We are at a critical stategic decision point

At least for this fan any how

I’m not a special fan

Not a major booster

Not an Alumni

I’m a lifelong Razorback fan that loved the UofA because it gave all of us dirt level Arkansawers pride that someone wearing the name of Arkansas was respectable and a champion

I think Frank Broyles knew the heart of Arkansas need for a champion and had his fingers on the pulse - because he respected us

Not sure our current leadership has either

Jeff Long’s battle with a frustrated fan on Twitter a while back was dismissive and condescending to a fan wanting a win at all cost

I think Mr Long misunderstood the fan who

In my work I’ve learned to not simply look at words but the emotions behind the words - translation of that dismissed fan - I heard him say:

“I’m tired of losing what are you doing to win at Arkansas Mr Long?”

I have the same question - but who cares what I want ? I’m not an Alumni nor a large booster

I’m about ready to let the program go completely

I don’t want to do that

It’s like a break up with a long loved family member when life takes you down two different directions

Before I let it go

I need to hear from Jeff Long a strategic vision that says he is working on a Arkansas that is a national champion on the football score board not just in game day consessions and statium venue complete with flashy uniforms

If a Statigic vision that stresses winning at a national level why care?

Maybe it’s time to admit that the Glory days of Razorback football and it’s dreams
Of greatness died with Frank Broyles

And Arkansas needs to be the University of Arkansas football program - not the state program

For a man who has won the integrity trophy for firing a lying but winning coach

It’s time to give a strategic vision that tells the truths of the future

Will Arkansas commit to winning the SEC and a national title

Or is it - simply academic

If winning isn’t the goal - stop pretending the Razorbacks are the unofficial pro team of Arkansas and be the University team

Play Arkansas State and be done with the special protections because that’s the only reason that protection was granted - so all your effort could be to represent all Arkansawers not just the University

Is there a vision ?

What must you change to win because what your doing has not worked since that April Fools day when we ended up in the ditch

We will know at seasons end how committed they are to winning.

I agree wth you. I’m trying to emotionally detach myself currently… struggling, but sadly I am. I have a feeling Long will do whatever he can to keep Bret around because, he’s such a ‘good guy’.

It hurts as a razorback fan to think that this fan base has members who would defend this guy until the cows came home even if he had back to back 3 win seasons. He gets a free pass because of his personality. Everyone in the country thinks we should be better and expect more, but some of our very own are satisfied with this guy. I try not to care, Bret will probably stick around, and give another god awful football team next year, but atleast he’s a nice man!

I think Long is a fine AD, but he is certainly more concerned with the financial aspect and his personal career than what the fans want, and deserve. Sad, but true, not sure what it will take to ultimately bounce back from the Bret bielema era, but it’s going to take a coach who actually can rebuild a program, because Brets 5 year plan has caused more damage than it’s fixed.

You and I may be brothers from another mother.

We do the same things for many years and expect better results - as if.

A new coaching personality alone is not going to do it although it might help for sure.

What is the business plan to have Arkansas as a perennial national power - and is that even the goal?

We can’t have built in recruiting disadvantages and have had only some 5 truly good seasons of last 25,
spend middle of the conference monies on coaches and recruiting offices and somehow expect better results.

I would like to know we have a business plan with a goal to have Arkansas as a national power.

Give me some hope.

I will never let go. I’ll be frustrated and sad at times but I’ll never let go.

It’s just in my blood.

But many have and more will let go. It’s a perfectly understandable reaction.

That should be JL’s biggest concern right now.

No doubt, there is much to be dissappointed with, but I don’t understand what I see as a erroronous reaction to the statement that we are not a win at all costs program. Of course this would not be the first wrong conclusion jumped to. While there are some whose boasting privileges may be so precious that they can justify any means to satisfy their desired ends, there are hopefully more that would find it unacceptable for the NCAA or FBI to be snooping around. The fact that we don’t pay the Cam Newtons of the world, Does not mean we don 't want to win. I don 't automatically blame our culture of trying to do things the right way with losing.

The fact that we don’t know the plan, does not mean there are not plans. Not sure it is realistic for us to know that much detail. Whether one is comfortable with the various responsible parties, most are not going to have impact in the short term, so patience and trust will help with the short term misery. I guess if that does not work, then I guess the absence of the fans will lead the change.

Keith, that is a very good post. One of the most substantive
I have read in the last couple of days.

Thanks for sharing something worth reading.

I’ve always liked you Keith so please forgive my frustration and struggle with my decision to let Arkansas go or endure a while longer

Again im not an Alumni - simply the product of Arkansas dirt farmers who took pride in a winning program that bore the home state’s name as champions -

My needs are met now - it’s now a question of how I spend time and resources in support of activities I enjoy

Why should I support a losing program that reliably fails to perform?

Again I’m not an Alumni with emotional connections to the University where marketers can continue to sale a bad product because of my emotional connections

The FBI note is a good point - I live in a city that is grieving because of underhanded dealing to win at all costs

But that integrity level is the base line not the end state

I’m not hearing “Strategic Vision” being communicated our leadership is serious about winning

Infact - I’m hearing a condescending tone from leadership towards fans who expect what has been promised for so long

On communication from leadership;

(Please note a Strategic Vision communicates intent and direction not details - such as 1st Cav’s Div CDR guidance in Baghdad 2004; " Be polite, be professional be prepaired to kill". )

I get that our leadership is serious about the baseline but being exceptional is not base line and exceptional sure isn’t indicative of repeated failure like fans have endured for years at Arkansas

Where is the leadership and what is the basic business plan ?

Or does our leadership with all that intregity need to come clean and admit they can’t win at Arkansas ?

I’m following what has been ronised and the record shows the words and practice of our leadership doesn’t match - great educators require performance to standards - this isn’t even good education

I no longer think it’s a coaching problem at Arkansas - it’s looking like a system failure

That said - My moving on will be no big loss - but I also think I’m representive of a (let’s say market ) population who is seeing a downward trend that our current leadership is comfortable with and I am not willing to support with time, resources, energy and end emotional investment

So respectful communication that hears the frustration - that can communicate it’s still focused on winning at a national level is key to me

There is a question innned of answering - Can Arkansas compete in football in today’s environment at a national level ?

Use that intregity - address the question - Or admit that isn’t the reality

No matter what

The Alumni fan base will remain and the Ark Corp base will too - because there is no other options in Arkansas

and University of Arkansas fans will not be embarrised by dirt farmer fans who need to feel good because Arkansas has a winning program - because we can move on

What would make you think were not committed?

He Brought in a 3 time big ten champion coach and paid him and his staff well

Renovating stadium for $100 million

BB just hasn’t worked out…

That’s the best answer I’ve heard in a while

Thank you for a cogent concise refocus

Now what is the way forward ?

That’s a rhetorical question out of d frustration and weariness of substandard performance

That is a new way of looking at it that has been lost in the hysteria of the fire him now and switch to the spread crowd

Why can’t we have a team that is good academically and good on the field in the same year ? We have two people in place to make that happen in my opinion,that’s Bielema & Enos, CBB because he recruits good kids and most parents want their kids playing for someone they trust, Enos has proven himself to make the offense very good when he has a O-line that can protect his QB, having had a top passer and RB last season I continue to believe in his ability to field a good offense. Willingness to spend more money for coaches on both lines and a special teams coach is imperative and will have to be done no matter who’s is the head coach if we are to become a winning program. We as fans have had plenty of changes that we have wanted to see such as , stop losing to non conference teams,change the defense scheme, change kickers, QB that’s not named Allen but not choice,recruit more speed,change OC & DC, play up tempo, all of these things have been done. Kelly has looked good at times and will look better behind a better line, kicking has improved at least I’m not holding my breath every time he runs on the field, he also kicking through end zone some,defense is marginally better, O-line became weaker yesterday and injuries have stifled us since May. As bad as it looks we have young players all over the field and some are doing a very good job and most will improve as season continues and in the long run this will become a seasoned team eventually. My two biggest issues is poor tackling and blocking,I can’t stand fundamental deficiencies.Making changes in the asst coaches is the first step to correcting some problems but only if your willing to pay to get top seasoned guys available or get the consensus upcoming young coaches, if we are not willing to spend the money the suffering will continue. By seasons end if our coaches can’t find a way to motivate the team so we see a increase of grit and determination by the players and getting some wins then it will be time for a complete house cleaning and start over from scratch as bad as I hate to see that happen. WPS

  1. The decision to “let go” is not just for fans who did not go to UofA (I went for law school not undergrad, but I went!). There does come a time when you have to do a “cost/benefit analysis.” I am 54. Not old, but sure not young anymore. Is the emotional and financial investment of being a fan a good investment? For some, even in persistent losing, it is a good investment. They enjoy the wins and shrug off the losses (my wife is that way). For others, the losses are soul crushing (especially when they continue and there is no light at the end of the tunnel).

  2. Piggybacker is correct in that I think Long is committed to winning. He did hire what appeared to be a winning coach. (I didn’t like the hire but it wasn’t because I didn’t think BB was a proven winner, I didn’t think he could make us a top 10 team year in year out, but I sure didn’t think he would turn us into bottom feeders either).

  3. Is being “committed to winning” enough? I don’t think it is. I can be committed to being an Olympic sprinter, I can be more committed to that than anyone else has ever been, but it isn’t going to happen. It could be that it just can’t happen here. Now I am not saying (yet) that it can’t happen here, but I am close to saying that. Danny Ford won a National Title at Clemson, failed here. BB won 3 Big 10 titles (that is probably more impressive that winning one National Title at Clemson), failed here. Holtz was starting to fail here (I do think JFB fired him way to quick and he might have turned things around), won big at ND (but not at SC, so…) JFB was great in the 60’s, but by the 70’s not so much. Had a few good years, but never in the running for a National Title after 1969).

  4. The best response is to hope for better times but put up with the bad times. However, for some of us, that really isn’t possible. I care to much. I can’t just be a casual fan. My personality is either “all in or not in at all.”

We have to face that Coach B Wisconsin approach has failed miserably. Long knows that the fans are leaving the sinking ship. He has a tough decision to face at the end of the year. I always thought that Coach B would be here next year, but after seeing the state of the program, I don’t think so. Are there young coaches out that can bring hope to our program? Certainly… Campbell at Iowa State and Norvell at Memphis are just two. The pressure on Long is building… his reputation is on the line on his major hires… Dykes was a good guy but a horrible women’s basketball coach. CoachB is a good guy but now appears to be the another wrong choice…Anderson is a good guy but still is questionable. Long may have one more chance to get it right. For the Razorback nation, I hope he makes the right decision.

Bluegrass, I don’t claim to know you well; in fact, I don’t “know” you at all, personally.

But I have read hundreds of your posts over the years, and we have even had some direct back and forth communication a few times. So, I think I have at least a sense of “who you are”.

For that reason, it gets my attention when you grouse about walking away from the program. Whether you end up doing so, or not, the very fact that someone who had followed the Razorbacks as long and as enthusiastically as you have (as gleaned from your posts) even entertains the thought is a sign of just how frustrated our fan base is becoming.

I must admit, I’ve thought about how “un-fun” it is to sit through and watch games this season. I’ve wondered about what I’d do and how long I could take it if every season was like this; in other words, if we were Vanderbilt or Rice or TCU (back in the SWC days of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s) or New Mexico, Northwestern, ULM, etc. Those programs have a good year every now and then, but their normal expectation is a 4-8 season.

However, I do think this can turn around. By that, I mean return to what has become normal for Arkansas in the SEC - 6 to 8 wins, with the occasional 9/10 wins or 4/5 win season. That’s who we were under Nutt and Petrino. Looked like we were headed that way again under CBB in 2014 through 2016, but the end of last season and this year’s fiasco have us trending the exact opposite of where we ought to be in year 5.

I hate to admit it, but each year, I grow less and less optimistic about our realistic chances of every really breaking out with a Championship season in the SEC. If we do, I fear, it will be one of those fluke years when we win 9 or 10 games and the team on the other side has 2 or 3 losses - meaning we wouldn’t be included in the CFP even as SEC Champions. Still - I’d take it in a heartbeat. I’m just not sure I will see that in my lifetime at this point.

I was musing with another older Hog fan (like myself) recently, and the fact is that we no longer are the program we were when “us olders” first saw it - an elite program up there with Alabama and Texas (because it truly WAS from the late 50’s through the entire decade of the 60’s). And, although not quite at THAT level, it remained a perennial Top 25 program through the 70’s and 80’s. But the reality is that it hasn’t been at that level since we joined the SEC; yet, those Razorback fans 50 and older still - mostly - think Arkansas should be an elite program. Worse, they act as if we still are. Yes, we’ve had our moments here and there, but to someone NOT in the state of Arkansas (or, a Hog fan outside the state), we are correctly viewed as a program on a level with Miss. State, South Carolina, Mizzou and Ole Miss. It truly pains me to add that, in the perception of the nation, A&M is now a tier above us (as is TCU, by the way). I would not have thought that possible my entire life, until about 5 years ago.

The Razorback football brand I grew up with and followed for years, that struck fear into much of the nation, is no more.

But, I remain encouraged that if TCU, Oregon, Baylor, Oklahoma State and others can elevate from what I remember them to be to where they are now, CERTAINLY, we can too. We may not have the panache and swagger that we once did, but at least we’ve got the tradition and know we CAN be at that level. And we’ve also got the facilities, fan base and donor support to make it happen. We’ve just got to re-vitalize the program.

This is a critical time for Razorback football. I don’t know the answer, but I’m hoping those charged with making the decisions make the right ones.

Wiz your post is very good. I’m 64 and remember the “Good Ole Days”. There was the 69 Texas game, the 75 A&M game, the 77 Orange Bowl and lots of others. Arkansas was a major player and respected, now we are the butt of a joke made by the Arkansas State coach and not feared or respected by anybody as evidenced by all of the 11:00 am game times. I don’t know if we will ever be back among the ones considered the elite.

Wiz, well said. I imagine you have voiced what many of
us are feeling. I love being a Razorback-win or lose. From
the first day I laid eyes on Fayetteville, I have been a Razorback. Yocum Hall, ninth floor.

On the other hand, I hate losing. Winning is a way bigger
emotional bump. But, I will pull for my Razorbacks come
rain or shine. Come on, Razorbacks make the sun shine brighter.

Go Hogs! Beat Ole Miss.

Wizard and Blue. What do you know about me?

I was born in Fay. Arkansas in 1954.
My parents rented from John Barnhill, across from the FB stadium.
At 7-8 years old a neighbor took me to FB games in Fay and LR.
I didn’t make the 69 game but my sister going to school there did.
I have been giving to the foundation since 1975.
I had FB tickets on the 40 yard line. My company matched my donation. (Then that stopped)
I could get Basketball no problem.
Then Eddie changed that.
So I had a decision to make FB or BB.
I went with BB. and have HAD tickets for 34 years. I have flown all over the country and driven to watch my Hogs.

I picked BB because Eddie played like my high school coach Gayle Kaundart.

And now due to health and making 5 games last year the RUN is over for me.

I love and respect both of you (and others) but I just can’t afford JL any more.

Remember we were warned buy, was it Pitt.? What JL would do. He has followed serve just as predicted.This season has just crushed my hopes. I AGAIN thought we could beat Auburn.

I’m like Rick Sch. (spell?) I always in my mind figure no matter wat the score all we need to do now and make this a game.

Have I given up? Not really but the reason I like college game it’s a game. Well with the scandles going on in BB and cheaters in FB they are doing a good job and crushing “The Game”.

SO if they can make you Blue have these feelings and ME to some extent WHAT do you think our age group is doing.

All I can say is hang in there, I’m just one step behind me.

Now I am a grad and look at all the ties I have to Fay. And yet we are in the same boat.

[size=150][color=#FF0000]NOT GOOD[/color][/size]

Wiz your post is very good. I’m 64 and remember the “Good Ole Days”.
[/quote]We are the same age.

Wow You Olympic sprinter comment has my attention