…if anyone cares what I think.
I believe, based on how Petrino left the program, that Bielema gets six years to fix things at Arkansas. I like the program he has built so far, am proud of the uncommon men he recruits, and have been OK with the steady progress each year. We play in the toughest division in college football, our overall schedule is rated as one of the most difficult in the nation, we replaced almost our entire offense (returning two linemen and the receivers only), so 7-5 is not bad. It is certainly not good either, but it is not “time to fire the coach” bad by a very long shot.
My concerns are we lost Pittman, had some misses in O-line recruiting, and ended up very shaky in the offensive line, a critical part of a CBB offense. They show signs of getting that fixed but CBB teams are known for well developed, well stocked, strong offensive lines. That was a very unexpected problem for a CBB team. When your best guard is physically gifted but obviously does not have the knowledge or experience to adjust to blitzes and stunts you are very weak at guard. The same kind of weakness showed at right tackle as well.
CBB found very little SEC talent on defense when he took over and, so far, his staff has not made significant improvements on that problem. They were weak in the secondary, went after some very good secondary recruits last year right down to signing day, and they ended up with no help in last year’s class at all. That means they are now even weaker in the secondary. That is not progress that is going in the other direction.
Our opponents in almost every game were stronger than us in the second half. We dominated the first half or were at least competitive most of the time, but the other guys adjusted better at half time, were in better condition, were stronger, etc. in the second half.
We started the season with great expectations and ended on a sour note Saturday. I expect more next year. So, you fire CBB ranters can just vent away for at least one or two more years and, I hope, much much longer than that. JMVVVVHO.