Straight Talk post-loss to Academic Heavyweight Vanderbilt —on our home turf

  1. Quick straight-talk points and then some longer commentary in relation to earlier posting. #1 — none of this really matters because no matter what product shows up on the field, this coaching regime is getting a free pass this year. Probably as it should be, but I do know there are others who have noticed it’s been 75 plus years since the Razorbacks last had only a 2 win season.

  2. The job is not getting done. This is one of the worst coaching displays in Razorback history. Take cover now — because here comes bombs of the blistering outrage and impassioned defense of the regime and long litany of excuses — and unfortunate blaming of the college students who are Razorbacks. I’m reminded of being a kid in elementary school and facing the classroom talk monitor “Ooh. I’m telling. You’re not “aposed” to talk bad about our new coach yet, he needs more time because all the players are really bad.”

  3. I am not saying 2 wins and a chance to recruit a class don’t warrant a second season. But I am saying this — the bar next year is 5 wins — win the 4 non—conference games plus one S.E.C. Game. I wonder what others think. And as far as I’m concerned, it’s really sad when winning 5 games is considered satisfactory progress in year #2. As others have had the guts to say, it tells how far this football program has fallen. This is as bad as it’s been in Arkansas football history — and the leaders and big money are responsible.

  4. I am shocked at how many fans dutifully continue to buy into the spin that the cupboard is not just bare —- but plain empty — therefore they must not criticize the coaches until at least 4 or 5 more seasons of losing. What gets me is this constant mantra of “there’s no speed.” That’s simply inaccurate. I watched a lot of these players in high school — saw them live and in person. There’s a lot of speed on this team — a lot of it is just not playing. I do agree they need more speed, but to go on and on that there’s not any speedy players on this roster is simply not true.

  5. I continue to hear some disturbing stuff that sounds a lot like Gerry Faust and Notre Dame. I don’t like what I hear, and I hope it’s not true.

  6. When Bielema criticized his players for playing poorly, many fans were outraged and went off on him. When Coach Morris does it, nobody seems to care.

  7. Not a regular poster (listen more than I talk usually), so just now saw that last week I generated some responses — sorry for not engaging back — and definitely sorry for co-opting or piggy-backing onto similar posting by Wizard (not his full post name) — I honestly did not ever read your post, Wizard, entitled straight talk. I think the poster named Reid Jackson or Jackson Reid — might have it backwards —- is the one who inspired me to straight talk — but if it was not him — somebody here said we need more straight talk whether popular or not, so I decided to do so.

  8. As said, I don’t post a lot, and when I did in the past it was almost always positive and in defense of the players and several of our prior coaching regimes. Often I was posting in years past when the Razorbacks were winning a lot and going bowling — but a minority of posters were complaining and doing the “yeah but” posts — you know the “Yeah but despite the wins, the Hogs still aren’t any good…”. I remember fans like that spinning negativity even when Petrino had the Hogs in the Sugar Bowl. I’m sure they’d gladly trade this mess for the winning ways back then — but maybe not. Some folks thrive on always finding something wrong with something. Heaven knows they’ve got plenty of material now.

It was me and appreciate your opinions. Don’t agree with all of them, but we really need people to say what they believe rather than confirming to what they perceive to be the company line.

Well, I believe this, as long as we are talking straight: Coach Morris won’t get as much time as Coach Bielema did to get us playing good football. It’s not really a problem he has caused…it is just one he inherited when he took this job after the coaching mess of the last 6 years…7 counting Morris’ first year. I have not been impressed by what Coach has accomplished this year on the field. We should have or could have won a couple of games we lost…Colorado State and Ole Miss. The quarterback situation wasn’t handled very well looking back on this…The effort at the North Texas game was just as bad as it gets. That being said…there is not a lot of difference in 2 or 4 wins…both are just brutally bad.

However, his ability to recruit is a game changer. If he can recruit well on a yearly basis…he will do well. Good players make good coaches…we all know this. So, I will try my best to be patient and wait for him to get a couple of classes on the field and see where we are. That will give him time to show us what kind of a coach he is. He appears to be a very good recruiter which we desperately needed. Now, can he coach these guys into success in the SEC West? That is a big job. If he pulls that off…our suffering fans will love him for it. Good luck, Coach…I really mean that. I want him to do really well.

I’m by far not a football expert, but I’d like for someone to explain their opinion on what they think Morris is doing wrong. I’ve seen great plays called every game and players didn’t execute. Yes, there are things I personally believe he’s done wrong in games, but at some point you have to also put some of the blame on the players, not just the coach.

I always wonder when somebody says “I’m hearing such and such” what is the actual source. Is someone on the team telling them this, or someone on the support staff, or an ex-player? Maybe a friend of a friend? Or maybe they are just using the word “hearing” for meaning they read something on twitter or another message board.

The Gerry Faust stuff cracks me up. CM was an assistant at Clemson and Tulsa and a HC at SMU, but now he’s Billy Bob Pinhead from Podunk High in Texas who is trying to coach the Hogs like a high school team? Not likely. Even less likely when you consider the level of preparation and work that even CM’s detractors admit is going into recruiting. It just does not add up that he could be that organized/effective in recruiting and be a lost ball in high weeds in the other aspects of the job.

I get questioning the coaching decisions, and being pissed about losing to Colorado State, North Texas, Ole Miss and Vandy in the same year. I was in the stands for three out of four of those, and I was not a happy camper. This season has not been and is unlikely to be any fun at all. I thought we had a chance to squeeze into a bowl this year. I was right, the team can make a bowl, but the players will all need a ticket.

As a fan, everybody has a right to wring their hands and cry “woe is us”. But nine games into a re-build I think it’s way too early to know whether CM is going to work out. So I’m going to keep on going to the games and evaluating what I’m seeing, some for this year but mainly for the future. Then in December I am going to be watching both the recruiting and the re-shaping with great interest. I expect a better product on the field in 2019, and I think we’ll get it.

My big issue is why it has taken this long (spring, fall, and 3/4 of a season) to install the offense. We keep hearing it is less than half installed. Clay offered that it is because the o-line can’t handle it. I agree that is part of it. I also watch how the QBs are constantly having to tell the tight ends, WRs, and RBs where to position themselves as he goes through his pre-snap routine. Why does it take this long to teach a bunch of college students how to do the basics of their craft? We should be seeing more motion, quicker passes, more players getting touches, better play action, on and on and on. Yes, they have shown a couple of new plays each game that have been or could have been big plays, but those need to become routine if we are to compete in the SEC. All of that comes back to coaching in my opinion. And, I don’t believe it is the head coach, although he rightfully has to take responsibility. It’s as if the coaching staff have accepted their inability to teach & the players inability to learn. I always thought that if I wasn’t getting the results I wanted, it was either because the message was wrong, the audience was stupid, or I was not delivering it properly. Usually, the message is right and the receiver isn’t stupid, so it has to be in the delivery. If the position coaches or offensive coordinator can’t get these guys to do what it is that they want them to do, then something is wrong with their persuasive skills and that translates to both leadership and experience. If I were Coach Morris, I’d take a hard look at my staff from now to the beginning of spring. Something has to happen in that department or all these great new players still won’t be able to execute at the full capacity that Coach Morris wants them to in 2019.

Morris is going to run his system. That said he has stated the install has been slow (0nly 20%) and cut back even to what this group can handle. His vetting at press conference, in my opinion, is because the team regressed from what they had shown they could do. Now many of the issues are the same ones with some of same people that Coach B had. We play up to or down to level of competition and we fail to learn from our mistakes or known problems. One example, two weeks ago Morris emphasized that one of the safeties was getting extra work on his tackling. This same issue that Coach B was trying to solve last year too—real question is why is he starting. I suspect the others are not ready and as Coach B often said ,one can damage a young player by putting them into a game before they are ready. Unfortunately, I think Morris is going to have to do that. It will look a lot like Tyler Wilson and Brandon Allen in some of their first years games but that will be price to get players who can run his system. The incoming players will likely be thrown into the fire earlier than he wanted to do this year. I think there are two games we should have won but really 2 or 4 wins is still not getting it done. If we lose the remaining last three games this season our record will avg. 6-6 over the last 10 years if my facts are right. This is not reloading, this building program from the ground up. Recruiting is our bright spot because we are not a top destination program right now. When we get these players here ,he will have to show he can develop them to run his system.

The real " straight talk" here is that we have probably 3 players on defense that could play for other sec teams. Agim, Harris, and Greenlaw. That has been the issue here for the last several years. Coach M had nothing to do with that. The offense is getting there and should have put up 38 points Saturday, except for a dropped pass and two interceptions that coach M did not throw. They are heavily recruiting in both d line and playmaker receivers. I think they see the problem. At least that’s how I see it.

I think Pulley and Watts would have a chance at some SEC schools as well. Just as big a problem - we have lots of backups that would not play for good Conference USA schools. No depth.

It looks like we are getting a very good group of defensive linemen in this recruiting class. Hopefully they get some good experience next year. With some good hard nosed leadership, 3 or 4 really good defensive playmakers can get 3 stars to play like 4 stars. It is a contagious thing, like a fever, it makes the whole side develop and play with pride. I think defense use to be the quickest way to turn around a team. These days, its much harder to develop a shut down defense, but maybe one that just ranks towards to top of the conference will help this team turn things quicker. I know we are planning for a snap crackle and pop offense, but based on the recruits, they may just fix this defense first.

I agree. Playing with high intensity on every play, all the way to the whistle is what good defenses do. It goes the same for the offense. If every player does that, good things will happen. Watch Bama, that is what Saban demands, or you will be on the bench.

Chad Morris never should’ve been hired.

Let’s review a little bit first. CBB and Jeff Long were fired($30 million in buyouts) and “the plan” was to Gus Malzhan. Malzhan didn’t come. Arkansas was always a backup plan for Gustavo.

It would appear "the search committee"went thru their backups and still didn’t have a hire. So eventually a coach that won 38% of his games as a college head coach was hires to run a SEC program.

Now let me address the sure to come responses.

  1. SMU was a dumpster fire and Morris turned it around.

False. June Jones last 5 years he won in order 8, 7, 8, 7, 5. That’s an average of 7 wins a year. Year between Morris and Jones SMU wins 0. Then Morris wins in order 2, 4, 7. To say he saved a sinking ship is a stretch at best. It took Morris 3 years to get back to June Jones levels. Hardly Sabanesce.

  1. Morris is a great recruiter.

Doubtful but we will see. June Jones SMU classes were typically ranked in the 70s. Morris’ SMU classes were in the 80s. That’s not killing it for sure. And SMU is in “Texas”. Texas is supposed to be a honey hole for Morris.

The recruiting at Clemson picked up AFTER Morris left.

The current Hog class is highly ranked and that awesome. Morris deserves credit for this. But, the Arkansas high school class this year is excellent. Whomever the coach is would have benefited from this. And there are two 4 star o-lineman in the state committed to other schools.

If you remove the Arkansas players in this class and examine what’s left the defense recruiting is way ahead of the offense recruiting. This is a result of Chavis(who’s been a successful recruiter in the SEC for 30 years), Scott, and Caldwell. So is the real uptick in recruiting due to Chavis and his staff? And when these guys leave will recruiting drop?

  1. Morris saved Dabo job/ Morris turned Clemson around.

I am dubious. 2 years before Morris Dabo won 9 games. And Clemson actually got better after Morris left. Dabo uptick at Clemson is much more closely tied to the hiring of Bret Venables than Chad Morris.

  1. Morris won state titles in Texas high school.

Texas high school football isn’t the SEC. I’d say Texas high school football isn’t what it was even 15 years ago. It’s the primary feeder for big12 football and it clear big12 is behind the SEC and really the other power 5 football conferences.

Bottom line: this is Chad Morris 4th year as a college head coach. He’s had 1 winning season(7 wins). He’s averaging less than 4 wins a year. The apologist will say it’s not his fault. It’s everyone else but him.

How about this? It’s a bad idea to hire a head coach that has not won at a high level to an SEC job.

The REAL issue is the board and chancellor that made a total mess of this situation. That’s the people hog fans need to put on blast. These same people left in place will make another bad hire in 3-4 years.

Saban is 3 deep with studs, he can afford to bench anybody without drop off.

A reasonable take - I’ll take exception with a couple of points:

As for defensive recruiting you give all credit to the defensive staff. Well, who hired them or in the case of Scott made the decision to retain them? Morris should get credit for assembling a defensive staff that can recruit.

I’m not an SMU expert, but by all accounts including folks that are not Morris sycophants, Jones really slacked off at recruiting in last couple of years and left a dispirited bunch lacking in talent. Also, what do you mean by “year in between Morris and Jones” they won zero.” Who coached for one year?

I’m glad they did not hire Malzahn… would have been a screw up. Don’t know where Morris was on the pecking order after that, but he made sense to me - spread guy, deep Texas ties, etc. Hope he works out.

As for Long and Bert it was not $30mm in buyouts . Not even close.

(Bad idea to hire a head coach who has not won at a high level to an SEC job)
Followed that mantra with the last HC hire didn’t we?

I wonder if you are serious. How many coaches across the
country has become very successful as the head coach
that were lowly assistants at a major school or were winning
as a head coach at a lower level conference? You would need a small book in all likelihood. Several probably have
won a conference and even national championships.

Have you ever posted on this board under a different
name or account?