Richard or Dudley…a question. How many Arkansas kids did Coach Broyles give scholarships to annually compared to the number of kids offered in the state today by Coach Bielema? I do understand there were more offers in the 60’s, but still it is a valid question. We just don’t have a strong core group of Arkansas kids to offer and play for us…we have to get kids from out of state and that is very difficult. In the 1960’s we had kids coming every year from Pine Bluff, Little Rock Hall, Little Rock Central, Jonesboro, Texarkana, El Dorado, Fort Smith Northside, North Little Rock and other schools. It was called the Big 10. We would also have kids from Crossett, McGehee, Hamburg, Monticello and many other smaller schools. We would supplement that with the kids from Texas. A great recipe for success that was.
Also, Arkansas has doubled in size from 1,500,000 to 3,000,000 people and we are getting less Arkansans to come play. That is the primary reason, in my view, that we have not won an SEC Championship in the past 25 years.
Completely apples and oranges comparison. Broyles didn’t have to deal with scholarship limits in those days. He could sign as many kids as he wanted. Bielema doesn’t have the option to sign 30 or 40 and hope 10 will pan out.
Swine, you missed my point. I understand Coach Broyles could give more offers than Coach Bielema. We all know that. There was no 30 scholarship limit. I am not saying who is a better recruiter, although it would certainly be Coach Broyles. My point is I think the problem with our ability to compete in the SEC is with demographics. We don’t have near the quality of top football players in this state per capita that we used to have.
Our state has doubled in population from the 1960’s, but we are getting fewer kids from Arkansas to come and play. It is like Dudley said. Fewer kids are playing football.
I am not knocking Coach Bielema…what I am trying to say is that our program is suffering from a lack of talent from Arkansas. Coach Bielema is at a big disadvantage to other SEC Schools. Almost every SEC school. This is a huge reason the program has been mired in mediocrity. It is nobody’s fault. It just is the plain truth. How do we overcome the problem?
You hope LR can make progress increasing the numbers and that leads to them producing 2-4 high DI athletes a year. While that may not sound high, just think what Arkansas’ program would’ve been like say Jarious Wright, Greg Childs, Chris Gragg and Ryan Mallett didn’t come along Petrino’s first year. They would’ve won, but I highly doubt they would’ve won 10 and 11 games in 2010 and 2011.
In the 60’s, Arkansas had a population of over 1.5 million and 80% were caucasian. That is 1.2 million to recruit from since segregation was in place. Today, Arkansas’s population is 3.0 million and 20% are black which equals 600,000 or half as many to recruit from. Since blacks make up almost all of the premier college and pro athletes except at QB and a few other positions, this is why our numbers of D-1 athletes are about half as many as back in the 60’s. There ARE some problems in Little Rock, Pine Bluff, and parts of East Arkansas with the high school athletic programs. We should be getting more premier black recruits out of those areas than we do, but most of the change is just the low percentage of blacks in Arkansas.
None of what you say is wrong. I think one difference (again largely due to demographics) is what constitutes a Hog-level prospect, or even an elite prospect. My dad made a couple of HSAA teams as a center in 1956 at Hot Springs and chose the Hogs over LSU and other strong programs. If there had been star ratings then, he’d probably have had 4. He also has never weighed over 215, wasn’t all that quick, etc. I’m aware that coaching and training have improved immensely since then, but he wouldn’t have been a D-1 prospect when I was in high school,and certainly not now. Some of that is expanding the talent pool to African-Americans, but the percentage of kids of any ancestry who have the genes to compete at this level is a lot lower now than it was in 1956.
Also another thing to consider is the expanse of televised games and the internet. Back then if you grew up in Arkansas, a majority of the time you were a Hog. Other than ABC’s game of the week, there wasn’t a lot of opportunity to watch NCAA football. Now kids grow up being able to watch everyone, and the internet enhances that even more.