Ken Hatfield's message

At Coach Broyles’ Memorial did anyone pick up on Coach Hatfield’s story about his conversation with JFB. JFB told him soon after he was hired that everybody in Arkansas (including himself) loved Ken Hatfield for coming back to his alma mater to coach the Razorbacks. Coach Hatfield asked if they would still love him if his team went 5-5. JFB said he would still love him - just not as the coach.

I hope Bret Bielema gets the message. We all know Bielema is an incredibly affable guy who has done good work in improving grade points, graduation rates and character building. I appreciate what he has overcome in his tenure here to get our football program back on a positive track. But it is year 5 and it’s time to win all games you are supposed to and win a couple of games that you are not. As a die hard loyal Razorback fan, while all the other good stuff that Bielema has done here is great, there is still no substitute for winning.

Yes it is year 5. It’s a favorable schedule as it can get. Gonna lose to Bama and LSU anyway so may as well be road game. Each early game will be critical and we need to come into the Bama game with one loss max if we are going to take a step. We will see early if the team has truly rebounded from that horrid ending.

That 3-4 defense better learn fast against Fl AM, then TCU. Our 1st two games nationally televised as well. 1-1 at the bye isn’t gonna give me goosebumps about the season.

I think what he said was: “Yes I will still love you, I will miss you too!”

Yes Mike, now that I think about it, you are correct. The point was that mediocrity is not going to get it done at Arkansas. I often wonder if Jeff Long knows how to coach his coaches. JFB could be accused of being a meddler but he also knew how to pressure coaches to do better even if it meant creating a little fear. I would like to see Jeff Long do a little of that.

Since JFB’s passing a lot of his “actions”/“reactions” to things and events have been discussed by players, coaches, friends, and members of the media. And your point about Broyles’ methods of handling coaches got me to wondering what BB’s status might be right now if Broyles was still in good health and the AD.

Would BB have survived last year after losing the last two games? JFB apparently had little patience with losing.

I suspect with Jeff Long as AD, BB will have a job at Arkansas as long as he wants to be here, if academics and player deportment remain as they currently are. And, ticket sales and Foundation contributions stay healthy.

Seeker, unfortunately I think you are correct. Jeff Long does not seem to get that a relevant top 25 football program at Arkansas is important to people like me - a rank-and-file Razorback fan who was deeply embarrassed by the team’s performance against Auburn, Missouri and Virginian Tech. I hope we can get some MOJO back for this year but I sure am not feeling it this pre-season because I think Jeff Long and Bret Bielema seem to be very comfortable and immune from any pressure generated by lowly but devoted fans like me.

Jeff Long is the one whose seat needs to warm up! He has hired a few flops! Not just in football. He owns the Petrino era he hired him. He owns Stan Heath and Joh P as well.
Unlike a lot of folks I’m not happy with losing those last 2 games but Coach Bielma has made changes on the defensive side of his staff and we can see more speed on D.
Last year was a 9 win if you hang on to the lead in the second half. You can blame a lack of depth on defense also poor offenses in the second half .
My question would be to all of you that say musical chairs at the HC position who would you hire?
At some point you have to build a team and I feel like that is happening.

I completely agree. Historicaly we are about an average 7 win team. With all the success we have had we have had just as many mediocre or losing seasons. Let Bielema build his program.

For the record, JFB hired Stan Heath and John Pelphrey. JFB fired Stan Heath and Jeff Long fired John Pelphrey. I agree that Jeff Long needs to feel some heat. I don’t care if his peers ranked him as a top 5 athletic administrator. His peers (as far as I can tell) are not Razorback fans - I am. It’s about time he serves the Razorback fan base instead of the Razorback fan base serving him.

This year is a make or break year for Bret Bielema at Arkansas as far as I am concerned. After five years, the program should be “built” We simply don’t need to be losing to teams 56-3 or building leads like 24-7 or 24-0 after half time only to wind up getting beat . At some point the embarrassment has to stop. If I was not embarrassed by those losses then my bona fides as a passionate Razorback fan have to come into question. Admittedly, it does not matter what I think because Jeff Long has him handcuffed to us for at least 2 more years with a $15 million buyout after this year and a $12 million buyout after next year.

That’s a pretty good pay check to give someone to fire them!
What’s the buyout on Jeff Longs contract?

None of you will ever be happy with the results of this coach, or others. Only, and unless, Arkansas wins the National Championship. Then, without another championship, you’ll begin to criticize more and more as to why they can’t win another one. If not the coach, then the AD and support staff will be criticized.

Basically, the Hogs will never live up to your own standards, and at the end of the year you’ll be on this board talking about firing the head coach again.

Same story, different day, but the excuses will vary.

Welcome to life, and fan-hood; where the emotions of many dictate the success or pitfalls of their own programs. Smart money is to keep using the same coach and philosophy and over a longer period of time you’ll achieve success through the cycles of division destruction.

If we win a National Championship under Bret Bielema, I promise I will not demand his ouster anytime soon. I’d settle for a SEC championship or even a SEC West Championship right about now. I am sorry but I just can’t stomach anymore performances like the last two games of 2016. If that makes me a bad fan then so be it.

It is just a game, and just a team. Their success is not tied to your own. Neither are their letdowns. Hell, I used to play for the hogs so I know how you feel, but winning at a constant level won’t happen for the Hogs. We are geographically tied to the success of our recruiting, which does not provide us with a lot of opportunities. Be happy with what you have and not what you don’t have. You’re life will be easier.

Geeze I wish others would get this thru their heads. We are historically about a .700 program expecting Bielema to average 9+ wins a season is just ridiculous. We as a fan base need to be happy with bowl eligibility and should only get upset if we have a losing season. Bielema took over a dumpster fire and is only now starting to win some recruiting battles. The wins are coming…be patient.

Frank Beamer, who was in Fayetteville today, had an overall 24-40-2 record after six seasons, including a 2-9 mark in the sixth year. The Hokies then reeled off 23 straight bowl seasons (24 if you count Justin Fuente’s first year last year). VaTech went 9-2-1 in the season prior to Beamer taking over. He urged Hogs’ fans to give Bielema time to build the program. Certainly, Arkansas’ situation is different than VaTech, but there’s some similarities there. FWIW.

So Ark hog You hit the nail on the head.
Nothing else needs to be said

I appreciate people who look at the glass as half full as opposed to half empty with regard to Arkansas football. I am well aware of the challenges any coach faces when he takes the Razorback job with regards to recruiting etc. It’s a very difficult assignment. That’s why it pays $4,000,000 + per year. In my opinion, my biggest worry is that Jeff Long has subliminally pushed the notion that something slightly higher than mediocrity on the field is good enough so long as players are making grades, graduating in reasonable numbers and we stay off the NCAA radar. In my view, those are noble pursuits but winning games against opposition we should beat and competing hard and even winning a game or two against teams we are picked to lose to is important too. That’s what makes Razorback football compelling. Blowing huge leads or getting blown out cannot be dealt with an unspoken acceptance as “one of those things because, after all, it’s the SEC West.” If that mentality were universally adopted here in Arkansas, Wal Mart would still be Five and Dime store at the corner of 8th and Walnut in Rogers Arkansas and nothing more. If I had adopted that way of thinking, my business that I started 21 years ago would be bankrupt today. That’s my concern. The Razorback product has been devalued to the point where winning is not as valued as much as it once was. To make the product more acceptable, let’s adopt new logo or an impressive hash tag like “never yield”. The problem is we yield far too much. The product falls far short of the substance of its slogan.

The good news is that Coach Bielema and the team have a chance to make the product worthy of the hash tag and the process starts tonight against FAMU. Here is hoping he can get it done.

Go HOGS !!!

If Mr Long has that vision, then it is dictated by his boss. Athletic departments do not run on their own. They have oversight as well. An AD is hired by the school, and if those items are the most important aspect to the school, then Mr Long is doing a great job adhering to such.

Mr Long will do whatever his boss tells him to do, just like any other good employee.

Your feelings have no merit, and since you don’t contribute to the organization then your complaints on this board, render no merit as well. The Hogs won’t become an elite football school in our lifetime, but we will see bits and pieces of greatness during some decades. Overall, the Hogs have never been that great. Not certain where your beliefs that they should be great envelope from. The 60’s were a good decade, and the 80’s had some good times too; nevertheless, over 100 years of football the Hogs have been mediocre at best.

Enjoy them for what they are, and if you have a beef with someone on “the hill” then call them.

Nailed it. All too often other fans will respond with "You’re ok with mediocrity? " No but reality is reality and the fact that our recruiting base is not exactly stellar is reality. So many want to point to Petrino who is arguably the best play caller in the history of college football and reaped the rewards of the two best in state recruiting classes in Arkansas history. There was going to be a drop off but he got caught with his thing in a blonde so we will never know. Bottomline Long has charged Bielema with righting the ship and setting a new course. Getting the players to graduate was step one.