Remind me - End of Bielema

I’m not trying to get in the weeds on this, and I know there are varying opinions, but generally, can someone remind me about the collapse of Bielema.

I know there are lots of opinions but trying to get a timeline of what we think happened on the field. I know CBB had personal things going on. But did coaches lose faith and then player and then recruiting suffered. It seemed like we always had good coaches. I should remember all of this, but honestly Chad Morris really wiped my brain of anything football. Or maybe the past decade is just a blur. I don’t know. But without getting to gossipy, can someone provide a fairly concise summary of the factors the led to the team ultimately giving up.


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At the beginning, Bielema had a dynamite staff, full of top notch coaches. Slowly year by year, he loses them and replaces them with substandard hires. Ironically, everyone besides Enos replacing Chaney, was a lesser hire.

Bret’a downfall came at the end of 2016. He blow 3 touchdown leads in back to back games against Mizzou and the bowl game against Virginia Tech.

2017 comes around, and the team is just not good. Austin Allen gets hurt and only plays 4 games. Years of substandard recruiting has the team tanking.

The team played hard, but they’re just weren’t good.

I guess my question is why did he hire substandard coaches as replacements? Did he not perceive them as such or could he not get who he wanted, and why? Same for players. Why weren’t we good? I presume substandard coaches led to substandard recruiting?

@Mr_Smith provides a very good synopsis. I might add that beginning with that Mizzou game, Bielema was “snake bit” late in games. Seems like he had a couple that last year that went sideways in the end. MS State game, drove the length of the field for a chip-shot FG that got blocked because an edge blocker got hurt and we had a replacement execute the wrong block. Something like that.

I’m not sure CBB ever adjusted to the speed + brawn of the SEC. He seemed to recruit decent players who were just a bit slow or a tad small compared to others.

Not replacing assistants with equal or superior talent was the biggest issue.

I’ve never understood the CBB hatred.


I recall most of this, but something caused it. Just trying to figure out the root issue. Obviously, recruiting good classes doesn’t matter if they are at the bottom of the SEC, and I believe that was part of his problem. I do recall he struggled to adjust to the SEC.

They became fragile when they blew the lead at Missouri, they became more fragile when they blew the lead in the bowl game, and they went into the next year without ever getting their confidence back, which led to an ugly year.

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I personally think he just got lazier, later in his tenure and started settling with his coaching hires.

Him hiring Kurt Anderson after Pittman left, killed any chance of him crawling out the hole.

His recruiting problems stem from his philosophy. He wanted Arkansas offers to “mean something.” So he offered less prospects than pretty much any other team in the FBS and went all in on certain recruits.

Problem is, if you don’t get said kid, then you’re left scrambling looking for a replacement. Some of them late offers had you scratching your head.

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I think he was lazy and had his priorities out of order and did not respect the program. He did not do what it takes to win football games in the sec and I bet he put 50 pounds on while coaching here. He must be greek, eat drink and be happy.

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At the time, didn’t we all think Kurt Anderson was a great hired with NFL ties? Again, did he miss on his hires or did better candidates not want the job?

Top coaches like he lost did not want to work with him. He settled for less, most famously in the trenches. His strength became his weakness, line play. Sure death in this league.

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I do recall the OLINE suffering. Barry Lunney wants to work for him. Has something changed, or was something amiss while at Arkansas? Wisconsin didn’t seem to have coaching problems. Why at AR?

Maybe the AD could hire him some good coaches at Wisconsin. Barry Lunney was tickled to get a power 5 OC job.

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Dan Enos worked for him…

Just don’t understand this position. I’ve heard it several times. I’d imagine some don’t like to work for Kirby or Nick, too. Just trying to understand what the problem was. I do think the biggest issue though in part you touched on - he had someone at Wisconsin carrying a big load for him, which he didn’t have at Arkansas. I think he was spread thin and probably checked out, but IDK, which is why I started the thread.

The quality of Assistant Coach’s went down as he stayed…. He seemed to like to hire from the quality coach pool in the NFL, not really any coaches that have developed recruiting contacts in our recruiting area,… and he really hurt himself with Texas High School coach’s…. At the end I just think it came down to fit, I think he knows football , just don’t think he fit, his staff fit, or they recruited well for Ark,… I don’t have a problem with him, and I think he’ll do well at Illinois,

He did NOT want to hire NFL coaches. But his pool of applicants sucked.

Don’t forget the speech he made at a Texas High School coaches convention where he insulted every high school that was running some sort of spread, which was most of them. That sure didn’t help recruiting in Texas. He basically said if you run that we will kick your butt. After Texas Tech beat us, Kingsbury brought that up after the game.


Wasn’t K Anderson a co-OL coach with the jets, had he ever coached or recruited for a collage team ?

Yes. Assistant OL coach with the Jets.

He coached at Eastern Michigan and Indiana State before going to the NFL.

Do you think Pittman’s pool of applicants is better? If so, why?

:+1: didn’t realized he had coach in college , thanks