Looking back and wondering how we got here..................

…and just got some random thoughts:

  1. If we had it to do over, would we still run Houstan Dale off? He was fired after an 8-4 regular season, upsetting LSU at their place, and the team went to and lost without him at the Cotton Bowl. http://www.hogdb.com/db/yearly-results/ His recruiting had failed to rise to a level to compete every year at the top of the SEC, but an 8-4 record looks pretty good now.

  2. Are we snake bit as a program? We took a chance and hired Petrino who was bailing out on the Atlanta Falcons. That worked for a while but, we can see now, the motorcycle and bimbo in the ditch just moved up his inevitable firing due to poor recruiting. He could scheme and coach someone else’s players as well as anyone in the business, but he was lousy at getting more like them. See his second term at Louisville if you doubt that. Then, to the astonishment and acclaim of the football world, we got a Big Ten Champion coach who wanted to come coach for us. His failure to keep elite assistants (which he blamed on his former AD being a tightwad @ Wisconsin) turned out not to be his AD’s fault but his. As the elite assistants left and were replaced with weaker ones, the recruiting, particularly at his offense’s foundation, the offensive line, failed miserably. So, two proven head coaches with lots of accomplishments came to Arkansas and flopped. Are we now cursed with flawed coaches because we ran off an 8-4 coach?

  3. So, we now have an up and coming coach with great Texas recruiting connections and an offense that worked well at Clemson and resembles the predominant offense in high school football today. So far, he appears to be the boost to recruiting that is sorely needed on the hill. Now, he has to build a solid program with, initially, limited numbers of SEC caliber players. Can’t wait for that to work out like we all hope it will.

As I recall Nutt left for another job, he was not fired. Maybe he saw the handwriting on the wall but he was not fired.

We paid him to leave. If he chose to leave, he would have paid us.

it started when Gus was coaching at Springdale, running his new age offense, he had these supposed high ranking recruits and none of them was considering Arkansas. In my mind the Gus backers started the Houston Nutt hating threads, what was it the dark siders, and it just snowballed from there. I was taken aback when I first saw the hate spewing on the message boards. I was somewhat astonished by the anti nutt crowd. I think that was the first time I had checked out the message boards. It was a bonefide soap opera. he was highly criticized for everything he did. Anywho, broyles made Nutt hire Malzahn, which never did set well. If Nutt had embraced Broyles vision, it could have been a beautiful thing. That did not happen and the fans started flying banners over the stadium and down the abyss we went, little did we know we were headed for the bottom of the barrel.

Hogmodo has it right. We bought him out. He was terminated.

Looking back, he was a pretty decent coach, but he had worn out his welcome.

It was time for him to go.

HDN got a golden parachute to leave. His biggest problem was his thin skin, and the drama that he and others created. It was not really a matter of record, but all of the surrounding drama.

Razormac is correct. It started with the Gus Worshippers and an overrated group of high school players.

Nutt had no major problems until that group came along.

We are all paying for it now.

Oh, and Baumbastic, how did Hatfield respond to excessive criticism 20 years earlier? It’s easy to call people “Thin Skinned,” isn’t it?

Holtz, Hatfield, Nutt left town in some form or fashion due to Frank’s intervening in each Coaches business. But that was Frank when it came to the football program, his football program that he initially built.

If my memory is good, both Hatfield and Nutt were critized because they did not pass enough, but liked the old fashioned ground game too much for the high school 7 on 7 type of fans. Hatfied was the most successful coach in the conference to handle the Houston spread and Nutt thought he might ought to play the three future NFL backs he had. Eventually they both were run off and replaced with more passing. I could not believe what I read during those days. A 2-10 was the ultimate result.

We are not snake bit. Just very poorly managed and coached at times. Petrino and Nutt (the latter, to some extent) proved large-scale SEC winning can occur here. That’s either a curse or a blessing for our AD. Time will tell which one it is for Yurachek. Got to have competent people in the right positions. I like Morris and like Yurachek. But both are very early in their tenures. A lot remains to be seen. And most Arkansas fans I know are tired of being asked to be patient. Football needs to get back on track, and soon. It’s an embarrassment – a laughingstock, really.

It is kind of funny though since Malzahn and Auburn are not known for their passing prowess.

IMO, several things set up the ending of HDN’s tenure here.

  1. His 2 consecutive losing seasons in 2004 and 2005, during his 7th and 8th seasons lost him lots of support. Neither Petrino nor CBB had 2 consecutive losing seasons.

  2. He and his agent publicly flirting with openings (Nebraska, etc) during and after those 2 seasons.

  3. His refusing to give up play calling to his OC.

  4. The Malzhan - Springdale fiasco was the final straw for the “Powers that be”.

What I heard after those 2 straight losing seasons was that Jim Lindsey especially, and Frank saved him from being fired. Then #s 2, 3, and 4 above lost him Lindsey’s support, which brought the end for HDN.

  1. We were on NCAA probation in those losing seasons. Reduced scholarships, recruiting with cloud over the program for two years.

  2. Play calling- Gus called the good plays, Nutt only called the bad plays (if you don’t believe it, ask Wally Hall or Mike Irwin or Gus). David Lee called plays the final season.

With hindsight being 20/20, who should we have hired after HDN?

Was Sabin at Alabama yet? Would he have done as well here?

Arkansas can and will win in football. It has in the past, in the SEC. And, it will again. It takes good recruiting. And, it takes good coaching. The key is to be good in the offensive and defensive lines. That’s what I see when I look back at when Arkansas won in the SEC. Well, you need good quarterback play, too. But you MUST have good linemen.

I see that Arkansas wins in the SEC in any area you want to mention in athletics. Every time I look, it is a good coach getting good players, or talent. Whether that’s baseball, track, golf, soccer, gymnastics or any other sport you want to invent or play.

Yes, he arrived at Bama the year before we got Petrino.


Nutt did not get on the plane to Nebraska after the 2003 season on the condition that he get a “two year pass.”

He got his pass so what did he do after that season to the school and fanbase that gave him the pass he requested? Try and get the HC job at a divisional rival in LSU. That’s how he repaid the loyalty shown to him.

I was done with him after that.