David Bazzel on Talent

Said this morning on his radio show - and said the same thing on Finebaum this Summer - this is the least amount of talent he’s ever seen on an Arkansas football roster since his time being associated with the program in the early 1980’s.

To borrow an expression from another poster on this board:


It’s sad.
I’m pretty quick to criticize the last staffs recruiting job, but I really need to change my stance.

They were just piss poor evaluators more than anything. Had no idea what talent looked like. I know it’s not popular, but they were frankly just some awful, awful coaches.

It’s sad that the talent level is so bad. This rebuild, which I know and understand why chad refuses to say it’s a rebuild, but t is, is much worse than what bielema inherited. Bielemas best team wouldn’t have happened without Petrinos players, and he still underachieved that season.

It’s time to let a large amount transfer and go hard after jucos and other transfers. This is going to take a while.

What the hell was Bret doing for 5 years?

Drinking all the vodka in Washington Co.

It literally makes my stomach turn to see what he’s done to our program. He made out like a bandit with 15 Mil too. Absolutely sickening.

I know all of the focus is on Chad, but you can give Nick Saban this team and he probably wouldn’t win more than 4 or 5. The talent is just that decimated.

He made out like a bandit, but the settlement was about 11.5. Still a lot of coin.

Should have been fired with cause and got nothing, no way anyone should have a five year record like Bielema’s and walk away with $11.5 million. Guess we can blame Long, BOT, PTB and the RF for that.

Definitely have a talent problem. No question. Lack of speed huge.

But we have supposedly out recruited NTU and CSU every year.

So if we have any lack of ability issue it is a lack of development which is squarely on the assistant coaches that were hired.

And at some point the players that are here need to stop blaming everything on somebody else and accept some responsibility. I’m tired of seeing players quit. Either get on the bus or get off. I don’t really care anymore.

It can look like a lot of them aren’t talented when they don’t believe, or want to play for this coaching staff.

Trust me, there are players on that team.

Elmo, they didn’t play well for the last staff either! They aren’t very talented and I’ll take the word of a former player over yours!

Exactly what I was thinking.

Elmo doesn’t know anything other than complaining and claiming he’s right.

Bazzel however, knows what good and bad talent looks like.

Elmo couldn’t name 10 SEC level players on this team, and if he did I guarantee you he’d be wrong.

They may be the least talented. They may not be. But I can say this. After a bad loss, it is human nature to be pessimistic. No one on this Board has more informed and accurate opinions than Clay. But I remember his column after our 70-17 loss to Southern Cal in 2005. He bemoaned the lack of talent we had overall. In particular, I remember him writing about how undersized linebacker Sam Olajabutu was. He only became 2nd team All-SEC that year and 1st team All-SEC the next. That’s what a beatdown can do to anyone’s outlook. I went to the Georgia game in Athens that year with as hopeless a feeling as I have ever had as a fan, and while we lost, freshmen Darren and Felix had breakout games, and we had hope for the future. Although we knew they had possibilities, no one knew that they were going to become THAT good. Now I am not saying we have that type of as-yet-untapped talent on this team, after all DMac is probably the best player in Razorback history, or that North Texas is any way comparable to that USC team. But while no one questions that we have to recruit our way out of this, things are never as bad as it seems.

Just a question. When or at what point will any part of an awful season become at least a little fault of this current staff? If we go 1-11 with nine, 30-50 point losses, will that all be CBB and the players fault? What if we lose at RRS by 30 to Tulsa? Is this season going to be just a “sit back and don’t worry about huge losses”, it’s all the players and CCB’s fault?

Maybe next season and the next after that will be the 10 left over CBB players’ fault. I believe Morris should have a honeymoon first season and a 5-7 win 2nd season. If he wins 3-4 games and competes in “most” games this year, I’m OK with that. I never saw anyone on this, or any other board, say if we get blown out on our home field by a conference USA team, that’s fine. The majority of posts I did see, all discussed how much more competitive we would be under Morris this season. What’s happened with those thoughts?

44-17 against UNT at home is not just a lack of talent…

It’s a combination.

I agree it is a combination. I was just wanting Elmo to know it isn’t just the coaches!

I agree. Some of it is on the coaches and some on the players. As I have said before this team is inflected with a losing mentality or culture ( some say they’re soft). Whatever it is, so far Coach Morris hasn’t been able to overcome this mentality. There’s enough talent on this team to be competitive. However, when a team starts a comeback or we go down by 17, it’s all over for this team.

My dad was a smart man. He had a couple of wise sayings…

  1. When someone says “trust me” - don’t

  2. It’s not paranoia when someone is really out to get you.

I believe what Bazzel and other constant observers like Clay tell us, but it’s also a function of inexperience – lots of it.

This is the worst Arkansas football has been – maybe ever. That’s not an exaggeration, that’s not a vent or a meltdown – the only time it came close to being this bad was that 3-8 nightmare of Jack Crowe and the Citadel opener loss two years later. Surely it does not need to be said again about what just happened the last two weeks.

During the Jack Crowe 3-8 1990 season, most of us were in shell-shock. Unlike now when we are all used to this, been watching it now for decades. But going back to 1990, as I’ve written many times before and as anyone with a memory knows, something like 3-8 had NEVER happened to Razorback Football. 5-6 was as bad as it could ever be, and that happened rarely. In fact going back to the mid-70s, 5-5-1 had been the worst, and from 1977 going forward the Hogs had never had a losing season.

So we didn’t know how to react really – we were in sheer disbelief. Surely the coaching was not that awful – it had to be some sort of aberration.

And we heard the constant refrain that Coach Hatfield had left the cupboard bare, that it was all his fault. That Coach Crowe was not to blame; this was all Kenny Hatfield’s fault with his awful recruiting, etc. I sure bought into it – made sense to me. We all knew Coach Broyles would never make the wrong hire.

I remember chatting with the late Al Witte – law professor and long-time U of A NCAA Faculty Representative after the Hogs had lost to Texas Tech at home 49-44. I was repeating the refrain that this was all about poor recruiting by Coach Hatfield, whom I loved dearly, and it was going to take Jack Crowe time. He looked at me and said, “Texas Tech scored 42 points in the first half!?! 42 points against our defense in one half!?!” That’s all he said, as he had a way of doing.

I remember wondering if it could be possible that poor coaching had anything to do with that.

Does any of this sound familiar almost 30 years into the future?

I’ve been towing the party line for my entire life, and I’ve been drinking the Kool-Aid – but no more. Our football program is simply awful – it has sunk to depths that at one time were unimaginable. Coach Nutt brought winning back after a decade in the wilderness, but it wasn’t good enough – and so here we are.

I’m not going there that this is all Coach Bielema’s fault. Sure he bears some responsibility, but there’s a lot more to this than Coach Bielema ran this into the ground. There are a lot of people to blame – and it’s not just coaches.

I know after every loss until Morris somehow finds a way to win, he will be defended by many with a vengeance who will say it’s all the old coach’s fault – give him time. Sorry, that’s not my soothing salve any more – blaming the old coach for everything is not working for any more. Been there, done that.

Wally doesn’t get much right, but he got it right when he said we’ve been hearing this for 7 years and are sick of it.

And let’s be honest – we’ve been hearing this for 27 years – and we are sick and tired of it.

What else is there to say, we are just at the beginning of a nightmare that will be over around Thanksgiving. My only question is how long does this circus-coaching-show continue? Do they turn it around at some point – I admit it’s possible — people do bad jobs in this life and those who are good know how to turn it around and often do? And if not, how long do we endure this ugly spectacle – another 4 to 5 years as some say?

Really – after enduring this mess for 27 years, are all the Hog faithful and donors willing to sit patiently through another 5 years of 2-10, 1-11, 4-8, 6-6, and 3-9 – or some sort – to then be told – “this Coach didn’t get it done, but we are committed to winning – so here we go again in 2023…” So our faithful are going to wait patiently and contentedly until 2023 – if necessary – to see if the ugly mess continues?

Fact is donations to the Razorback Foundation and ticket sales are going to plummet. I know it sounds good and noble to say there are loyalists who will be there and who will increase their donations even if the Hogs go 1-11 every year from now until the end of time. But it’s just not so.

Probably what will happen when the individual donors pack it in after one losing season after the other is the prime seats are all going to be gobbled up by the big companies in Northwest Arkansas – which will change even more about Razorback Football.

Sorry to tell it like it is, but these things need to be said.

A lot of good points - the best though is you no longer adhering to the party line.


For far too long far too many have listened to the party line as disseminated by Razorback Inc’s power brokers and their minions and many, and more every day, have come to fully realize the Emperor has no clothes on! It’s like Neo in the Matrix after he takes the pill realizing what a disaster everything really is!

That’s the only positive in all this - people finally waking up and asking the hard questions and demanding a commitment to excellence or at least TRULY striving for excellence if they are going to continue to support the program.

Correct, there’s more talent than is showing, the “want to” is what is lacking. The locker room is divided, it’s time to clean house. Players didn’t like Petrino, but they didn’t want to lose their scholarship, so they bought in.