Ever the optimist, I have been on the Bielema bandwagon throughout, but yesterday’s debacle in Columbia is enough for me. In addition to being poorly coached in special teams from almost the beginning of his tenure, the Razorbacks have put a very questionable offensive line and defense on the field for the better part of two years. Consequently, Austin Allen is on a suicide mission as well as a very talented stable of running backs. How in the world do you stubbornly continue to play ground and pound football when you don’t have the offensive line or defense to back it up? Like it or not, Bielema’s porous defense is built much more for a shootout. Unfortunately, neither his offensive line nor the nature of the predictable play calling, or perhaps both, is wired for such a thing.
Bielema is undoubtedly a good man and a players’ coach. However, at $4M+ a year, the issues are glaring. At his pay rate, in addition to some very well paid assistants, the U of A administration and fans should reasonably expect solid recruiting, coaching up players recruited, player development in the offseason, the ability to gameplan and motivate players during the course of a game and more importantly, the ability to make in game as well as halftime adjustments. In my opinion, Bielema and staff have mostly failed miserably in these areas and people supporting the program should rightfully expect more.
In all honesty, there are $4M+ reasons Bielema should be shown the door. There are about $15M reasons why it likely will not happen anytime soon. Maybe there is some middle ground, somewhere. Perhaps a good offer from another program and new direction will come his way at the end of the season. Regardless, the head ball coach as well as the folks above him should be held accountable - something he seems fond of demanding from his players.