It didn’t take long after Arkansas’ historic collapse in the Belk Bowl on Thursday night for the national media to start weighing in.
Clay Travis at OutKicktheCoverage.com had an interesting take:
I think the way the Razorbacks lost coupled with a senior tight end getting popped for stealing from Belk in the Belk Bowl — seriously, this is the best viral marketing in Belk Bowl history — it’s clear that Bret Bielema, who is now 25-26 and 10-22 in the SEC after four years, is not the answer if your goal is to compete for championships
Now, if your goal is to go 7-5 or 8-4 and win half of your SEC games and every four or five years contend for the SEC West, I think Bielema can pull that off. But anything more than that isn’t happening. Arkansas’s problem is two fold: 1. Bielema has a 15 million buyout and 2. who else can you hire that’s definitely better?
I think Bielema would be a good coach in the Big Ten — where we already know he won big at Wisconsin — or the Big 12. But the problem is he’s at Arkansas and right now the Razorbacks are the 8th or 9th best job in the SEC. (Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M, LSU, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida are all definitely better jobs. And South Carolina, Missouri and Ole Miss are roughly equivalent jobs. The only schools in the SEC that Arkansas is definitely a better job than are Mississippi State, Kentucky, and Vanderbilt.)
So if you’re going to win big at Arkansas you need to have a coach who either has a schematic coaching advantage, like Bobby Petrino, or one who recruits consistent top ten talent. Bielema offers neither of these. So how is Bielema ever winning at a high level at Arkansas?
It’s simple, he isn’t.
But who would definitely do better at Arkansas? I’m not sure there’s an easy answer.
Travis, who also does a national morning radio show on Fox Sports Radio, is saying the same thing a lot of Arkansas fans are muttering right now on various message boards.
You can read Travis’ blog here (there is adult language for those who might find that offensive).