated like crap,.
Look at the record when we played Power Five schools in bowl games and in the regular season from the SWC days. If you look at the records from Lou Holtz to our entry into the SEC, you will find a lot of wins against poor competition and a program that was usually found wanting in bowl games and in rare regular season games against good competition.
The “feature” game on our non-conference schedule most years was playing bad Ole Miss teams or Oklahoma State. The rare games against ranked opponents in non-conference (Miami) were losses, though Lou Holtz did beat a ranked Oklahoma State team his first year. From Lou Holtz’s first season to the year we joined the SEC we were 1-9-1 in bowl games against ranked opponents, and Holtz got the win/tie early in his tenure.
In those days you’d never have to play more than two or three good teams in the SWC, and we’d have three or four cupcakes in non-conference, so if we had decent talent and coaching we had a lot of wins in our pocket. Our relevancy was purely based on how we did in conference against ranked SWC teams. We were typically the bridesmaid, not the bride-two Cotton Bowls in 15 seasons, both by Kenny Hatfield-we lost both bowl games.
We were a good SWC team a lot of years, but that did not translate to any real relevance outside of the conference, we just weren’t good enough.
I do not think Broyles had this thought when he moved UA to SEC. He trusted the ability of the program to adapt more than he did the treatment by Texas politics. He did not see the other big schools (other than Oklahoma. Texas and TAM ) as being equal to SEC. How could he foresee Baylor, TCU , Kansas State and Iowa State being what there are today any more than Alabama now having a 15 year ten win streak? If so , then his action firing Jack Crow as he did does not square with that. Broyles was a football guy first and foremost. He did not hire Johnson or Swisher, when he had chances and he cast a big shadow over Hatfield and Holtz when they were winning. He wanted Tommy Tubberville but got Houston Nutt and went with flow. Football was the main sport in SEC at time and he knew football would have to compete as another Vandy would not set well with his home base. The recruiting declined in Arkansas for number of years after we joined the SEC but seems to be on the up swing in recent years. I think that has had more to do with our results as well as needing strong coaches to lead program. Chad Morris hiring was the peak of alot of things. Sam Pittman has his work cut out for making the program what he and the fans want. He has had to get his staff right which he has been doing since taking the job with changes each of first two years. We lost a number of games we should not have this year but we still lack talent (d line and secondary) and depth (qb-TE ) which takes time. Portal is a blessing and I think Sam will become a more willing user of it going forward. I know little of the strength coach firing but that position is the main extension of what the coach wants his roster to be like so a change seems to reflect SP’s awareness of needed adjustments. This year was a set back for sure but it might be the best thing if it gets alignment and playing hard as a team resolved on a faster timeline going forward.
Sounds like something a Nebraska fan would say. Wonder how they like moving to the Big10.
Think what you want, but i happen to think Nebraska will be back in the thick of it soon, and so will the Hawgs in the SEC.
I hope you’re right
Don’t forget that had the Hogs not left the SWC, they would have been SOL. The little dozen would NOT have taken Arkansas. So what then? We could have been in the same shoes as SMU.
This is a popular talking point and one that I am surprised took this long to be brought up.
The football team was routinely going to the cotton bowl and winning 9 games. The basketball team was about to go to 3 Final Fours in 5 years.
SMU just had the death penalty. We weren’t going to be SMU.
Frank loved to tell us how we were going to be hung out the dry. Convenient for him if that were the case. He gets to be the savior
And joining the SEC might have been the correct call for the athletic dept. But it has been a disaster for the football program. No way around it.