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  • #1 by Bacon_Bitz on 06 Jan 2017
  • Progress in football, as in all of life, is rarely linear.  There will be setbacks.  This year was a setback.  But one step backwards does not mean that another step backwards is inevitable.  Progress for all but the very elite (Saban, Swinney, Meyer, probably Harbaugh) is in fits and starts.

    I agree that it is put up or shut up time for CBB.  He sees this too, pointing to year 5 as the year in a recent presser.  We all see this.  But I still believe in giving him a chance to finish this rebuild.  We are closer than you think.  We've averaged 7.33 wins the past three years.  That's probably the historic average for Arkansas.  What's our ceiling?  Probably 9.33 wins.  These two additional wins were left on the field the past two years.  There were some lucky wins too but anybody can see that if the team had just a little more depth, a little more execution, a little more creativity in playcalling, a little more coaching, a little more talent, the Razorbacks could get over the ump and get to that next level.

    This year was frustrating, but the past three years overall have still shown progress.  Take a long view.  If the team takes another step forward in the overall trajectory next year, the Hogs could break through to 9 or 10 wins and I believe stay at that level for the foreseeable future.

    Progress in life for everyone but the truly elite or the truly lucky is made in fits and starts.  There's still hope for progress.
  • #2 by ArkansasI on 06 Jan 2017
  • Nice post.  I agree this is possible, though some of Bret's decisions have left me shaking my head.

    The next month and a half - national signing day, staff status - will be fairly revealing.  We're all concerned about the results of the last two games - perhaps most importantly their impact upon our fans.
  • #3 by FutureMan on 06 Jan 2017
  • Great post - agree.
  • #4 by go hogues on 06 Jan 2017
  • We're all concerned about the results of the last two games - perhaps most importantly their impact upon our fans.
    Meh. In spring ball, the writers will be telling us it's the best looking defense they've seen at Arkansas. In fall camp, these guys will "look like an SEC team getting off the bus", fans will get excited, buy tickets to the SW Classic, fill RRS and then we'll finish around 6-6 again.
  • #5 by FraggleHog on 06 Jan 2017
  • Progress in football, as in all of life, is rarely linear.  There will be setbacks.  This year was a setback.  But one step backwards does not mean that another step backwards is inevitable.  Progress for all but the very elite (Saban, Swinney, Meyer, probably Harbaugh) is in fits and starts.

    I agree that it is put up or shut up time for CBB.  He sees this too, pointing to year 5 as the year in a recent presser.  We all see this.  But I still believe in giving him a chance to finish this rebuild.  We are closer than you think.  We've averaged 7.33 wins the past three years.  That's probably the historic average for Arkansas.  What's our ceiling?  Probably 9.33 wins.  These two additional wins were left on the field the past two years.  There were some lucky wins too but anybody can see that if the team had just a little more depth, a little more execution, a little more creativity in playcalling, a little more coaching, a little more talent, the Razorbacks could get over the ump and get to that next level.

    This year was frustrating, but the past three years overall have still shown progress.  Take a long view.  If the team takes another step forward in the overall trajectory next year, the Hogs could break through to 9 or 10 wins and I believe stay at that level for the foreseeable future.

    Progress in life for everyone but the truly elite or the truly lucky is made in fits and starts.  There's still hope for progress.

    +1

    Going into the season, some pundits were saying Bielema deserved COY if he got to .500 this season. Yes the last two games made me  :puke:, but 7 wins this season is not bad. Ole Miss didn't go off a cliff until Swag Kelly got hurt. La Tech had one of the most explosive offenses in the nation. Miss St had a bad season record wise, but it was still a win in a hostile road environment. Arkansas TOTALLY dominated the SEC East champs who blew out Iowa in the bowl. I want Bielema to see this thing through. It looks like we have help on the way in positions of need on both offense and defense. He knows its time to $hit or get off the pot. I still believe.
  • #6 by Razorbackers on 06 Jan 2017
  • Meh. In spring ball, the writers will be telling us it's the best looking defense they've seen at Arkansas.

    And when media members tell you where the problems are and what is a weakness, they'll get blasted on Hogville and turned into a pariah. lol
  • #7 by gawntrail on 06 Jan 2017
  • I love NWA.  The schools are great.  Moderate weather.  Lots of opportunity.  Overall a great place to live.
  • #8 by Biggus Piggus on 06 Jan 2017
  • Meh. In spring ball, the writers will be telling us it's the best looking defense they've seen at Arkansas. In fall camp, these guys will "look like an SEC team getting off the bus", fans will get excited, buy tickets to the SW Classic, fill RRS and then we'll finish around 6-6 again.

    I don't believe "best looking defense" is accurate, but they were overly impressed with the defensive line against a horrible Oline.
  • #9 by jgphillips3 on 06 Jan 2017
  • I don't believe "best looking defense" is accurate, but they were overly impressed with the defensive line against a horrible Oline.

    That is always the dilemma watching a team play itself. 
  • #10 by LRRandy on 06 Jan 2017
  • That is always the dilemma watching a team play itself.
    particularly when a team goes 1's against 2's in scrimmages instead of good on good.
  • #11 by code red on 06 Jan 2017
  • 25-26......Coach B has to own it.  Coach B may know how to rebuild a program...but it is not from coaching experience.  He has never had to rebuild at Wiskey....he was basically given the keys to a Ferrari.
  • #12 by Bacon_Bitz on 07 Jan 2017
  • Great post OP. The offense should definitely improve with all the returning experience and incoming high level JUCOs next year, as long as Enos sticks around. If the defense can take as big as a step forward as in the first year of our last D.C. hire, we should be good to go. The problem the past three years has been we have always had either a wel above average offense or defense but never both.
  • #13 by rtr on 07 Jan 2017
  • 2015 was a golden opportunity for a 10 win season.  Hello Toledo, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, and Mississippi State.
  • #14 by Inhogswetrust on 07 Jan 2017
  • 25-26......Coach B has to own it.  Coach B may know how to rebuild a program...but it is not from coaching experience.  He has never had to rebuild at Wiskey....he was basically given the keys to a Ferrari.

    More like a Ram trunk but your point is understood.
  • #15 by Sow Lancelot on 07 Jan 2017
  • Progress in football, as in all of life, is rarely linear.  There will be setbacks.  This year was a setback.  But one step backwards does not mean that another step backwards is inevitable.  Progress for all but the very elite (Saban, Swinney, Meyer, probably Harbaugh) is in fits and starts.

    I agree that it is put up or shut up time for CBB.  He sees this too, pointing to year 5 as the year in a recent presser.  We all see this.  But I still believe in giving him a chance to finish this rebuild.  We are closer than you think.  We've averaged 7.33 wins the past three years.  That's probably the historic average for Arkansas.  What's our ceiling?  Probably 9.33 wins.  These two additional wins were left on the field the past two years.  There were some lucky wins too but anybody can see that if the team had just a little more depth, a little more execution, a little more creativity in playcalling, a little more coaching, a little more talent, the Razorbacks could get over the ump and get to that next level.

    This year was frustrating, but the past three years overall have still shown progress.  Take a long view.  If the team takes another step forward in the overall trajectory next year, the Hogs could break through to 9 or 10 wins and I believe stay at that level for the foreseeable future.

    Progress in life for everyone but the truly elite or the truly lucky is made in fits and starts.  There's still hope for progress.
    Nah, surely the best thing is to burn it all down and start over. You know the "reinvent-the-wheel-every-four-years" strategy.

    +1 by the way
  • #16 by IMABIELEMA on 07 Jan 2017
  • Progress in football, as in all of life, is rarely linear.  There will be setbacks.  This year was a setback.  But one step backwards does not mean that another step backwards is inevitable.  Progress for all but the very elite (Saban, Swinney, Meyer, probably Harbaugh) is in fits and starts.

    I agree that it is put up or shut up time for CBB.  He sees this too, pointing to year 5 as the year in a recent presser.  We all see this.  But I still believe in giving him a chance to finish this rebuild.  We are closer than you think.  We've averaged 7.33 wins the past three years.  That's probably the historic average for Arkansas.  What's our ceiling?  Probably 9.33 wins.  These two additional wins were left on the field the past two years.  There were some lucky wins too but anybody can see that if the team had just a little more depth, a little more execution, a little more creativity in playcalling, a little more coaching, a little more talent, the Razorbacks could get over the ump and get to that next level.

    This year was frustrating, but the past three years overall have still shown progress.  Take a long view.  If the team takes another step forward in the overall trajectory next year, the Hogs could break through to 9 or 10 wins and I believe stay at that level for the foreseeable future.

    Progress in life for everyone but the truly elite or the truly lucky is made in fits and starts.  There's still hope for progress.

    Haha you claim this year was a setback?  This year is An AVERAGE year in Arkansas history.
  • #17 by Poker_hog on 07 Jan 2017
  • I assumed this year would be a 7-5 type year because of a new qb.  But that wasn't the issue at all.  The issue was the guys in the trenches, basically the foundation of a Bret team.  That is the concerning part, I assumed Bret would have excellent line play at this point in his tenure.
  • #18 by cosmodrum on 07 Jan 2017
  • We won't win more than 6 games next year.
  • #19 by WilsonHog on 07 Jan 2017
  • The concern comes not so much from our record, which was close to what many expected, but from the way three of those six losses occurred; an embarrassing 56-3 loss at Auburn and being outscored 56-0 in the second halves of the Missouri and Virginia Tech games.

    It would be a very different feel among the fan base if we had finished 9-4, which we certainly should have.
  • #20 by Arthur pigby sellers. on 07 Jan 2017
  • I assumed this year would be a 7-5 type year because of a new qb.  But that wasn't the issue at all.  The issue was the guys in the trenches, basically the foundation of a Bret team.  That is the concerning part, I assumed Bret would have excellent line play at this point in his tenure.
    I also thought we would be 7-5 because of an experienced QB behind a thin inexperienced line, but Austin exceeded my expectations and the offense had a pretty good  year. I give our offensive staff a lot of credit for this. I mistakenly thought the defense would have a top 50 defensive year. I give the defensive staff the blame for some of this, and I'm pleased to see CBB addressing the situation.
  • #21 by LZH on 08 Jan 2017
  • It was like 1 degrees (is that even plural?) yesterday morning. No thanks.
  • #22 by BoarnSupremacy on 08 Jan 2017
  • I don't want to see decades old records for futility and ineptness broken.  We broke several this year.  That's not what I expected this year and certainly shouldn't by anybody.  If anything close to this happens next year then its broken.  I expected progress not horrible regression.  That's not unreasonable.
  • #23 by Hogs958 on 08 Jan 2017
  • The honeymoon is over. I'll be interested to see how CBB does when he's on the hot seat.
  • #24 by 12247 on 08 Jan 2017
  • Wilson, a 9-4 record, which was doable, would have me eating crow and having to admit that I never expected Bret to get there considering the bad losses we incurred this year.  Unfortunately, I didn't have to eat crow.  He was as bad as the record indicates.

    We can look at any year and see 2 wins that should have been and those  wins would not have come from better talent, but from better coaching decisions such as having a #2 QB that was dependable and useable or from horrible calls by BB on offense or by not knowing your personnel and leaving very good players  wearing out their cleats standing on the sidelines.  I offer the player talent in each of Bret's first 4 years here has been at least 2 wins better than their production.
  • #25 by 12247 on 08 Jan 2017
  • Remember, no 2 a days in 2015.  These Guys started the season about as conditioned as an over 40 softball team after a couple of cases of Bud.
  • #26 by Hogs958 on 08 Jan 2017
  • Wilson, a 9-4 record, which was doable, would have me eating crow and having to admit that I never expected Bret to get there considering the bad losses we incurred this year.  Unfortunately, I didn't have to eat crow.  He was as bad as the record indicates.

    We can look at any year and see 2 wins that should have been and those  wins would not have come from better talent, but from better coaching decisions such as having a #2 QB that was dependable and useable or from horrible calls by BB on offense or by not knowing your personnel and leaving very good players  wearing out their cleats standing on the sidelines.  I offer the player talent in each of Bret's first 4 years here has been at least 2 wins better than their production.

    good post. It's frustrating to have a team on the verge, but can't quite turn that corner.

    CBB has his work cut out for him next year.
  • #27 by LSUFan on 08 Jan 2017
  • Remember, no 2 a days in 2015.  These Guys started the season about as conditioned as an over 40 softball team after a couple of cases of Bud.
    Jelly sammiches and Natty Light.
  • #28 by cosmodrum on 08 Jan 2017
  • I do agree that the path to success isnt linear, but the way we lost some of our games this season is alarming.
  • #29 by EastexHawg on 08 Jan 2017
  • Meh. In spring ball, the writers will be telling us it's the best looking defense they've seen at Arkansas. In fall camp, these guys will "look like an SEC team getting off the bus", fans will get excited, buy tickets to the SW Classic, fill RRS and then we'll finish around 6-6 again.

    You forgot the body building pics from the weight room, and the swooning as if other teams are sitting around eating Twinkies all offseason.
  • #30 by LSUFan on 08 Jan 2017
  • You forgot the body building pics from the weight room, and the swooning as if other teams are sitting around eating Twinkies all offseason.
    You forgot the hype videos on Youtube.
  • #31 by ICEman on 09 Jan 2017
  • So one game above 0.500 is par for the course for a $100,000,000+ program. This seems a bit below par.
  • #32 by DeltaBoy on 09 Jan 2017
  • Progress in football, as in all of life, is rarely linear.  There will be setbacks.  This year was a setback.  But one step backwards does not mean that another step backwards is inevitable.  Progress for all but the very elite (Saban, Swinney, Meyer, probably Harbaugh) is in fits and starts.

    I agree that it is put up or shut up time for CBB.  He sees this too, pointing to year 5 as the year in a recent presser.  We all see this.  But I still believe in giving him a chance to finish this rebuild.  We are closer than you think.  We've averaged 7.33 wins the past three years.  That's probably the historic average for Arkansas.  What's our ceiling?  Probably 9.33 wins.  These two additional wins were left on the field the past two years.  There were some lucky wins too but anybody can see that if the team had just a little more depth, a little more execution, a little more creativity in playcalling, a little more coaching, a little more talent, the Razorbacks could get over the ump and get to that next level.

    This year was frustrating, but the past three years overall have still shown progress.  Take a long view.  If the team takes another step forward in the overall trajectory next year, the Hogs could break through to 9 or 10 wins and I believe stay at that level for the foreseeable future.

    Progress in life for everyone but the truly elite or the truly lucky is made in fits and starts.  There's still hope for progress.

    This staff just had too many Brain Farts this year.
  • #33 by oldfart on 09 Jan 2017
  • It was like 1 degrees (is that even plural?) yesterday morning. No thanks.

    how cold was it elsewhere? unless you were in florida
  • #34 by buldozer on 09 Jan 2017
  • So one game above 0.500 is par for the course for a $100,000,000+ program. This seems a bit below par.
    It is. Don't let these folks compare the current program expectations to past SWC performance. Now the Razorback program has top notch facilities, is a top earning program and can afford to pay the best coaches. Back in the SWC days we were way back in the pack in all categories and had a legitimate excuse for not putting more wins on the board every year
  • #35 by hawgfan4life on 09 Jan 2017
  • Nice post.  I agree this is possible, though some of Bret's decisions have left me shaking my head.

    The next month and a half - national signing day, staff status - will be fairly revealing.  We're all concerned about the results of the last two games - perhaps most importantly their impact upon our fans.

    Almost all coaches will leave you shaking your head when they lose games.  Fans leave me shaking my head far more than the coaches do. 
  • #36 by Al Boarland on 09 Jan 2017
  • There were some lucky wins too but anybody can see that if the team had just a little more depth, a little more execution, a little more creativity in playcalling, a little more coaching, a little more talent, the Razorbacks could get over the ump and get to that next level.

    ^^
    Sounds good. Not sure where CBB is going to get MORE of any of the above. He does good just to try to replace the talent that leaves. The depth just looks isn't  there. This program plays whack a mole in recruiting. One position group will be good while another sucks. Rinse a repeat.
  • #37 by MuskogeeHogFan on 09 Jan 2017
  • There were some lucky wins too but anybody can see that if the team had just a little more depth, a little more execution, a little more creativity in playcalling, a little more coaching, a little more talent, the Razorbacks could get over the ump and get to that next level.

    ^^
    Sounds good. Not sure where CBB is going to get MORE of any of the above. He does good just to try to replace the talent that leaves. The depth just looks isn't  there. This program plays whack a mole in recruiting. One position group will be good while another sucks. Rinse a repeat.

    You have to be lucky to some extent, every team does. Here is my concern.

    Supposedly, Robb Smith's big thing was excellent tackling. I think we saw some of that in 2014.

    But did he forget how to teach that technique of tackling prior to 2015 and 2016? Did he forget how to teach that concept and form to his staff so that they could teach that to their players?

    Did the players forget the technique that they were taught?

    Was talent level a part of that? Speed to be in position to make a tackle certainly plays a part, but less speed is needed if there is a well planned scheme for each opponent that helps put players in a better position to make a tackle to begin with.

    But the bottom line is that the "sure-tackling" technique that Robb Smith believed in when he came here never seemed to take root beyond that first season.

    How low is the bar for measured success and improvement for the next DC? Pretty low. Allowing just 1 yard less per play on average this season would have produced a top 30 defense in terms of total defensive yards allowed. That wouldn't have cured all of our problems as we still had a tendency to have breakdowns on offense in the second half of games. But I'll bet that allowing just 63 yards per game less this season might have produced at least 2 more wins and might have made closer wins, not as close.

    We aren't without defensive talent. We aren't Alabama, but we aren't completely bereft of talent either. Whatever else the new DC brings to the table the goal needs to be better tackling that doesn't allow all of the extra yards that we did this year after first contact. Allow 1 yard less per play in 2017 and everyone will be singing the praises of the new DC, whomever that winds up being.
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