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Author Topic: Random Musings  (Read 1444 times)

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Razorfox

Random Musings
« on: September 17, 2018, 09:59:08 am »

Here are some random thoughts I have, both about the team and the fan base:

1) I refuse to completely turn against a coach that's had a job for only a few months.  Just not going to do it and I think it's ridiculous for anyone to do so.  This guy didn't take over a small business or a desk job with one or two employees and told to fix it.  He's been brought into a situation, that by its nature (recruiting numbers, contracts, scholarships, etc.) can't be changed quickly.  It's not unlike my work in the federal government (military) with massive bureaucracies; it's almost impossible to change course quickly on anything because the law/Congress won't allow it, there are entrenched employees that have 'always done it that way', etc.  It takes time and cycles (for government it's fiscal years and elections, and for football it's recruiting classes) to change personnel and culture.  Also, throw in the fact that college football is probably one of the most competitive businesses in the world, it's just a tough place to be.  Sure, he makes millions of dollars, but so does all the competition, so it's not like he has some advantage to work with, but rather quite the opposite.  He needs (and deserves) some time to work the issues and to create some sort of pattern before we can judge him.  Right now, we don't have even close to enough data to go on. 

2) With regard to showing displeasure with the way things are; we are ALL there.  You can't say that the people that are booing and making complete fools of themselves by overreacting (in person or on message boards) are passionate and that the rest of us that are more measured are not passionate.  That's simply not true.  I spend money and time and emotion on this stuff too, but it does no one (including yourselves) any good to go crazy.  It's self-destructive (not just psychologically), but also for the program.  You can express your displeasure with friends and even on message boards without calling for people's heads.  Now, as time goes on, and if patterns emerge that show things won't get better under current leadership, that's the time to start sending emails, voting with your wallet, etc.  But to do that now will do nothing but harm the program.  And I don't care if other fanbases do it too.  Be better than them.  You can't be better than them on the field right now, which is outside your control, so why not be better than them in your interpersonal relations, which you can control? 

3) As for the long-term success of Arkansas football, I personally am so confused and there are so many opinions on this that it's hard to know who is right.  If you look at the last 20+ years, there are glimmers of hope (Nutt and Petrino seasons) that show Arkansas can be pretty successful in the SEC.  However, there is a lot more evidence that we can't be top end.  The average success is lower than most fans would like, including me, but it's hard to EXPECT something that's an anomaly and not the norm without just perpetually being miserable.  Why is it that through many different coaches, many athletic directors, many different players, many different schemes, we tend to always go back to mediocre, with a few years on either side of that that pop up?  And is it possible, in one of the most competitive businesses in the world, that has restrictions placed on it to break out of the norm?  Or are the things that don't change with Arkansas (population, recruiting, location, money, fans, etc) always going to lead us back to about the same place? 

4) With this current team, for those people claiming to have information that the team hasn't bought in and that there is strife in the locker room, please give details of how you know that.  Otherwise it's unsubstantiated garbage as far as I'm concerned.  I'd like to know which players have said that and when.  And also, if it is true, it'd be nice to know what's causing it, i.e. too much respect for the last coach, the new guy said something they didn't like, etc.  Guessing is one thing, but those of you claiming inside knowledge, but with no sources are just stirring stuff up. 

5) Also, with the current team, I must admit that I was wrong on the talent level (or it's a culture problem, see #6).  During the off-season, I suspected that we could win a decent number of games this year, just by looking at the schedule.  However, it seems that there really is a talent deficiency because I simply refuse to believe that our coach (and his assistants) have forgotten how to coach between last year and this year.  Not only did our coach beat North Texas at his last job, but he did it fairly comfortably.  Short of a brain injury that he could have had, he didn't just forget how to win.  So it must be something else.  Also, how many hours did some of you spend over the last months going back and watching Clemson and SMU film to learn how Coach Morris runs an offense and liked what you saw?  Did he seriously forget all that this last year?  Come on, that makes no sense.  There are two possible explanations: 1) You are simply misinterpreting what you are seeing because a play looks totally different when it succeeds vs when it doesn't succeed (based on player execution), or 2) The playcalling has been adjusted to fit with what the current players can execute. 

6) Another explanation for the losses so far is that there are some players that are not buying in and that they are a cancer.  Again, I'd like some sort of proof of that because I have a hard time believing that these players care more about their former coach than they do their own current and future success.  You mean to tell me that players would fall on their own swords to protest a coach completely killing their own NFL chances, chances to win games, etc.  That goes against human nature.  Do you really think that you as a fan care more about winning than the players putting in the work do?  Come on.  Now, that being said, there is a mental toughness aspect of all this that could be at play and there absolutely could be players that in the heat of battle simply fold under pressure due to previous coaching that didn't build that resilience.  Again, that is something that Coach Morris wouldn't be able to fix overnight. 

I guess that's all for now. 

Wild Boarnado

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Re: Random Musings
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2018, 11:33:28 am »

I'd change "random" to "rational" - thanks for your post. Lots of food for thought.
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Razorfox

Re: Random Musings
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2018, 12:26:59 pm »

I'd change "random" to "rational" - thanks for your post. Lots of food for thought.

Appreciate the kind words. 
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Oklahawg

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Re: Random Musings
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2018, 03:30:34 pm »

Razorfox, in a climate where cute jabs as a reply get attention and well-reasoned posts that have some substance (and more words) do not...you deserve a thank you.

A few things seem really clear:
1. SOMETHING is wrong
2. because it seems abnormal or atypical fans are grasping at straws in search of an explanation (myself included)
3. there is some "truth" to be revealed in the actual facts that we do have access to. For example, I am stunned that our attendance numbers were so bad. The first games of a new era? New stadium expansion revealed? Heck, the start of football season! That compounds the wonderment, and I think it is fair to say that some-to-most of that is not on Morris.
4. When you are in an information vacuum message boards are really good at filling up the space.

Thanks for your post. Good food for thought, especially since I (and most of us, truly) are guilty of some of the things you mention.
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ICEman

Re: Random Musings
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2018, 03:36:47 pm »

The two teams that beat us do not have coaches that make millions of dollars per year.
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Melancholy_Pigg

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Re: Random Musings
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2018, 03:41:08 pm »

The two teams that beat us do not have coaches that make millions of dollars per year.

Maybe not.  But I had bet they had better, more focused and more involved coaching than our players.

Guys - we had something worse than poor coaching.  We had a coach who instilled the wrong values and the wrong culture at Arkansas. 
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holman24

Re: Random Musings
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2018, 04:57:20 pm »

I said it before our last hire and I am saying it now that this coach is a joke I knew Burt wouldn't work and I know this ha coach won't work either but to be fair it's really on the ones who hire theses jokes.  I mean when ur setup for one style from the las coach and u go the opposite way then flip back the next just goes to show as the people in charge a blind hog could have found better fits.  I will never believe we will be any better because of the people in charge r the real problem
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12247

Re: Random Musings
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2018, 09:08:26 pm »

Beautiful post, Razorfox.  I totally agree with you.
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Kevin

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Re: Random Musings
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2018, 09:15:00 pm »

Fix overnight, no
Seeing a sign or two that a fix is being implemented, yes
Have not seen that

HogPharmer

Re: Random Musings
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2018, 09:26:22 pm »

Razorfox, in a climate where cute jabs as a reply get attention and well-reasoned posts that have some substance (and more words) do not...you deserve a thank you.



You mean cute jabs like these?

Yup. And we don't have Smile to blame on it. The descent into horrible, sloppy play occurred with "high school" on the watch.

Yeah, for an elephant. And UA fans are fresh out of lubricant or sedatives.
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popcornhog

Re: Random Musings
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2018, 09:43:15 pm »

I said it before our last hire and I am saying it now that this coach is a joke I knew Burt wouldn't work and I know this ha coach won't work either but to be fair it's really on the ones who hire theses jokes.  I mean when ur setup for one style from the las coach and u go the opposite way then flip back the next just goes to show as the people in charge a blind hog could have found better fits.  I will never believe we will be any better because of the people in charge r the real problem

How did you know Bert wouldn’t work?
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Athog

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Re: Random Musings
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2018, 09:48:20 pm »

Here are some random thoughts I have, both about the team and the fan base:

1) I refuse to completely turn against a coach that's had a job for only a few months.  Just not going to do it and I think it's ridiculous for anyone to do so.  This guy didn't take over a small business or a desk job with one or two employees and told to fix it.  He's been brought into a situation, that by its nature (recruiting numbers, contracts, scholarships, etc.) can't be changed quickly.  It's not unlike my work in the federal government (military) with massive bureaucracies; it's almost impossible to change course quickly on anything because the law/Congress won't allow it, there are entrenched employees that have 'always done it that way', etc.  It takes time and cycles (for government it's fiscal years and elections, and for football it's recruiting classes) to change personnel and culture.  Also, throw in the fact that college football is probably one of the most competitive businesses in the world, it's just a tough place to be.  Sure, he makes millions of dollars, but so does all the competition, so it's not like he has some advantage to work with, but rather quite the opposite.  He needs (and deserves) some time to work the issues and to create some sort of pattern before we can judge him.  Right now, we don't have even close to enough data to go on. 

2) With regard to showing displeasure with the way things are; we are ALL there.  You can't say that the people that are booing and making complete fools of themselves by overreacting (in person or on message boards) are passionate and that the rest of us that are more measured are not passionate.  That's simply not true.  I spend money and time and emotion on this stuff too, but it does no one (including yourselves) any good to go crazy.  It's self-destructive (not just psychologically), but also for the program.  You can express your displeasure with friends and even on message boards without calling for people's heads.  Now, as time goes on, and if patterns emerge that show things won't get better under current leadership, that's the time to start sending emails, voting with your wallet, etc.  But to do that now will do nothing but harm the program.  And I don't care if other fanbases do it too.  Be better than them.  You can't be better than them on the field right now, which is outside your control, so why not be better than them in your interpersonal relations, which you can control? 

3) As for the long-term success of Arkansas football, I personally am so confused and there are so many opinions on this that it's hard to know who is right.  If you look at the last 20+ years, there are glimmers of hope (Nutt and Petrino seasons) that show Arkansas can be pretty successful in the SEC.  However, there is a lot more evidence that we can't be top end.  The average success is lower than most fans would like, including me, but it's hard to EXPECT something that's an anomaly and not the norm without just perpetually being miserable.  Why is it that through many different coaches, many athletic directors, many different players, many different schemes, we tend to always go back to mediocre, with a few years on either side of that that pop up?  And is it possible, in one of the most competitive businesses in the world, that has restrictions placed on it to break out of the norm?  Or are the things that don't change with Arkansas (population, recruiting, location, money, fans, etc) always going to lead us back to about the same place? 

4) With this current team, for those people claiming to have information that the team hasn't bought in and that there is strife in the locker room, please give details of how you know that.  Otherwise it's unsubstantiated garbage as far as I'm concerned.  I'd like to know which players have said that and when.  And also, if it is true, it'd be nice to know what's causing it, i.e. too much respect for the last coach, the new guy said something they didn't like, etc.  Guessing is one thing, but those of you claiming inside knowledge, but with no sources are just stirring stuff up. 

5) Also, with the current team, I must admit that I was wrong on the talent level (or it's a culture problem, see #6).  During the off-season, I suspected that we could win a decent number of games this year, just by looking at the schedule.  However, it seems that there really is a talent deficiency because I simply refuse to believe that our coach (and his assistants) have forgotten how to coach between last year and this year.  Not only did our coach beat North Texas at his last job, but he did it fairly comfortably.  Short of a brain injury that he could have had, he didn't just forget how to win.  So it must be something else.  Also, how many hours did some of you spend over the last months going back and watching Clemson and SMU film to learn how Coach Morris runs an offense and liked what you saw?  Did he seriously forget all that this last year?  Come on, that makes no sense.  There are two possible explanations: 1) You are simply misinterpreting what you are seeing because a play looks totally different when it succeeds vs when it doesn't succeed (based on player execution), or 2) The playcalling has been adjusted to fit with what the current players can execute. 

6) Another explanation for the losses so far is that there are some players that are not buying in and that they are a cancer.  Again, I'd like some sort of proof of that because I have a hard time believing that these players care more about their former coach than they do their own current and future success.  You mean to tell me that players would fall on their own swords to protest a coach completely killing their own NFL chances, chances to win games, etc.  That goes against human nature.  Do you really think that you as a fan care more about winning than the players putting in the work do?  Come on.  Now, that being said, there is a mental toughness aspect of all this that could be at play and there absolutely could be players that in the heat of battle simply fold under pressure due to previous coaching that didn't build that resilience.  Again, that is something that Coach Morris wouldn't be able to fix overnight. 

I guess that's all for now. 

Very good summary! I agree with you!!
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zumhog

Re: Random Musings
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2018, 09:52:27 pm »

With the exception of a few, we basically have the SMU coaching staff that in their best year only managed 7 wins. Why was this guy hired in the first place. Is he the best we could we could come up?

Athog

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Re: Random Musings
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2018, 09:54:00 pm »

The two teams that beat us do not have coaches that make millions of dollars per year.

One makes over 1 million and the other over 2.2 million. So let’s not make like they are working for free. Also they don’t have to play Alabama every year.

Razorfox

Re: Random Musings
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2018, 06:48:42 am »

With the exception of a few, we basically have the SMU coaching staff that in their best year only managed 7 wins. Why was this guy hired in the first place. Is he the best we could we could come up?

1) SMU has never been a power house.

2) 7 was better than the year before that and better than the year before and better than what they had taken over from.  That's a good trajectory.

3) The staff that is different is the defensive staff, which is what SMU was not good at.  The offensive staff and their production at SMU was enough to beat any team. 

Razorback de Nosferatu

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Re: Random Musings
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2018, 07:07:44 am »

Razorfox, in a climate where cute jabs as a reply get attention and well-reasoned posts that have some substance (and more words) do not...you deserve a thank you.

A few things seem really clear:
1. SOMETHING is wrong
2. because it seems abnormal or atypical fans are grasping at straws in search of an explanation (myself included)
3. there is some "truth" to be revealed in the actual facts that we do have access to. For example, I am stunned that our attendance numbers were so bad. The first games of a new era? New stadium expansion revealed? Heck, the start of football season! That compounds the wonderment, and I think it is fair to say that some-to-most of that is not on Morris.
4. When you are in an information vacuum message boards are really good at filling up the space.

Thanks for your post. Good food for thought, especially since I (and most of us, truly) are guilty of some of the things you mention.

Regarding attendance...

I don’t think curiosity about the stadium upgrade was enough to overcome the other factors:

—The Morris hire was not in any way a splash hire. Many fans warmed up to him, and it didn’t take long for many to become legitimately optimistic about him. But the hire was a bit anti-climactic after all the chatter about Gus, Kiffin, Leach, or even Norvell. This is kind of a shallow point, but I think it’s true. I think Kiffin’s name (or any “celebrity” coach) would’ve carried some ticket sales. Morris’s, not so much.

—The spring game wasn’t exactly a fireworks show.

—Game 1 was an FCS opponent.

—Game 3 was North Texas, after our program just got punched in the nose by CSU in yet another late collapse.
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Michael D Huff AIA

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Re: Random Musings
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2018, 08:55:23 am »

I live in Oklahoma, home to a somewhat successful football program.  Like our Hogs, they were terrible in the 1990's.  In 1999 OU made a hire (Stoops), and that hire had never been a head coach before.  He had never turned a program around. 

The previous three seasons were 3-8, 4-8, and 5-6.

Year one, with a roster full of John Blake's players, they went 7-5.
Year two, National Championship.

Either Stoops was the luckiest coach in the history of football to inherit a roster full of studs that somehow couldn't go .500 under Blake, or changing a culture quickly is possible.

It obviously is considering that he won 31 games in his first 3 seasons.

Yes, winning a NC would be nice, but as far as our team is concerned I'd just like this team to show life.  Going to a bowl game is a bridge too far at this point; I'm lowering the bar to just showing life.  Show me that we have a heartbeat and that "hammer down" is something that we do, not what happens to us.   

hogsanity

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Re: Random Musings
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2018, 09:04:59 am »


  If you look at the last 20+ years, there are glimmers of hope (Nutt and Petrino seasons) that show Arkansas can be pretty successful in the SEC.  However, there is a lot more evidence that we can't be top end.  The average success is lower than most fans would like, including me, but it's hard to EXPECT something that's an anomaly and not the norm without just perpetually being miserable. 


This. If people were really honest with themselves, and just acknowledge this point, they'd would not continually set themselves up for huge disappointments.

It is legitimate to expect the baseball team to make the NCAAT every year, host a regional 4+ times a decade and make the CWS 2 or 3 times a decade, because that is what the program has been doing. It is NOT legitimate to expect the football team to win 8+ every year because it has not done that over a 10 year span since joining the SEC, and unless I am mistaken have only done that once in my lifetime ( 48 years ).
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Razorfox

Re: Random Musings
« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2018, 09:22:54 am »

I live in Oklahoma, home to a somewhat successful football program.  Like our Hogs, they were terrible in the 1990's.  In 1999 OU made a hire (Stoops), and that hire had never been a head coach before.  He had never turned a program around. 

The previous three seasons were 3-8, 4-8, and 5-6.

Year one, with a roster full of John Blake's players, they went 7-5.
Year two, National Championship.

Either Stoops was the luckiest coach in the history of football to inherit a roster full of studs that somehow couldn't go .500 under Blake, or changing a culture quickly is possible.

It obviously is considering that he won 31 games in his first 3 seasons.

Yes, winning a NC would be nice, but as far as our team is concerned I'd just like this team to show life.  Going to a bowl game is a bridge too far at this point; I'm lowering the bar to just showing life.  Show me that we have a heartbeat and that "hammer down" is something that we do, not what happens to us.   

My memory is extremely fuzzy that far back, but no two situations are hardly ever the same.  Was that a case of the previous coach recruiting well, but not knowing how to get anything out of them?  Are you one of the posters on here that would claim that's what happened here with Ford and Nutt?  Or were there some great recruiting classes that had come in that finally became upperclassmen at the right time?

But I would also say that this story with Oklahoma is a single data point amidst many more that that doesn't happen.  It's an anomaly. 
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FutureMan

Re: Random Musings
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2018, 10:20:31 am »

Good, well-measured post, Razorfox.  Thanks for writing it.  Pretty much agree with your assessment.

I think people are over-thinking the issues that plague this team.  Talking on internal strife, dysfunction, disgruntlement... I don't really buy that.  Sure, there is probably frustration, but that's frustration due to a lack of current success.  Not because they have some axe to grind and they are bitter.  The team wants to do well, they just haven't worked it out yet.  They have spent the last 5 years learning a certain way, now a new coach comes in, completely different philosophy, completely different way of playing, and they are asked to pick this up in only a few months with limited practice time.  It's just too great of a change to happen so soon.  The change will happen organically overtime, but that's what it takes - time.  Time to learn something completely new, to do it enough that is becomes instinctual.  We are just not there yet.

And we are not alone in this.  Other teams are going through the exact same thing.  This isn't unique to Arkansas.  Florida State, UCLA, Nebraska, Arizona, etc.  All these teams are going through growing pangs as well.

We just need patience.  Let Coach Morris do his thing.  Give the players time to learn it.  Get some new recruits in here excited to play in it.  Three years from now, we can see what we have.  I'm excited for the future and see what Coach and Company can do.   

Oklahawg

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Re: Random Musings
« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2018, 03:59:08 pm »

My memory is extremely fuzzy that far back, but no two situations are hardly ever the same.  Was that a case of the previous coach recruiting well, but not knowing how to get anything out of them?  Are you one of the posters on here that would claim that's what happened here with Ford and Nutt?  Or were there some great recruiting classes that had come in that finally became upperclassmen at the right time?

But I would also say that this story with Oklahoma is a single data point amidst many more that that doesn't happen.  It's an anomaly. 

But, whether a model or an anomaly, it seems to argue that most coaches are going to turn things around sooner rather than later. I'm not the original poster but that is one way to read it.
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bphi11ips

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Re: Random Musings
« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2018, 04:39:16 pm »

This. If people were really honest with themselves, and just acknowledge this point, they'd would not continually set themselves up for huge disappointments.

It is legitimate to expect the baseball team to make the NCAAT every year, host a regional 4+ times a decade and make the CWS 2 or 3 times a decade, because that is what the program has been doing. It is NOT legitimate to expect the football team to win 8+ every year because it has not done that over a 10 year span since joining the SEC, and unless I am mistaken have only done that once in my lifetime ( 48 years ).

I'm pretty honest with myself in my expectations for Arkansas football in the SEC West.  Focusing on the number of wins every season is not the right way to judge the program, in my opinion.  Over fourteen years of Petrino/Nutt, we averaged slightly over .500 in conference play. That is a reasonable expectation over time. Some years will be 6-2. We had one 7-1, almost 8-0 during that stretch.  We will also have years where we go 2-6 or 3-5. We had only three of those during Nutt/Petrino.  We had four 6-2 or 7-1.  We had four 4-4's and one 5-3. 

Because I don't believe Nutt was the same caliber coach as Petrino, I think we are capable of better than the Nutt/Petrino years with the right coach.  We have competitive facilities and overall experience to offer.  Hopefully CCM will turn out to be the guy.  Broyles lost his first six games, including a 27-14 loss at home to Tulsa. 

Anyone who expects to replace Alabama or LSU at the top of the long-term SEC West pecking order is in for years of frustration.  That may be true of Auburn, but we're closer to Auburn than many here give us credit for being.  A&M is hard to predict.  History tends to suggest we're about even at worst with A&M.  I can see where some might think they have a higher upside than we do.  Year-in-and-year-out we are generally between the third to fifth best football program in the SEC West.  I'm good with that given the company.

What I don't expect is to be mired at the bottom of the SEC, West or otherwise.  Just like we'll never be Alabama or LSU, we'll never be Georgia or Florida, or probably Tennessee.  Over time, we would be third to fifth most years in the East also.  Put that together, and our average year should be somewhere between 6th and 10th in the SEC.  Our best years should be division championships.  So far we've won or tied for four. Every once in a while we should expect to be near the bottom of the league. Again, consider the company.

2012 to 2017 has been the worst stretch of Arkansas football in 60 years.  This year may turn out to be even worse.  But I don't expect us to be any worse or any better over time than we've always been.  Fans who are all about winning at least 8 games a year need to find another team to follow.  I'll stick around and expect what I've always seen -good, mediocre, and bad years, in somewhat equal proportions.
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