What happened to Hog football

This has already been discussed as nauseum. But there is one thing that has not been mentioned.

And that is, style over substance. A couple of stories. I guess it was back in 1988 or 89. I had gone to grad school in southeast Texas, and my fiancé (now wife) was working in Houston. I went to a Razorback watch party at a club in Houston, and watched a Hatfield led team throttle a team we were supposed to beat. And I remember so clearly Hog fans just screaming at the big screen “PASS THE BALL! THIS ISN’T EXCITING!.” I remember arguing with them then…that Hatfield was a winner…and so what if they didn’t think his triple option was sexy. Personally I thought Quinn Grovey running that option was plenty exciting.

But those guys didn’t.

Years later, even when Houston Nutt was winning, I heard people just scream (and I include rants on this board…I remember going round and round against MalvernHog…whom I now miss) PASS the ball! Even when we had #5! I recall being in the stands and literally turning around and asking why some fan was so mad that we had run the ball over 50 times when 1) we were winning, and 2) we had Darren and Felix and Peyton on the team! Now, I know Houston lost a chunk of the fanbase due to other reasons…but I do think I am on to something.

And I am sure because of Petrino. Bobby Petrino has a sexy offense. And he won. But his record is not better than Hatfield’s.

Ken Hatfield: 7-4-1 . Bobby Petrino . 5-7
10-2 8-5
9-3 10-3
9-4 11-2

Hatfield got roasted for saying “Jesus wept.” Petrino got fired for…well…you all know.
Some fans never forgave Hatfield for his personality and losing to Texas.

And yet…some fans want Bobby back EVEN NOW! I don’t recall our fans pining for Kenny, a native son, former Hog star, like some have for Bobby. I personally believe its because of style over substance. Many Hog fans, maybe even a majority, want to win AND have a sexy offense. Lots of passing specifically (because Hatfield and Nutt’s teams had plenty of explosive running plays). So when it came time to replace Brett, who was losing AND had a running offense, I think the mandate was to hire a coach with an “exciting” offense. Who is honest and moral (and good for them on that one), and was an “offensive mind.”

So…the moral is this, if Morris doesn’t turn this around and if he loses his job, I hope we go with a coach with a winning record at some level of college football, and who has integrity, and who possesses a personality capable of uniting a fanbase that never has really recovered from the Nutt-Malzahn-Mitch-Beck-planes flying-DUI debacle. And, who is an all-around ball coach who is a leader. Not just an “offensive mind.”

Pretty much everyone runs some sort of spread these days, so maybe the allergy to “non-exciting offense” isn’t as much of a factor now. I will say I like what both Tulane, Louisville and App State are running…and I think it would suit our current roster and be easier to recruit to…
I like Memphis too, but it seems Norvell is a non-starter.

I hope Morris turns it around. I do. He can recruit and he is clearly a decent, good man. But I now have significant doubts about a turn around. (Hope I am wrong). So if we do wind up with a coaching search, I personally hope style over substance doesn’t prevail. And I do care about what type of person our coach is. Not his religious beliefs or his politics. That’s none of my business. But his ethics are everyone’s business.

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Great post!

Hatfield and Nutt were two of the best we ever had.

Both grew up in Arkansas. Both were Hogs the core.

Our fans tuned on both.

Maybe our fans deserve a share of the blame.

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Style over substance. And maybe a complex about how we (Arkansans) are viewed nationally…to the point of almost preferring someone from “off.” I agree. I think the way Hatfield and Nutt were treated was shameful. And that’s certainly part, though not all, of the current situation.

Nailed it southpaw…

When Hatfield was here, people got tired of “Barry Foster up the middle.” Wow, what I wouldn’t give for that now!

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Watching Quinn Grovey as a kid under Hatfield is what made me a Razorback fan.

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I have said before and it fits this just perfect. I don’t care what style we run as long as we have more points at the end, be it 100-99 or 3-2. I don’t care!

How excited would this board be next week if we won the game 2-0? Or more probably, there would be bitching about no offense.

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