Forever and always. I have said it before, I know it in my head, but my heart keeps caring anyway, I just have to realize that we will never compete in the SEC in football. Baseball yes some years, at least that isn’t usually an embarrassment, basketball? Apparently never again.
For football, we have got to adjust ourselves to being thrilled with an 8 win year, very happy with a 7 or 6 win year, and not be angry with a 5 win year. Once every 20 years or so we will have a over the top year and get to 10 wins. Enjoy that and live on that for another 20 years.
I’m afraid you are probably right. Perhaps do well a bit more often than you suggest, but overall, I’m afraid we’re generally a mid-level SEC team & over the course of time we’ll have mid-level records. Generally ahead of Ole Miss, MSU, UK, Vandy, So Car. Missouri, but generally behind Alabama, LSU, Florida, A&M, Auburn, UGA, & maybe Tennessee. We’ve been in the conference 25 seasons & that’s pretty much where we’ve averaged–no matter who the coach was. Nutt & Petrino had some good years, but the best of those included at least 2 losses.
This is where I am. Having said that, I think the “we are just Arkansas” card is highly overplayed.
There are several teams that our fans think we cannot consistently compete with because of recruiting rankings.
And, in actuality, we have and do compete with those teams.
But, I’ve seen anyone who has been able to recruit and coach well enough here to have us winning, consistently, at a 10+ win clip.
That’a not an excuse. That’s just a fact. Petrino was the closest and he didn’t have much interest in recruiting and developing a defense and we had some of our worst performances against Bama and a monster clunker against LSU when we were as close as we have ever been or probably ever will be.
I thought we might be able to do a reverse Petrino and we unique enough in (pro style) terms of what we do to have a really good offense and a good enough defense.
But, Bielema loses too many games we should win. That’s the one area Petrino has over him in spades.
When he was here he usually won the games he should have won.
All of this–and maybe this paragraph is a discussion for a different board–is why our fan base’s tepid support of basketball is so odd to me.
We have the resources to compete at a high level AND the state produces (in terms of roster %) much more high-level talent, and we are starting to land a lot of it.
But, for whatever reason, the fans take much more of a “win first” attitude toward interest and support of the program.
No doubt Petrino can coach. Also no doubt he showed we can win here. I don’t mean to suggest recruiting disadvantages can’t be overcome. What I get annoyed with is the “fire the coach” screams that come following a disappointing game or season. The “year 4” & we’re not winning 9 or games crowd always thinks a change is the answer and refuse to accept there are many things beyond the control of any coach. They also refuse to accept even a good coach can have a bad game, make a bad call, mis-evaluate a player, or despite his best efforts fail to get Johnny Five-Star to sign with us.
I have no idea if CBB is the best coach we can get or not. I do have a pretty good idea he’s a much better than average coach who is more likely to succeed here than most other coaches out there. I also know that revolving door coaching jobs rarely create success. Patience is not a common trait among fans, but it’s probably the most important trait if they want success. It’s much easier to hire a bad coach than the next Saban.
I like Bielema. I think he’s building the program the right way. I like that few of his players get in trouble or fail to graduate. I like the genuine feelings he seems to have for them. I also know we didn’t do as well this year as we’d hoped. I know our losses were all bad. I know all that. I know I’m hurting right now, too. I also know that we’ve been in the SEC for 25 years & with only 2-3 exceptions, we’ve been disappointed in our seasons. I believe in CBB, but I know he faces higher obstacles here than any coach would have at about 6 SEC schools.
I’ll address a few of these things. I have seen very few, if any, posts calling for the firing of CBB on this board. Most recognize his job is safe. What I do see, and rightfully IMO, is people calling for the job of the DC. This is a historically bad Arkansas defense. Historically bad. This defense had 9 returning starters and we were lead to believe that it would be the strength of this team. The blame does not go on Insiders who told us these things, or Phil Steele who felt the defense would be closer to a 2014 level, or Bo Mattingly, or anyone else. Of course we all thought the defense would be better because it was a logical assumption. When you have a defense this historically poor, with the returning starters that it had, of course there will be screams to fire the coach, but I haven’t seen screams to fire the head coach.
You’re correct. Coaches have bad games, make bad calls, mis-evaluate players and fail to sign every five star, but when the “Year 4 crowd” expresses disappointment, it isn’t about a single game, call, player or recruit.
In 4 years CBB has a 10-22 conference record (at least when I do it).
-He has a winning record against Ole Miss and nobody else in the SEC West.
-He has not beaten aTm and has a losing record against Mizzou and Miss State.
-Arkansas has lost to Toledo, Texas Tech and now a 4-8 (2-6) Missouri squad in his past two seasons.
-This past year saw Arkansas lose by 53 points to Auburn, blown out in a home game to LSU, and look lackluster in the second half against a four loss aTm team. And again, lost to a very bad Mizzou team.
Is it wrong to question the program when the man himself tosses around terms like Uncommon and Never Yielding and yet in his fourth year things like the above are happening?
Criticism is fair–especially when they choke like they did, today. But, the whining about the whole “uncommon”/never yield stuff is funny to me.
You want the guy to recruit better than he has or any of his UA predecessors (during our SEC era) have, yet you nit-pick him over something that is, when you boil it down, nothing but a marketing tool to try and help in recruiting (just as the “Being Bret Bielema” show is).
Is it cliche and overplayed? Yes. But if it helps us get 1-2 more high level recruits per class, it’s worth it.
But, you want to cry about it.
Aside from winning more games and paying for players, we are going to have to try different strategies to get players and develop them. We do not have a good geographical recruiting base.
And having “dynamic” recruiters that somewhat creepily buddy up 18-year olds is only gonna get us so far. Every staff has a “chill” coach and most of the staffs can but to some on field and NFL success.
But, by all means, snivel about him using the “uncommon” or “never yield” schticks.
Now to address, hog2009: You’re correct that not many have actually called for CBB to be fired, but the underlying attitude is pretty clear. We’re seeing the foreplay of the final act. Are the critcisms of the defense valid? You bet. It has been bad. I don’t pretend to know why, but after two years of it I agree CBB needs to consider replacing the DC. “Consider it” doesn’t mean doing it. There might be factors we don’t know about that explain the failures. That’s why I want to defer to the HC. I expect he’ll make a change, but I know enough to know I don’t know enough.
I get tired of hearing about CBB’s overall record since arriving here. That record would be significant if the records of the first 2 years and last 2 years were reversed, but nobody should blame him for that first year or even the second year. Yet that’s exactly what you’re doing when you cite the overall record.
None of us are happy with this season–even though it’s no worse from a W-L standpoint than last year. The problem is the margin of the losses & the fact that we lost to the worst team in the SEC. I understand the frustration. I feel it, too. But if we want the program to succeed, we’re better off supporting the coach than making fun of terms like “uncommon men.” That’s the kind of “feel good” petulance that hurts the program.
We are in a conference with schools that have history, image, recruiting territory, and many of them are willing to cheat. We have very little of that. period.
The SEC was good for money and helped us build beautiful facilities. The SEC was a good landing place to get away from the Texas corruption in the SEC, but that “good” was quickly replaced by the control of Bama and the historically elite programs of the SEC. The SEC has been bad for us in that we are not able to compete unless we have a miracle class of recruits from Arkansas.
I too am concerned that some fans can’t recognize the positives of the MARKETING that CBB is doing to overcome some of our limitations. We will have to do something different and that is exactly what CBB is doing. Personally I know way too many gamblers that are the loudest people that are upset about the season…OR they are the trash talkers in their office or family and NOW they are on the wrong end of it and can’t handle it. Gambling and trash talk has caused a lot of emotion among some of the people I see in the community.