Some thoughts while waiting on much needed win tonight.

Arkansas and CBB have learned a lot in the last four years.

  1. Hog fans discovered that Petrino’s recruiting had slipped bigtime and John L. slam dunked it down some more before CBB arrived. Yes, Petrino had recruited Philon and Flowers but absolutely no QB depth and receivers were very thin. Spaight was just getting lucky. There were huge weaknesses where Petrino’s system should have been strong that made the inherently difficult transition from a finesse system to a power system much more difficult than it should have been.

  2. CBB found out there are some major differences between the Big Ten and the SEC especially the speed, talent, and depth in the defensive lines he had to face and he had to recruit. What worked at Wisconsin was not going to be good enough to work that well in the SEC West.

  3. Despite the “he ain’t one of us so he will never be good enough” attitude toward Long that lies just beneath the surface for some Hog fans, we have learned we have one of the top AD’s in the country. On the verge of settling for Muschamp, he was forced into “taking a chance” on Bobby Petrino by the lack of any other proven head coach major candidates interested in the job. That call and hoping that John L. Smith could hold it together for a season both didn’t work out, but they were justifiable calls at the time. The 20/20 hindsight crowd likes to claim different but they are wrong. He has given CBB six years to fix things and that turns out to be barely adequate, but he will see it through. Long could leave for a better program easily, but, I hope for our sake he continues to like it at Arkansas and ignores the lunatic fringe that doesn’t like him. Firing Bobby Petrino was the finest moment in Razorback History since the Orange Bowl upset of OU despite the “wish we could get Adolf instead crowd’s claims.”

  4. Hog fans have learned that CBB’s steady losing of assistants at Wisconsin (his main justification for leaving them for us) may not have just been Barry Alvarez’s fault. He blamed lack of money from the AD for driving them away, but the much higher salaries at Arkansas have not slowed that down much if any. It may be just the nature of the business or CBB’s way may not be easy for a lot of assistants to adjust to. Some of them needed to move on but Pittman was a major loss. Before Pittman mentally left during the year before he took the Tennessee job, his recruiting was outstanding and has been sorely missed since. Anderson may turn out to be better but it ain’t showed itself yet.

  5. Many but not all Hog fans have learned to love CBB’s high standards, his consistent demeanor, his strong emotion for his players, and the uncommon way he runs his program. Many Hog fans are very proud of the improved quality of the men, coaches, and facilities at Arkansas since Long and CBB have arrived. Then there is a vocal minority that would prefer Adolf Hitler (as long as he used a southern accent) if he could beat Saban occasionally and couldn’t care less how uncommon anything is on the Hill. They will never go away as opposed to the Malzahnistas who seem to finally realize that ship has sailed permanently but will always be bitter because they didn’t get their way.

  6. So, CBB, Long, and the program all need a win badly tonight. We need to finish on a positive note, wash away the miserable Missouri fiasco, match last year’s record, and finish strong in recruiting. Next year, we will have 4/5’s of the O-line back, should have the 2nd team (behind Hurt of Bama) pre-season All SEC QB, a 1st team pre-season All SEC tailback, all our other running backs, all but one of the tight ends plus a good JC recruit there, and promising talent at wide receiver, so there is hope we can outscore a lot of folks next year while we wait for the defense to get back to mediocre. Imagine how good we are going to be when we finally recruit SEC talent on the defense! I can’t wait!

Can you tell it is a slow day at work and I am bored stiff waiting to sneak away to watch the game?

I love this post. Good work.

There’s a difference between losing assistants because you couldn’t afford to pay them and losing them because they’re not a fit. From what I can tell, Pittman could recruit 'em but coaching them was another issue. You gotta do something with them once they get here, too.

You know I usually respect your opinion but I have to object every once in a while or it just gets boring. All I know is the young Ragnow, Skipper, Kirkland, etc. line was a lot more effective run blocking than the lines have been post Pittman. I assume our All SEC left tackle and next year’s All SEC center are better now than then but the lines overall are not as effective. Have the opponents improved that much or their fellow linemen are just not near as good as the ones were in Pittman’s first several years?

I don’t think you would have seen this line block better under Sam Pittman. He struggles to get a running game going with less than great linemen just like others do. Look at his line at Georgia. Got great back, but can’t run it effectively. I think losing Denver Kirkland was going to be an issue, with Pittman or without him. I believe he knew that. Pittman had not been able to jump start Johnny Gibson. Kurt Anderson finally did.

There is little doubt that the offense improved with Dan Enos. Maybe Pittman wasn’t happy doing all the things that Enos wanted. Maybe he wasn’t happy without Jim Chaney. Maybe he knew the lack of recruiting in the offensive line – and he was the point man on all OL recruits – was about to show up. Maybe all of that.

I will also say that young backs don’t always hit the holes, are recognize the creases and miss them. Rawleigh Williams admits that happened for him at times and I think for Devwah Whaley, too. Experience at running back matters. It always does. Great backs make an offensive line so much better. I’m interested to see what some real quickness does for this offensive line, perhaps in today’s game with T.J. Hammonds.

I did enjoy reading this post. Just back from doing some radio at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. It is a must see. Now, I’m headed to the football stadium, a five-block walk. Can see the stadium from my 15th floor room.

Love reading this post. Good stuff!!