My Conundrum

I did not like the Bielema hire. Rather, I preferred a “Briles” or another with a more wide open / Spread offensive philosophy. Of course, Briles is no longer along the sidelines. And the record over the last 4 1/3 seasons is not wanted.

On the other hand, I like Bielema. It’s much more than “he’s a nice guy”. He’s been good for the program and good for the student-athletes. True, he hasn’t won enough and he’s had a large number of terrible second halves But, I’m thinking his approach is beginning to take shape, even while he’s modifying his biases.

I think he needs a clear 2 more seasons to press his point and demonstrate that the program “is” on the upswing. I just don’t see a lot of value at starting over right now.

A loss is a loss, but the last two losses have not been blowouts. In fact, we’re seeing that they’re good teams. Even in light of losing our best RB, our best DB, and now our most experienced WR, the Hogs were competitive til the end against the Aggies. The team is already improving. Moreso, it’s been improving without a lot of obvious “stars”.

There are freshmen and sophomore difference makers on this team. I’m thinking if the coach can enlist a few more stars over the next two seasons, the Hogs just might have the ingredients to be competitive at the top of the league.

Alas, while I’m warming up, the dark side has become darker.


I agree with your conclusion.
We are making progress and it appears
that our recruiting is gaining in strength.
This progress has been a learning and growing
experience for all of us, including our head coach.
I am encouraged that he is evolving and I believe
that our program is more likely to continue to advance
with his leadership and maybe more importantly
with the stability as we forge ahead in unsettling
new financial arrangements.

I’m actually curious, how much does having RWIII help the offense, and how much does Pulley help the defense? Can one player on each side actually make a difference? Anyone?


[/quote]Well, Cornelious didn’t play at all in the second half. Do you not think any of those three, not just the three, would have produced a positive result in the second half or overtime?

Oh, well. Like I said, the dark side has grown much darker.

I’m pretty much in agreement with the Mighty dabore

I wanted an offensive guru

Didnt want Coach Bret

He has won me over

I’m good for at least one more season


You misunderstood. I know they’re good, but sometimes having a good player means others don’t play as good. Are those three good enough to make up what seems to be issues with this year’s team. Would we have been able to run on TCU and would Pulley be able to cover without the hand on the jersey, keeping the penalty away. Curl is a freshmen, Pulley isn’t, would he have been able to not get called?


[/quote] I don’t know; I’ve been impressed with Curl. I don’t think the Aggies would have thrown against Pulley in that situation. The pass was errant. There was good defense. The Aggies were saved by the refs; I know that’s trite, but it’s accurate.


I know next year Pulley and Curl will be a good combo. I know our receivers will also have a year of experience plus Cornelius back. I think we will see improvement in those areas.

We should be improved in all areas next year, seasoned RB’s, WR’s, TE’s Oline, There will be a few growing pains at QB however that could be minimized by the fact that Kelley wont necessarily have to pass on 2nd & 5 or 6 or 3rd & 4 or 5. His dynamics will be a tad different than what we’ve had in the past.
Same on defense, we will be more experienced and better across the board because we still are a relatively a young team.

I will admit I’m losing faith in CBB & my optimism is dwindling. Would love for all of that to change. I like everything else he brings to the table. But I want wins now on top of that.

I loved the hire & have backed BB since then. I have lost faith after the 2 collapses at the end of last year & don’t see a well coached team this year.

Good OP, and I agree in general. I’m in favor of tabling the discusion for 2 more seasons (the rest of this one, and all of next one). If by the end of next season, we are 6-6 and still having the OL problems we have right now, it may be time to re-assess.

Like others, my initial inclination was to get another Petrino-style offensive HC to replace the motorcycle rider. My thought was that, in a conference full of run-oriented offenses, why not continue to be THE pro passing offense? That approach was obviously working pretty well for us through 2011.

Then, after I’d had a week or two to let the hire of Bielema (which came out of left field) settle in, I had an alternate perspective. One of the reasons I thought a wide-open pro pass offense was Arkansas’ best approach was that it was hard for Arkansas to “out Alabama Alabama” (and Florida, and Georgia, and LSU . . . ). There are just so many established programs looking for the same type of personnel. But what Bielema - uniquely - had that i had not considered before was an excellent resume showing (a) his ability to win big with that same type of attack, while (b) putting significant numbers of O Linemen in the NFL.

With that kind of credibility, I thought he would be able to sign the type of OL that would make a 3 star back play and produce like a 4 star . . . which would make the 4 and 5 star backs WANT to play here.

My biggest concern, after 5 years, is that - for whatever reason - the OL just hasn’t been developed to the status I envisioned when I had that epiphany almost 5 years ago. Whether it is recruiting misses, poor player development or whatever, i really thought we’d legitimately have a top 5 OL in the nation by now. And, by reputation, we should. Nevermind that we might get that qualify OL from in-state maybe once every other year, and would have to identify and lure the rest from out of state. When you have a QB guru, you sign the best QB’s. When you have a OL reputation like CBB did, you SHOULD be able to sign 3 or 4 pretty good prospects (including a STUD) pretty much every recruiting class.

We have not.

Again, I’m not panicking. On the plus side, I DO think this 2017 class is exceptional and will show out well on the field over the next 4 seasons. We really need to add the “right” 14-15 for next season . . . and it is time for some player development to manifest on the field in a positive way.

I’m hoping he turns the corner. The last thing we need is to start all over . . . once again.

I have several friends who have given up on Coach B. I keep thinking about several well known coaches who would never have made it with those friends. Two of the best examples are Frank Broyles and Frank Beamer. Both started with poor records and both found a way to turn it around.

I don’t know if Coach B can turn it around, but I’m still hopeful.

You put into words what I’ve been thinking. Good post.