Could Bielema have avoided Arkansas's poor start?

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The coach seemed to imply there was not much talent available to him when he took over the program.

To say Arkansas has struggled this season would be a massive understatement. The Razorbacks have an 0-4 record in SEC play and a margin of defeat of 104-7 over the past two weeks.

First-year head coach Bret Bielema was on The Tim Brando Show Friday, and seemed to suggest there was not much left in Fayetteville for him to try to win with:

"We went through and ranked our offensive players the other day and four of our probably top six or seven were, are true freshmen. So there is a lot of upside."

With Arkansas's troubles, the obvious question is whether Bielema is using this as an excuse. As Ralph Russo pointed out the other night, however, there is a pattern:

Blaming it on Petrino's program-building ability may not be entirely honest, however, as his departure from the school wasn't exactly a normal situation. He was dismissed in spring of 2012 after an "inappropriate relationship" with a female employee.

Instead of a normal transitional period, Arkansas was forced to run with John L. Smith, 63 years old at the time, as its head coach for a one-year period. Having a one-year head coach is, unsurprisingly, terrible for recruiting, and so it is fair to say Bielema may not have inherited the best situation.

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