Let’s face it, the 2012 Arkansas Razorbacks were the team to feel sorry for last season after finishing 4-8 overall and 2-6 in the SEC.
Before the 2012 season, Arkansas was ranked as a Top 10 team, but that all came crashing down when former head coach Bobby Petrino decided to come crashing down in his motorcycle that led to a scandal with a young, blonde Arkansas employee. Athletic director Jeff Long hired John L. Smith as the 2012 interim head coach.
The entire football world watched Arkansas plummet into the ground last season. I almost wanted to hug the entire team because I felt like I was watching children that had just dropped all their ice cream on a hot pavement.
It’s no question that Bobby Petrino is a mastermind when it comes to the offensive side of the ball, but that man disgusts me for making a decision that left an entire team so broken. It baffles me that Arkansas fans actually would call into sport talk shows and say that they would hire Bobby Petrino back after the decision was said and done to let Petrino go.
The grass has now gotten greener on the other side for “Razorback Nation.” AD Jeff Long hired former Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema to take over the “feel sorry for” Razorbacks.
Bielema focuses more on the defensive side of the ball and let’s his OC’s take care of the offensive side, which is polar opposite of Petrino. Take note that Bret Bielema is the same coach that said to The Sporting News in February 2012:
“I can tell you this: We at the Big 10 don’t want to be like the SEC---in any way, shape, or form.”
Who doesn’t want to be a part of a conference that maintains control over the last seven national championships and consistently be considered the best conference in the nation? Yes, I know he made the comment referring to Ohio State coach and former Florida coach Urban Meyer on his recruiting tactics but there is no need to get butt hurt about a conference that is statistically better than yours (referring when Bielema was at Wisconsin).
I bet that Bret Bielema said a cuss word after saying yes to the Arkansas coaching job because he knew he would catch crap for that comment he made. Low and behold at the 2013 SEC spring meetings he got to reverse his comment about what he said about the SEC.
“That was about one coach and one instance,” stated Bielema.
Bielema not only reversed his statement, he then took a stab at the Big 10 by making them look like sissies and said;
“In the Big 10, we disliked the SEC because of the success they had.”
Golf claps for Bielema! Also, the SEC still has (not had) the same success and now you get to be a part of it (Arkansas fans hope). Many improvements need to be made in order for Arkansas to be a real threat in the SEC. This year is going to be a rebuilding stage for Arkansas and Bielema may have one of the toughest schedules in doing so. Below is my game to game predictions on Arkansas’s win and losses this season; it isn’t pretty.
8/31 UL Lafayette – Win
9/7 Samford- Win
9/14 Southern Miss- Win
9/21 at Rutgers- Lose
9/28 Texas A&M – Lose
10/5 at Florida- Lose
10/12 South Carolina – Lose
10/19 at Alabama- Lose
11/2 Auburn- Win
11/9 at Ole Miss – Lose
11/23 Mississippi State- Win
11/29 at LSU- Lose
Final Projection: 5-7
I am actually being nice, because I could see Arkansas only winning four games because I believe Rutgers will be Arkansas’s first true test because of the loss last year and the fact that the game is on the road.
Arkansas pulling an upset against a team like Alabama or LSU is out of the question this year because depth just isn’t there yet. Ole Miss will be a fun game to watch, but Ole Miss’s home advantage will take away a victory. Only reason they may beat Misissippi State is because it is a Little Rock game. Too much is unproven for me to have any type of confidence in Arkansas’s hopes of a winning record this year.
I admire the motivation Bielema is giving, he just better have a ton of it. Defense will be par at best. It does help that Arkansas does have one of the best centers in the nation. Arkansas’s promising start against their non-conference games will get fans going but don’t be alarmed if it all comes to an end come October. Arkansas will put up a fight, no doubt, but just isn’t going to be enough this year. Prove me wrong, Arkansas.