…have somewhat unleashed the hounds who think we should have Malzahn, or Petrino, or anyone who will run a spread offense, etc. for our football coach instead of Bielema and that is understandable. CBB was making slow but steady progress on righting the ship at Arkansas and installing his philosophy that worked before (and still is working at Wisconsin) in Fayetteville. Certainly not as fast as we all wanted but headed in the right direction. Two of the building blocks of CBB’s coaching style is high character and intense conditioning/development. At schools like Wisconsin and Arkansas, without built-in recruiting advantages, these help compensate for a little less talent on the field. His teams, every year, got stronger as the season went along, improving, and being much tougher to beat later in each year. Then in the latter part of last season, we looked gassed in the second half, not able to adjust to the other teams halftime tweaks, like we were out of shape and they stayed strong in the second half. Two of our high character leaders showed their low character side by shop lifting and getting kicked out of a game for spitting. We hear graduated high character leaders on defense saying that there was a lack of “buy-in” by many on the team last year.
I like Bielema and firmly believe his system can work at Arkansas, but I am concerned. He and his defensive staff have not recruited as well as Petrino’s did on defense. He took Petrino’s Philon, Flowers, Spaight, and others and played adequate defense for a while. As Petrino’s defensive players have moved on and his took their place, the defense has become weaker. On the other hand, his offensive recruiting has been better than Petrino’s toward the end of his stay. The offense talent is now better than Petrino left it. There was an immediate talent infusion in the offensive line when CBB came. It dropped off and Pittman left but Anderson seems to be pulling that squad back up and next year looks like a good offensive year if we don’t have anymore injuries in the backfield.
The character and conditioning flops last year concern me. We need leaders and over-achievers who are mentally and physically tough to make plays late in games, not collapse. All teams need this but especially ones that are trying to overcome more talented teams. If this isn’t fixed, CBB is in trouble. JMVVVVVHO.
Just like to point out that even though the defense gets the heat, the offense failed to score in the second half of both late game collapses and turnovers put the defense in some very unfavorable positions in both games.
If the scheme of Rob Smith was so bad that the defensive players “gave up on it” and the head coach didn’t get involved and correct the issues, I would be pretty pissed off if I was an offensive player. How about you?
Who hired Rob Smith?
Who gets paid over $4mm a year to oversee the program and make sure we put sound schemes in place for our teams to execute?
That’s a pretty severe statement you keep making, “that our players gave up”.
That’s not a great reflection on the head coach when the players “give up”.
You can’t blame one side over the other for what happened late in those last two games. The pass defense was bad. So was the run offense. Austin Allen threw too many interceptions. The offensive line didn’t protect well.
When you blow a big lead it’s a reflection of breakdowns across the board.