How we got in this mess (long)

BOT assumed we had Gus in the bag, probably because Johnny Tyson told them so.

And, BOT did not want to wait on the season to end, Long’s request.

Long and CBB had already talked about CBB walking away from the program to head to NE.


That is a bombshell!! If so that would have drastically changed buy-outs and out current fiscal situation. I’d really love to know more about this and its validity. Because if true, then we took a royal screwin’ from our BOT for a lack of patience and those members need to be strung up by their short hairs!!

I have to wonder though, if there was a lack of patience, was it because they thought they had a coach in hand that instead was playing salary brinksmanship with his current job.

I have to think if Long had that agreement with Beliema, he would have told the BOT. So if they knew this and went ahead, they had to think they already had a coach. Its the only thing that makes sense. Thought its very fast and loose with the U of A’s money if waiting would have saved them 11+ million. Was there fear that Gus wouldn’t wait? Or do they just not really care how they throw away money? Or (and this is my opine only) was the various factions just all finally lined up on the same side of the table to exact some revenge from the old boys network against Jeff Long because he stepped on too many toes.

I think the time period from HDNs decline to out current situation would make a fantastic book and read, but I really doubt those in the know would ever be willing to put that kinda of mud in print.

How dysfunctional is the BOT?

Yes, this occurred

A lot of truth in this post. But HDN was not some angle of equinity either. He openly lobbied other schools for coaching jobs. Nebraska and LSU are the ones that come to mind. HDN would win games he wasn’t supposed too. But lost games he was supposed to win. He could win with other coaches recruits, but didn’t fare well with his own.

We went to the SEC championship twice with his recruits. Obviously he was a good coach if he had programs like Nebraska and LSU after him. That is the nature of the business.

The OL recruiting had already gone south at the end of the Pittman era. He missed on a bunch of his own personal picks. I could go through the list, but I’ll let that go for now.

Just a few weeks ahead of the end of his last season (during an open date interview), I asked him point blank to go through the OL for the next season. He said he couldn’t see who might play at least two positions and maybe three and stay at the level they’d played at.

He was hopeful that someone like Jalen Merrick would step up at a guard. And, he just wasn’t sure about the other guard or one of the tackles. He knew Ragnow was going to be a great player. I don’t know if it came up to move some DLs to OL. But I know he thought about that at one point.

I thought right then something was not right. He knew they were going to run out of offensive linemen. Is that why he left? Or did he just know that recruiting was slipping everywhere and things were headed to the bottom in other areas beside OL? Probably so.

One thing that always puzzled me was why Sam had been in so many places? You go back and look at his resume and it was two years here, three there. Now, he’s been at Georgia for a bit.

He pointed to decisions made in the first two years to build the OL room to with 13 scholarships. He thought it would take 15 or more. He and Bielema disagreed on that. Sam wanted 3 deep for scholarships.

He told me that day that they’d have been in better shape had they decided on 18 in those early days. But Bielema was intent on spending those scholarships elsewhere. Bielema told me later that he thought three-deep was good enough on spending scholarships – if you evaluated right. Maybe so.

I could go through some of this other stuff that Jeff wrote and expound a little, but it doesn’t do any good and it would be digging into graves a little bit. Frank is long gone and I don’t want to do that.

Some who thought Frank meddled with Houston on a constant basis is not correct. Houston begged for his help on a weekly basis. He trotted into his office every Monday for advice. No question, Gus was pushed on him. But that was one brief moment during the entire Houston Nutt time that Frank asked him to do something that was against his wishes.

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Coach Broyles could see Houston Nutt’s offense needed to be improved and updated. It was stale and just sophomoric in its simplicity and ineffectiveness. Coach Broyles was actually trying to help Houston, but Nutt was just so egotistical and hard-headed he would not accept Gus. He was resentful and jealous of Gus. Remember, he wouldn’t let Gus really do his job or install his offense. He certainly wouldn’t give Gus any credit. Remember, Houston said Danny Nutt invented the Wildcat. Now, a lot of college and professional teams are running plays designed by Gus…the Wildcat, the jet sweep, and others.

Houston never understood if his team won, Gus wasn’t going to get the Arkansas job, but Nutt would get to keep his job. He blew up his career because of his stubbornness, ego and pride. Nutt somehow had the twisted idea he was an offensive guru. He was anything but that.

I think there’s a lot of truth in that. People criticize Broyles for “meddling” but Broyles was one of the best football minds in the country. I can’t say Nutt was completely wrong for resenting Gus a little bit, but he’d have been much better served if he’d been a lot more willing to let Gus succeed or fail on his own offense. (I do think it was the right decision to pull Mustain during that S.Carolina game. I don’t know if that was Nutt’s or Malzahn’s idea.)

Even though that whole fiasco deeply divided the fan base, I don’t think it caused our current problems. Our decline began then, but nothing in that chaos caused us to make the mistakes we made over the next 12 years.

Gus was a high school coach who some fans wanted to be given an SEC team because his high school teams scored a lot. He will be lucky to stay at Auburn much longer, High school is not College.

I’m no Gus fan, but what does it say about Arkansas that a”high school coach” has beaten Arkansas 6 out of 7 times and the last three have been by 30+ ?

It means he has had far superior talent to coach than we have.had. I recall the Auburn game in which Newton merely took the ball and ran up field for 10
yards all day long. We did not even slow him down, that is not coaching, it is lack of talent on our side.

If Gus is a “high school coach” in your mind do you feel as though Morris is as well?

From what I have seen so far, Morris is a middle school coach.

Nutt and Broyles had a great relationship. As Clay said, Nutt welcomed Broyles’ input. In fact, there was a chair set up on the practice field with Broyles’ name in it.

Nutt might not have welcomed Gus as people wanted, but he certainly welcomed David Lee the next year, when UA set all kinds of records which still stand today (scoring offense, total offense).

As David Lee (who at one time was a running buddy of Gus) once said, “A few people got mad at HDN and they went through the media and got him AND JFB ran out of town. It’s hard to believe the legendary JFB was bought out.

It was a bad situation. Mistakes were made, and lots of people got hurt except Gus (who was right in the middle of the whole thing).

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Gus was a high school coach who happened to coach at schools with a lot of talent. Shiloh Christian recruited players. School choice in Arkansas allows parents to send their kids to the district with the hot coach. The hot coach stays hot because the best athletes in the area go there. Jimmies and Joes win football games and especially on the line in the SEC. If Malzahn had this Arkansas team, how many games would he win? Can he recruit the same caliber athlete to Arkansas that he can to Auburn? If he thought so he would be here.
Go back and watch the first half of the Mississippi State game and see how much time Ben Hicks had to throw. I will argue that if given time he is a serviceable quarterback. But with this line, you better have a quarterback that can break out of the pocket and make the defense pay. Back to Gus winning in high school. How great was his offense when his third unit ran it against his first team defense? It didn’t work because of lack of talent. By the same token, the talent Gus had in High School could run any offense and score a lot of points.

Two things have changed immensely in my 50 years of watching Razorback football? We use to get every 3, 4 and 5 star in state recruits. It was automatic. Now the 5 stars are likely to go to Alabama or LSU, etc. we also got good talent from Texas. Now that Texas AM is in the conference, we can no longer just say come to Arkansas so you can play in the SEC. With all the football on television, recruits want to go to the teams they see in the spotlight most often. It makes it harder to dig out of a hole when you are down.

With divisional play, it is very difficult now if not nearly impossible to get a name coach. Who wants to come here knowing you have at least three games you can’t win and will probably get plummeted. Our position in the SEC West has helped to keep us from getting a proven head coach and sec caliber talent at every position resulting in us being so poor we can’t beat the teams we are supposed beat.

Can Arkansas recover? Look at Nebraska. Another state the must rely on out of state recruits. We better hope to get back to winning 7 games a year. Nebraska fires a coach because he only won 9 games about 20 years ago. They still haven’t won 10 since then. And most of the time .500 or worse.

Despite Arkansas struggles to win games & play well over the past 3 years, our recruiting improved considerably last year & we have been competitive against teams such as ut, bama, & other SEC schools for the top talent. Was always a concern that most of the recruits whom we previously signed were players offered by lesser non Power 5 teams such as North Texas, Tulsa, or LA Tech.

With regards to aTm in the SEC, has that been a hindrance or benefit to UofA recruiting - recognizing that there is an abundance of talent in TX, aTm primarily recruits out of the nearby Houston area, & the exposure of Arkansas playing in Texas does not hurt our efforts in nearby DFW & No TX? Despite the our recruiting downturn under CBB & the deep hole that he dug for AR, we recruited extremely well, including in Texas, last year.

CCM has shown that Arkansas can quickly recover & is capable of recruiting against the best teams for top talent. Unfortunately for AR & CCM, top talent has not yet resulted in more wins.

Nutt’s offense at its most sophomoric was a lot more effective than what we’ve had lately. Or what we had before he got here.


Name some of this “top talent”