The night is darkest

…just before dawn. Unfortunately, the fan base seems to think the sun started rising when HY fired CCM on Sunday, but in reality it was only one AM, which meant it was going to get even darker before daylight. The first evidence of that was the defection of four recruiting commitments, with the very real expectation of more to come. Second, was the evidence of an already fractured locker room where loyalties appear to understandably be tied to which coach recruited them. Those loyal to CBB (to include some former players) seemed to applaud the termination, while those recruited by CCM, both current players and committed 2020 recruits, now seem to be considering their options. The committed recruits piece of that became even clear today when we read of the time CBL spent on the phone with recruits in the last 36 hours. CBL will have pulled a Houdini if he can keep the remaining recruits and preclude a mass exodus of CCM-recruited current players from jumping on the transfer portal between now and early signing day. IF the latter happens, we can expect the worst recruiting class in our history. I grew up a Razorbacks fan and remained one throughout an Army career that put me in other programs’ footprints. But we are fooling ourselves if we think our genetic programming automatically applies to players(and their parents) that grew up in neighboring states. They committed to us based on who recruited them, in addition to the campus and facilities, and if we are completely honest, sometimes because UT, LSU, OU, or A&M didn’t, and we gave them an opportunity to prove those schools wrong. Like it or not, they only get a chance to play college football once in their life, and the emergence of the transfer portal gives them a chance for a do-over if they no longer consider us their best option. No one knowingly books a cruise on the Titanic when there are other options that appear to better enable the college football experience they all dreamed of having. Bottom line is that we are at a historical low point right now, and it could very well get worse before it gets better, and unfortunately the longer the coaching search goes on, which predictably will not end until games and bowls are over, the higher the probability of roster and recruit losses. I was a big CCM supporter, but I too grew tired of “coach speak” excuses and promises that never were fulfilled. In my heart, I felt he deserved more time to try to put out the dumpster fire he was immersed it, but that was largely because I could predict the consequences that firing him would undoubtedly have on the program. But now we are where we are, with the future of our program now largely in the hands of a group of 17-19 year old young men, all of whom have other options. I support HY’s decision, but for all of you here that think firing CCM fixed our problems, just envision a roster of players made up by those whose only true tie to the State or UA was the coach to whom they committed.
The night we find ourselves in today may get a whole lot darker before we see the light again, regardless who we eventually hire as a head coach.

Sad but true.