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:
Also, Louisville was a wreck after Petrino. Arkansas is now a wreck after Petrino. Is this a coincidence? Legit question, not blaming.— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) October 28, 2013
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.