I am sad that our fanbase is so fractured. I'm scared of the long term damage.

Our fan base is the only one I know of that has had the series of crazy coaching blunders that has divided a fan base to this degree. HDN took Ford’s players did great things and then couldn’t win with his own players. I loved that HDN was an ARKANSAS guy and many fans loved him and especially in Central Arkansas. HDN could motivate but he was not a good coach. He was a Cheerleader for Central Arkansas and WMS. Enter Malzahn via pressure from the NWA super church of Ronnie Floyd, Shiloh Christian, and SHS. Malzahn created a following that was as emotional as HDN’s following, but conversely Malzahn was a NWA cheerleader. Malzahn created a package deal with his Springdale players that was counter to the ethics he and his supporters espouse.

HDN was forced to accept Malzahn so he and his coaches treated Malzahn badly. It was hard for me personally because I loved HDN, but started to see his problems. I liked Malzahn at first but didn’t know how bad the dynamic was between HDN and Malzahn. Many fans chose sides and it came down to planes flying banners about HDN. HDN was fired and took off to rival Ole Miss to have immediate success with Orgeron’s players. Our fan base was divided into HDN vs. Malzahn and a worsening of the Central Ark vs NWA divide.

We hired Petrino and his checkered past while we struggled to get by with HDN’s players in Petrino’s offense. Petrino was fortunate to have a stellar recruiting class since Tim Horton was kept on staff after HDN’s firing. Petrino attracted Mallett, Adams and Wilson to come add to the signing class and it immediately paid off. Petrino wasn’t able to recruit if there wasn’t a great Arkansas HS class of talent. Petrino’s ethics and behavior caught up to him and almost ruined our program. Smile is a mess that isn’t all his fault because he was in a terrible situation. Eventually the house of cards was exposed when the under classmen were so low in talent during Smile’s season.

Petrino forced the hands of the UA to fire him after he would not accept some punishment and that seems to be forgotten by his fans. I was one of his fans and fought the immediate backlash against him, UNTIL the evidence came out. Many fans loved the swagger and wins that came with Mallett and Wilson throwing to Adams, Childs, Gragg, Wright, etc. We were in the top 5 for a bit one season- it felt good and fed the chips on our Arkansas shoulders. Petrino was worshipped in Arkansas. He had just finished a 3 season run that was one of our best ever when the motorcycle crash happened with a blonde on the back of the bike.

Wheels were set in motion that forced our hands to punish him or fire him. Very seldom does a coach get FIRED when he is winning and going to BCS bowls, so our predicament was rare. Our fan base was ALREADY divided into HDN vs. Malzahn and a worsening of the Central Ark vs NWA divide. The firing of Petrino created another division in the fan base that took a harsh turn, because HDN loyalists said I told you so, Malzahn loyalists tried to force him to be the new Head Coach. Everyone was pointing fingers and trying to tear down the other segment of the fan base. We ceased to be Hog fans and broke into camps of HDN, Malzahn and Petrino with some duplicity in the “Hate Long” camp.

We needed a great coach with a pedigree to come in and heal the fan base. We were fortunate to hire Bret Bielema and any other fan base would have been giddy with his hiring. Not ours. We are too divided to be happy with anyone unless each segment gets their man back; but that isn’t realistic with our divisions being so deep that NO single coach other than Saban would unify this fan base. The same deep divisions that won’t be happy with anyone unless their man is brought back, is creating constant bickering and tearing at the scab so it won’t heal. The Petrino loyalists are out in full force before this week because he is winning big at Louisville this season. The Malzahn loyalists were quiet because Malzahn was on the hot seat, but now his team is on a roll and so are his loyalists.

AU beat us in a manner that turns my stomach because I know it will pick at the scab worse than ever. Bielema is encountering challenges but I think he is a solid coach and any other fan base would be happy. Not ours. How do we heal this fan base if we aren’t an ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS fan base anymore because of the skewed loyalties? Can this fan base ever support a good coach? Can this fan base handle a hiccup when divisions are more than willing to get on radio shows and message boards to flood them with negativity. The negativity is always tainted with, “we should have hired Malzahn, we shouldn’t have fired Petrino, we shouldn’t have fired HDN”, etc. The casual fans (that don’t understand the divisions are still raw) can be influenced by this negativity if they periodically check in on message boards and radio shows to hear the negativity. The negativity in the fan base is overwhelming progress because of the divisions. Can we heal? Can we support progress even when there are hiccups or failures? How many coaches are we going to burn until we recognize our pyschosis? It feels like one division of our fan base is always on fire with anger to tear down the other divisions of our fan base. What should we do?

Well sir I happen to agree with your chronological review. The fracture was really the Malzahn hire and the 2006 season. HDN was already on the hot seat and the Springdale 5 situation ended up being a no win situation for him. Does HDN deserve a lot of the blame? Yes sir. But Malzahn could’ve eased the situation by being more supportive publicly. People forget that we were laughed at by the national press for hiring a high school coach as an OC. Now it seems brilliant but at the time HDN and the UofA took a lot of heat for it. I often wonder had HDN (Broyles) not hired Malzahn would Malzahn even be a coach at a Power 5 school. We gave him his big shot. Took a lot of bullets in doing so. He has never really shown any appreciation in my opinion to the UofA for taking such a risk.

I don’t have an answer for how to fix it. All I can say is that I’m a lifelong Razorback. My father is a lifelong Razorback. His father was a lifelong Razorback. There are times like Saturday night that I wished I weren’t a Razorback. But come a week from Saturday I will be in front of the tv hoping we play well and come through with a win.

My best buddy is the same as me except he grew up a Bama fan. I jokingly ask him all the time what it’s like to be born a “winner”. His daughter even married a Razorback fan. I told her she better be prepared to do a lot of consoling on some Saturday nights each fall.

That is an excellent post!

The answer to me is to stay the course, thank the football players for 5-3 [they had to make the long trip back home after that embarrassing spanking, and now they know why you don’t disrespect another teams house!], trust the coaches to improve [they are paid to turn this around], be satisfied with progress [we are going to be bowl eligible sooner than ever].

This about fractured fan bases is the past. The fan base was split in half as you say about the firing of Nutt. About 1/2 wanted him fired, the other 1/2 wanted him to stay as coach. That 1/2 that wanted Nutt fired did not want Malzahn in anything close to a majority. If there had been that type grass roots support for Malzahn in this fan base, Malzahn would have got the job over Petrino. As far as Petrino, I don’t think much of a fracture exists there anymore in this fan base. Not much ever did, most Hog fans supported Long’s decision to fire Petrino when Long laid out all the facts for doing so on TV. Most of the Petrino junk you see on this board is from trolls. They do not represent this fan base.

I certainly want neither Petrino, Malzahn or Nutt back as Hog coaches. Due to scandal and statements Malzahn made when he left ASU for Auburn. Malzahn said Auburn was his home, he was damn right. My problem with Bielema is lousy football pure & simple. Stats as dead last defensively in D1 football at 128th giving up 6.4 yards per carry. Yielding a school record setting 543 yards rushing in a football game. If you like this type football? That is where you and I have our big fan base fracturing disconnect.

Please’let’s all just drop the baggage of the past. Want to fix it-that is the fix-lets all just move on now and support a fix for this current situation. I know one thing currently-we get blown out again like that I want the DC’s head by firing! So let us all look forward to the Florida game in almost two weeks and let us all hope the current staff pulls it all together. HOGS YA’LL.

Disgruntled Fan Base might be a more practical term I think.
The fracturing may be coming from all the armchair coaches here who think they have all the answers and the fix could come at the snap of a finger.

As hard as it may be after that pummeling last weekend. The fanbase needs to step back and take a look at the big picture. Here are a few facts about this team in recent history.

  1. Arkansas is 4-3 in their last 7 games against top 25 teams.

  2. CBB has coached 46 games at Arkansas, 23 were against ranked teams. Think about that for a moment. Bama is the only SEC team to play more ranked teams in that same span at 24. Ohio State and Clemson (in that same time span) have played against 13 and 14 ranked teams, respectively.

  3. If you look at all the SEC team’s records over the last 15 games, the top 3 records of all the SEC teams are:

  4. BAMA 15-0

  5. Tennessee 12-3

  6. Arkansas 11-4

Now, all that being said, Saturday was just plain embarrassing. I expect, no, I demand to see an angry, fired up, hungry Hog team Nov. 5th!!!

P.S. CRS, figure it out! I don’t care! I don’t want to here it! Fix it! Just get it done!

How long should that snap of the fingers take? All these fans that wish to write the Auburn game off as just a little bump in the road or even less are not being realistic at all. We have been in a four year blight of bad fundamental football with Bielema that is now just plain scrapping the bottom of the barrel statistically defensively in his fourth year with a seasoned defensive unit he created. I think that is a BIG CONCERN. Maybe some fans are happy with just a good old boy as their coach? I am not. Another year of this will really get my dander up. I will then be hard for homers to deal with. I wish that was not coming but fear it is. Bielema is B1G material, not SEC. We do not need good players ran off because they missed a few classes. Send them to college counseling just like everybody else does. It hurts the team morale wise as well as the depth. Good old boy means nothing to me. This Bielema is doing it right junk is false and silly as well. We have stats of players not even attempting to perform on the field.

The fan base is down but not out, the Auburn game is history and we must rise up and work on the future. The loss in not the problem,the problem is the way we lost. Uninspired play, lack of execution of fundamentals is very alarming at this point of the season. So far this has been a up and down season and can certainly be turned around again with a win over the Gators and that’s what it will take to build some confidence in the coaching staff moving forward. We will have losses again but I hope to never see a debaucle like we witnesses against Auburn. Sometimes you have to reach bottom before you realize the seriousness of the problems you have, I think the realization of our problems has hit home and now we have to rally as players and fans try to climb back up out of the hole and look to the future and make some tough decisions to make changes to any and all facets of our program to reach our goals for this program. WPS

Don’t be logical, that doesn’t fly here! I was going to say something similar myself in another thread, so bravo. My only concern with what you said is in those 4 loses we’ve had, 3 of them have come in 4 weeks of play. Very concerning. Now we just went through a buzzsaw of A&M, Bama, Ole Miss, and Auburn and playing top quality teams like that can wear you down. BUT Saturday was inexcusable. I can take a loss or even a whoopin, but Saturday was a massacre.

We’ve always had a fractured fanbase.

That is what it was and I don’t EVER want to see that again! Our defense has got to play fast and strong and SIMPLE. I say man-to-man press coverage and run/pass blitzing on most plays. Lets get into the competition’s head all night long! So what we blow it for a few big plays that’s better than getting trampled all game long. Yep, I agree its has been a tough SEC schedule every year-but if we win against the best WE ARE THE BEST! Lets go coaches and turn 'em loose! Leadership on this team has got to step it up-HEAR ME AUSTIN! HEAR ME BROOKS! HOGS YA’LL.

Soooooooooo…we are in the current situation. Is there a fix necessary in the coaching staff at this time? I’m not sure at this point but I will say that I think we ALL expect the defense to improve a LOT! The Florida game will show us a lot about the DC and the leadership on the defense. The OL must play better as well and CKA will also show us something. AA must take control of the OL and stare them down if necessary…AA DO WHAT IT TAKES! Its a combination of player leadership and coaching…that’s how I see it. HOGS YA’LL.

We may have been fractured since HDN but not to this degree after Bike, Blondes and Road Rash.