…and I saw what Bielema and we expected Arkansas to look like by season #5. It is working there, it worked there when Bielema was there, so why is it not working now at Arkansas. Many will say Wisconsin is not playing in as tough of a conference as we are. They beat LSU last year and we got stomped. That dog won’t hunt.
They have a powerful offensive line, good talent on defense, speed and athleticism every where it is needed. Their offensive line was filled with big, talented, aggressive, linemen. CBB had no problem stocking his team, when he was there. He comes to Arkansas and, after some initial success, now doesn’t seem able to recruit or develop those kind of players anymore. Meanwhile, Wisconsin continues to recruit and develop the kind of players we would like to have without CBB’s help.
My problem with CBB is we just feel much further away from that type of team now than we did 2-3 years ago. We started this season playing a true freshman walk-on at right guard nstead of one of the dozens of offensive linemen that CBB and his assistants have recruited in these five years. There is no doubt they thought he was their best option at that position, TCU and A&M proceeded to destroy him, and that, for many, was the final straw. If we are truly regressing that badly in the offensive line, then it is time for a change. His system can work but he doesn’t have the players that he needs to make it work. Whose fault is that?
I knew we were in trouble when he started Clary. Our real problem is Texas recruiting. CBB goes down there & makes negative remarks to the high school coaches about the spread/HUNH offense at a time when he needs to be making significant gains in recruiting in Texas. For us to be successful, we’ve got to win some battles for recruits against UT & Aggies or OU for 4-5* elite players plus pluck a few from other border states. BB thought he had a brand he could sell to Oline men nationally, and it’s not really worked since Pittman left. Too many misses on both sides of LOS is dooming his tenure IMO because this is where Wisconsin differs now.
Hogmodo, you are right. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Bret’s offensive philosophy. Nothing.
Bottom line is we lost too many skill players…and far more importantly, the offensive line is weak. Bret’s system requires a very good offensive line.
I do think Bret and/or another coach can have a great offensive line at Arkansas. Its not like its impossible here. I think, before Ragnow went down, that we had three players that (if healthy) were good to great offensive lineman. This year! Johnny’s been playing hurt and having to move it seems every week. Ragnow is obviously great…and Froholdt…though he makes mistakes still…is a future NFL player. The problem is the Wallace situation, the offensive line coach IMO, and the LT. What a disaster that’s been.
I had a thought about why this offensive philosophy might work at Wisconsin and struggles to work at Arkansas. Do we know the type of High School football that is played in Wisconsin? Is it smash mouth power football up there? If so I would think the offensive linemen that go to school there are better prepared to play that style. We recruit Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana very hard. If I’m not mistaken the high school football played down here right now is predominantly spread and hurry up on top of that. Are offensive linemen that grow up playing that style and trying to get them to play smash mouth power football in college, is that part of the problem? Or is offensive line play similar across all systems and it shouldn’t matter? Just a thought.
Maybe. I also wonder if the numbers of the raw material are just lower in Arkansas than they are in Wisconsin and the rest of the upper midwest. Wisconsin’s line had German, Scandinavian, and English names on their backs. Those are “ethnic groups” that tend to produce big people. The upper midwest was settled by these people so they are there in large numbers. So, there are a lot of farming, manufacturing, working class families, with big kids who aren’t afraid of hard work. Overall, they are prosperous enough to have good schools, both parents in the home, and they produce high character kids. Alvarez has been quoted as seeing the abundance of these type of players and deciding that was his “edge” in Wisconsin. There may just be a lot more of these “possibly the next J.J. Watt” around Wisconsin than there are around Arkansas.
I think it was a perfect storm of numerous recruiting misses, a change in play calling for screens that require more athletic Oline, losing Pittman, Pittman’s mis evaluations were evident, hired a replacement from the NFL with NO current recruiting ties and relationships, Anderson’s first 2 signing classes have not matched the quality of Pittman’s first class, Anderson’s JUCO signees were reaches for depth, and then Anderson tried to implement more NFL blocking principles, and he tried to teach technique that some of the recruiting misses won’t try to learn. JMVHO
I have a hard time making comparisons with Wisconsin right now, because they have not yet played anyone even as tough as South Carolina and won’t with their regular season schedule, except for Michigan. Where do you think they would stand right now if they had played TCU, A&M, USCe, Bama & Auburn? 1 loss? 2? Or more?
I think they would have two losses, but would have been competitive in both losses. When they play SEC teams, they don’t get blown out. LSU last year is the most recent example. With better O-line play, I think WE could have beaten TCU, A&M, and with that momentum South Carolina. Auburn and Bama are way better than us at almost every position. The rest, we COULD have beaten if our QB and RB’s got decent blocking. JMVVVVVHO.
I think your anger toward CBB and his record is affecting your opinion. I’ve watched Wisky, as well, and I DONT SEE SPEED. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them lose to Michigan and then tOSU in the B1G Championship game. Yes, I think tOSU will beat PSU this weekend.
I really do like CBB as a person, but I am disappointed in the end result and the direction the program seems to be heading after five years. I defended him for most of those five years while trying to be honest about some of his struggles. (Not recruiting any high school cornerbacks a couple of years ago and losing too many assistant coaches he wanted to keep despite not having Alvarez to blame for that are the major past concerns). I really like the style of offense he wants to install. Stanford, Wisconsin, Georgia, and others who play power, pro-style football are a joy to watch. They just seem to play real football. The spread them out, hurry up, dink and dunk passing in the latest fad, HUNH, spread football just seems a bunch of gimmicks and not real football.
I say all of that to try and tell you I want him to succeed and I am really disappointed that we look like a team whose previous coach failed to get good enough players and the coach this year has to make up for that by playing true freshmen (Clary, Curl, Hayden) and transfers (Williams, Nance, Martin) because the players previously recruited are just not good enough.
I saw speed at running back, in the secondary, and in a few of Wisconsin’s receivers. You don’t beat LSU last year without having speed on your team. JMVVVVVHO