Thoughts on the program

Some thoughts, and questions.

The last time I checked, there are alot of programs in the athletic department. As far as I can tell, most of them are quite successful right now. Basketball is on the rise, after many on these boards called for Mike to be fired. Baseball is solid. I doubt anyone would quarrel on that…despite occasional disappointing seasons. Women’s volleyball is a major surprise, with maybe the conference’s best player. Men’s golf is very good…and women’s golf is #1 in the country. Track and field and cross country are always great. Our facilities are second to none. GPA’s are in good shape. No scandals since Petrino left. Yet…many are calling for Long to be fired. Is he not athletic department director? Not merely football director? I don’t get it. I have no personal ties to Long. But is doesn’t make sense to me.

For the “fire Brett right now” crowd, nothing good can come of that. This recruiting class would implode. Plus its just not gonna happen. Waste of energy to even call for that.

I suspect Brett survives if he wins 5 games. Though I think we still have a decent chance to win 6. It may seem impossible. But, LSU just rebounded. Against Florida (like we did last year in a sense). After being smashed by Miss St (who isn’t nearly what some thought they were) and losing to Troy! They bounced back! Ole Miss, Miss St. LSU, Coastal and Mizzou are all winnable. Might not be likely…but its not time to just give up all hope. The kids deserve better than that.

Yes, the offensive line looks awful. As I said in earlier posts, if I were Brett I’d either let Anderson go today, or at least insert myself into his meeting room for the rest of the season. I would personally decide who plays and doesn’t play. Maybe Brett’s already doing this. But if he’s not, he might start…now. There is no question that since Pittman left the o-line play has taken a dramatic nosedive. If every Bielema offensive line had always been terrible…then he could be viewed as the cause. But the active factors seem to be Pittman leaves, Anderson enters. And one could argue Enos’ scheme makes life more difficult for the type of lineman we recruited for Pittman/Chaney.

I would play Cole Kelly until AA is totally healthy. Its not ideal to start Cole against Bama. Obviously. Memories of BA crash in immediately. But I think the staff owes it to AA and his future to NOT play him if he’s dinged. He might literally get put in the hospital. At least Cole is a giant, and seems to be nimble for a guy his size. Ha can stand in there better than AA. AA’s confidence also seems to be shattered. I hate to see Cole’s shattered too…but if AA is dinged, I just don’t see a choice. It may be Cole’s time.

If Cole plays, run the shotgun spread option more. We have to have some semblance of a running game. Let the QB read the d-lineman that the tackles can’t seem to block anyway. Run alot more wildcat, with Haydon and TJ on the fly sweep option. This o-line’s tackles just are sub-SEC standard. It is what it is. Can’t keep hoping they will play better. They will not.

Speaking of tackles, for goodness sake give Wallace a shot. It can’t be worse than what we have. Unless his attitude is terrible…let’s see what he can do. I bet we do Saturday.

I said when Pulley went out that it was devastating. And it has been. Curl has been brutally targeted. It will continue. Strangely, Curl hasn’t failed to cover at all…he just seems to be the victim of interference calls. Maybe not even accurate ones. But the interference calls were game changers. Maybe its officials knowing he’s a freshman and not giving him the benefit of doubt. Bottom line, losing Pulley has really really hurt…but its also obvious Curl will be a very good one. Soon.

Our only real hope now is to play decent against Bama and Auburn in losses…and somehow rally down the stretch. Some on the call ins and this board seem to want a total implosion so Brett will have to be fired. Almost hoping we just fall apart.

I don’t understand that thinking. Frankly, I could never ever pull for any kid nor coach in the Razorback uniform to fail. I love the Razorbacks too much. I hope most fans do too. And don’t give me the “for the longterm good” argument. The kids wearing the Arkansas uniform don’t deserve us to bail on them.

I personally will not.

Good post! I agree with playing CK, but I feel that AA will start, if he is cleared, (even if dinged up), because like they say over and over again, AA gives us the best chance to win. If they had good, even decent protection, I believe he is. As long as the OL continues to fail in protecting AA, I can’t see how he continues to gives us that best chance. My concern is, why wouldn’t they have their back up QB ready to step in and run this offense. I know that mentally, starting against Bama is a huge, daunting challenge, but the back up should be prepared to cater in and compete. JMHO!

Maestro…your points are spot on.

Let’s stand behind the team, players, and coaches until the season is done. Then access what’s next.

I’m pretty sure CBB is evaluating what they need to do differently instead of just preparing better. I expect we will see some wrinkles to our game plan going forward, especially who plays. I think there are changes on offense that can add value. I’m not so sure about that on defense. The main thing I see there is that our front 3 get beat on 9 out of 10 snaps. We need some scheme to help them. If that’s blitzing, fine…try it.

Woooo Pig

Fantastic post! The best I’ve read on this board in a long time.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Speaking of Curl…the defense has improved overall and Curl is playing as well as any true freshman CB I can ever remember. With that said, I think the defense will be much improved next year. There seems to be more talent at LB and for sure in the secondary.

The defensive scheme change was a welcome relief. It brought with it enhanced tackling and along with the talent on hand + that recruited gives us a fighting chance at LB, CB, and DE. We are still lacking NG and safeties that are SEC-worthy. Not sure anyone at safety currently playing would be recruited by SEC teams (Montaric Brown being the exception, but he isn’t playing), and only Austin Capps seems to have promise as a NG. Hays behind him, maybe? But they are not the slobberknocking immovable mass in the middle we need them to be.

Curl has been amazing. Put some muscle on him and he might be a safety next year given the uptick in CB options.

As I’ve typed before, we are in CBB’s fifth year, but we are on year three of the second offense and year one of the third defense. That is hard to grasp, maybe, but we are still a team in transition.

That was the most logical post I’ve seen in a long time. And, spot on.

We are all frustrated and disappointed. But, give the team a chance to bounce back before folding the tent.

Spot on, Maestro! Well thought out post. BB will be back next year and hopefully all these freshmen and sophs will improve enough to get us back to a winning season. I also think we still have a chance for 6-6 this year. Bad break that we now have to face #1 and #10 two weeks in a row, but we can’t whine about it. We simply don’t have a program that can lose it’s best running back, it’s best receiver and it’s best defender and it not affect us. Razorback pride and hard work to get better is still possible. WPS

Realistic and even handed Post. I can live with this. Now, I really wish coach BB would explain how or why they failed to recruit SEC linemen in numbers needed to play in the SEC. Someone please ask that. There may very well be good reasons. I just want to know what they are.

I don’t care who is at receiver and running back, if your OL can’t run block and pass block it doesn’t matter if you have Aikman, Irvin, and Smith back there. Their is NO excuse to not have an effective o-line at year 5. They have made some major misses.

As far as the defense, when you can’t get any pass rush at all most QB’ in the SEC will make you pay. The secondary can’t cover forever. I think Curl has done an admirable job.

The issue with this team is O-line play and bad defensive scheme. And that…rests on this staff. Injuries are no excuse in those areas.

HogQ you are exactly right about the OL and DL issues. I was just pointing out that we don’t have the depth to lose starters, anywhere…

The next two teams will test that depth too

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Excellent post, Maestro