Arkansas Football 2017 Preview
Part 1: Pointing Fingers
by Chase Gage
Aug 2, 2017
Bret Bielema is not an SEC caliber coach. Jeff Long is an incapable Athletic Director. Arkansas football is a joke.
Football at the University of Arkansas has been laughable since a motorcycle crash ended what could have been the start of something special.
Frank Broyles retired Dec 31, 2007. The next game? A blowout Cotton Bowl loss to Missouri (38-7). A sign of things to come? Since then (not including that game), the University of Arkansas has won 63 games in nine years. That equates to seven wins a year. Take into consideration that Bobby Petrino led the Hogs to a 10-win season followed by an even more impressive 11-win season and seven wins a year looks less like an accomplishment and more like a hollow excuse for mediocrity.
Before we move on, remember that when it comes to football, there are no excuses. You can tell yourself whatever you like that will make you feel better, but in the end, winning is what matters, and Arkansas seems to be incapable of doing just that.
“Give him more time!”, “Just wait until next year, you’ll see!”
Sounds like a broken record to me. I’ve watched every single Razorback football game since 2006 (I turned 11 that year). When is “next year” going to come? I’ve given it 11 years, and I’m not holding back anymore. Not because I hate the team, but because I love it and know that it deserves better. Don’t mistake harsh criticism for hate, but get ready to face the facts.
I won’t even get going today. I’ll save my energy for when the season starts. So, let’s just start with some simple statistics. Those are easy enough to digest, right?
Record by Season, Jeff Long Era
|2008||Bobby Petrino (5-7, 2-6 SEC)|
|2009||Bobby Petrino (8-5, 3-5 SEC)|
|2010||Bobby Petrino (10-3, 6-2 SEC)|
|2011||Bobby Petrino (11-2, 6-2 SEC)|
|2012||John L. Smith (4-8, 2-6 SEC)|
|2013||Bret Bielema (3-9, 0-8 SEC)|
|2014||Bret Bielema (7-6, 2-6 SEC)|
|2015||Bret Bielema (8-5, 5-3 SEC)|
|2016||Bret Bielema (7-6, 3-5 SEC)|
Record by Coach, Jeff Long Era
- Overall: 34-17(.667)
- SEC: 17-15 (.531)
John L. Smith:
- Overall: 4-8 (.333)
- SEC: 2-6 (.250)
- Overall: 25-26 (.490)
- SEC: 10-22 (.313)
How can such mediocrity be allowed to manifest for so long? When will we take a stand against underwhelming football? This is the SEC. Either learn how to win or leave the conference. This is big boy football and the Hogs are content with playing pee-wee.
Coach Petrino was a great coach (on the field, at least), but since his incident, there has been a lack of strong leadership at the University. Five long years of subpar performances, unfathomable losses (56-3 to Auburn!?!?) and too much heartbreak to go around has taken a toll on us fans.
Who is to blame?
I don’t have the answer, but I know a couple of candidates (make sure to read my article on Coach B if you haven’t already). I guess we’ll wait and see because all Arkansas fans know how to do is wait for something good to happen, though it never comes.