Bret Bielema is supposedly a players’ coach and good guy. No argument, there. A more burning question, however, is can he successfully coach in the SEC? Given his preferred style of play, unless Bielema is leading the [other] U of A that the Razorbacks ran into last night, I don’t think so. Honestly, I have supported him for longer than I would care to admit, but the wheels came off after the A&M game, in my opinion.

Given the so-called three facets of football, the issues with Bielema ball are both old news and a tad overwhelming.

A. Offensive line. The quality of coaching seems to come straight from a Three Stooges movie. During the entire offseason, we were lead to believe that the group was becoming well developed and performing as one cohesive unit, forming an all important chemistry along the way. Of the five offensive linemen starting last night, only Hjalte Froholdt played his normal spot at guard. The result was all too familiar, with no running game and Cole Kelly getting popped, repeatedly. That kind of nonsense should have been worked out during spring ball.

B. Defense. During his time in Fayetteville, Bielema has had one respectable defensive unit. Ground and pound, clock consuming offense, if that’s what you want to call it, requires a solid defense. We don’t have the skill set nor the mentality to play come from behind, shootout football.

C. Special teams. How many games are needed to convince Bielema that special teams truly need to be special? How many times have things gone astray because the Razorbacks have consistently been poorly coached in this area?

D. Halftime and in game adjustments. How many times have the Razorbacks lost leads in the second half because of the other team’s ability to adjust? Under Bielema, how many times have the the Hogs come from behind after halftime?

Bret Bielema seems like a nice guy. That isn’t the issue. At $4M and some change a year, in my opinion, he is terribly overpaid.

Woo Pig.

Don’t disagree with your post. However, it seems really curious that Wisconsin keeps rolling and two coaches who were very successful there and left…one has failed (Petersen) and CoachB is on the ropes. What is it about the Wisconsin program that makes those coaches successful but not elsewhere. I don’t see the the Wisconsin team loaded with 5 stars but they continue to play physical hard nose football on both sides of the ball. Why can’t we? Any theories?

That’s a valid point and I am not really sure of the answer, but with Bielema, you have to wonder how much of an impact Barry Alvarez had on his success in Madison.

I have been saying this for a long time now about Coach B’s success at Wisconsin, you see its very simple, he didn’t have to build anything because that had already been done y Coach Alvarez. He was handed over the keys to a car that was in great running condition and just asked not to run it off the road. He had been there in the system for a number of years, New the system,culture and its recruiting areas of strength.
So, when you look at the Wisconsin team records from when Alvarez took over as HC in 1990 through now the HC really hasn’t changed the overall success of the program because its the program that creates the success.
Bielema has eluded to those 3 Big 10 titles at the end of of time their, but he doesn’t ever qualify that Ohio State and Penn State were both ineligible to win the conference and that each of those 3 years he took his Badger team to the Rose Bowl and were defeated.

It’s time to part ways with Coach B

I understand that your saying…However, it doesn’t make sense that Wisconsin can develop players that aren’t highly rated and we can’t. CoachB has the blueprint but can’t make it work here. I’ve watched them play and they are a tough physical football team. I’m at a loss “why” we can’t do it.

A blueprint for success in football is not universal from one school to another. Every school is different. Arkansas needs to find its own identity.

Normally the football coach brings the identity. CoachB brought prostyle hard nose football. It worked for him at Wisconsin (still does) and not here.

Here’s part of an article about Wisconsin…When Wisconsin wins, it’s with big people.

There are two steps in staking out a recruiting strategy:

Figure out if you can land blue-chippers.
If you can’t, figure out who you can get.
When Alvarez was named head coach at Wisconsin nearly 30 years ago, he figured out that blue-chippers were only going to be so much of an option, but that he could land all the strong guys he wanted if he developed relationships in-state. He could go out of state to find workhorse running backs and speed guys on the perimeter, and he could build a style that relied on physical play. It wouldn’t always work, but it usually would.

So far, CoachB hasn’t found the right big lineman. I think he’s got the other players but for the life of me, why are big Wisconsin kids better than what we have?

I have not lived there in almost 10 years, but in my years living up there I can tell you the place is covered with dairy farms. The kids that grow up on those farms work hard from a young age. They are just naturally strong from working the dairy farm, and they get the biggest ones they can find. Again, I have no idea now if they still do that or blend in others from large metro areas. But I remember years ago seeing them do bio’s on the linemen before a big bowl game and they were all farmers. Maybe CBB has not found the farms in AR yet…

Beliema’s offense doesn’t look like any NFL offense I have seen in the last 7 years. Maybe it is an NFL offense from the 70’s? There is not much of a quick passing game, seems like most of the passing plays are play action with long developing routes. In my opinion with his style of offense, if there is no run game, the passing game does not have a chance.

I think that’s a good point about the play action and slow developing routes. On the flip side, and I said this during the TCU game, the defenses weren’t biting on fakes, or even acting like the fake concerned them. I thought maybe they were stealing signs, they seemed to know our plays. Maybe our offense is predictable and easy to identify, maybe shake things up and run different plays out of normal formations to make opposing teams guess.

As for Wisconsin, when Alvarez left, Bielema bacame head coach. The OC was Paul Chryst. He left after Bret’s 1st Rose Bowl to become Pitt’s HC. He is now Wisky’s HC. Chryst has the better record from then until now. Maybe it wasn’t all Bret and Barry

You both have good points. However, it still doesn’t explain why Wisconsin can turn their big dairy fed linemen into a hard nosed cohesion unit and we can’t. I don’t believe the big northern linemen are better than what we have. Wisconsin runs the same plays we do… yes, they even run screens. So, I don’t buy into the Enos theory of more mobile linemen for his offense. I looked at one of their best lineman and he wasn’t highly recruited. When Petersen quit, he ripped his assistants and says he didn’t hire the right assistants. I think we have a serious problem at the position coach level. Only Coach B can make the change if he gets the chance.

You’re exactly right about Chryst. I’ve said this several times on this and other boards. CBB got the job and pissed of Chryst because he felt the success was his not CBB. It was big news up there when I lived there. So he left. Years later he was proved to be right. He and Alvarez mended their rift and now he’s back. Turns out CBB was the problem, now we are stuck with him. I still get a hard time from my WI friends about it. “how’s that coach working for ya?”

Good posts by most and the insight shared on the Wisconsin situation is very interesting, albeit disturbing. Some folks like to imply that one reason Bielema left Madison is because Barry Alvarez was hands on as an AD and continuously “meddled” with Badger football issues. After watching the coaching performance of Bret and company for the past 4+ years, it seems that the actions by Alvarez, if true, may have been more than a bit justified.

Biggest lines at schools on average 2017

  1. Missouri – 328 lbs. per starter
  2. UMass – 325 lbs.
  3. Oklahoma – 324.2 lbs.
  4. Arkansas – 322.2 lbs.
  5. Wisconsin – 321.6 lbs.
  6. East Carolina – 320.6 lbs.
  7. UTEP – 320 lbs.
  8. Washington State – 319 lbs.
  9. Oregon State – 318.8 lbs.
  10. tie — Penn State & Louisville – 318.6 lbs.

My last thought and then I’ll move on. We actually have a bigger offensive line than Wisconsin. Whisky excels… our line needs much improvement…coaching does matter.

At Wisconsin, Bret Bielema was the Head Coordinator - not the Head Coach. He was chosen to run the day to day stuff. Barry Alvarez was and continues to be the Head Coach. He sets which type of offensive and defensive philosophy will be employed. Alvarez is as involved in the overall operation of Wisconsin football as much or more than JFB was for us. I have been told that Alvarez actually appoints the assistants and the “head coach” (whoever that may be) has little input on those decisions. Let’s not forget, when Bielema showed up here, Alvarez took over the team for the Rose Bowl. He did not appoint a coordinator like most AD’s would have. I think it is fair to say that Jeff Long is as “hands off” as it can get.

Also, the Big Ten West is extremely weak and winning there is not nearly as daunting as the SEC West - no Michigan, Ohio State or Penn State. The only program with any national tradition of excellence is Nebraska and they are just as bad as we are this year. Their athletic department has been as poorly managed as ours and they fired their AD because of it.

In sum, Bret Bielema is simply in over his head. He is a nice guy (unlike Petrino) and he knows how to “win” the press conferences. He just doesn’t know how to win football games.

Good explanation… bottom line as I just posted… good coaching matters!

Some very good reads above!! We can talk about the coaching situation all we want but nothing will change. They may be some changes at the assistant level but nothing else. Hogs are saddled with CBB until his contract expires or until JL leaves. It would not surprise me to see his contract renewed if he wins 7-8 games next year. Looking at our recruiting, I don’t think the program will see any improvement unless they change the offensive and be more aggressive on defense. Hogs seem to play a prevent defense most of the game and it was noted on SEC network tonight that prevent defenses will get you beat.

That’s an interesting perspective, reddiehog. I would agree with what you have said about both the offense being in need of change and the defense playing more aggressively. I would add that our special team units are somehow even more suspect and poorly coached.

After 4.5 years of Bielema ball, however, I don’t think he will be inclined to dramatically alter the course. If that’s the case, I would anticipate a tremendous amount of pressure to be placed on Jeff Long to make a few changes of his own, either by letting Bielema go early or bringing in Barry Alvarez to continue with his mentorship on head coaching skills, as per some of the previous comments.

Kidding about the latter, but in my opinion, I don’t think Bielema will be with us until his contract expires, unless there is a significant amount of positive change for the better, regardless of what becomes of Long.

At Wisconsin, Bret Bielema was 1-5 vs. Ohio St., 2-3 vs. Penn St., 1-4 vs. Michigan St. and 2-2 vs. Michigan. All this at a time when the Big10 was suffering from the biggest scandals and poorest coaching hires in modern football history.

Bielema was 2-4 in bowl games at Wisconsin. You might know that one of those wins was against Arkansas when Houston Nutt was at the helm and if you remember the game, you might also remember that it was pretty clear that our HOGS had more talent on the field than Bielema’s Badgers.

THIS is the homerun hire that many STILL give Jeff Long credit for pulling out of his A.D. hat.

I wonder if anyone else remembers the excitement of the prospect of us hiring Gary Patterson and/or Chris Petersen?

I do. Surely the bloom is off the fantasy of a supposed Rose Bowl quality coach…an inability to recruit, evaluate potential in prospects, develop players over time, game plan, adjust to the momentum of a game with adjustments, etc. etc. etc. should do that even to patient long-suffering Hog fans.

We need new leadership with new priorities…not to win at all cost but to COMPETE and WIN in the TRADITION of the FIGHTING RAZORBACKS. We’ve lost that ability under Jeff Long and Bret Bielema. BOTH must go…if there is to be a hope for the future of our program.