Posted by Adam Butler on December 31, 2012
In the last few weeks, I have had a tragic death in the family and another beloved family member in ICU (she’s doing much better, now), all during the typically hectic time around Christmas, my wedding anniversary and my wife’s birthday (the last 3 of which all occur in a 6-day span).
When it is appropriate, I will jump on soon to further break down the salty staff Head Hog Bret Bielema is assembling.
Posted in Sports | 1 Comment »
Posted by Adam Butler on December 21, 2012
If you believe Dennis Dodd of cbssports.com, Arkansas is the Coaching Search Efficiency Capital of the College Football World.
Usually, I think Dodd’s columns are worth about as much as the paper they aren’t printed on.
But, this one is interesting because it is Arkansascentric. Take a look at his ranking of the 2012 College Football Coaching Searches in terms of efficiency.
Hint: Each of the top 8 searches involved coaches who had or now have Arkansas ties.
Posted in Commentary, Sports | Tagged: Arkansas Razorbacks, Bobby Petrino, bret bielema, Jeff Long | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Adam Butler on December 12, 2012
If the staff makes the Coach, Bret Bielema looks to be off to a good start in Fayetteville as Head Hog.
Yesterday, Bielema hired former Wisconsin (co) Defensive Coordinator Chris Ash as his defensive coordinator. Tonight, Arkansas announced Jim Chaney has been hired as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
- He has spent the last 4 years as the Tennessee Vols Offensive Coordinator (SEC experience and recruiting ties);
- Prior to his time in Knoxville, Chaney spent 3 seasons as an assistant coach for the St. Louis Rams (NFL Experience that should help in recruiting);
- Before his stint in the NFL, Chaney was Purdue’s offensive coordinator for 9 seasons, and tutored a guy named Drew Brees (Superstar name to toss around on the recruiting trail);
- At Purdue, Chaney ran the spread (basketball on grass) but at UT, after his NFL stint, he ran more of a pro-style offense. Neither college stop featured a run-first, run-second offense like those implemented at Wisconsin under the Barry Alvarez and Bielema regimes.
- Chaney (like the new Hogs’ defensive coordinator, Ash) has also served as a recruiting coordinator (at Purdue during the Brees era).
Posted in Sports | Tagged: Arkansas Razorbacks, bret bielema, Jim Chaney | 2 Comments »
Posted by Adam Butler on December 12, 2012
Knile Davis–the dominant, when healthy, but unfortunately oft-injured Arkansas runningback has declared for the NFL draft.
According to collegefootballnews.com, he will be represented by former Hog Track & Field Olympian turned agent, Mike Conley, Sr.
Davis was a 1st-team All-SEC selection in 2010, when he rushed for 1,322 yards and 13 touchdowns and led all SEC running backs in those categories.
We wish Knile good health and a return to form. He has been through a lot and is the type of player that deserves some good fortune.
Posted in Sports | Tagged: Arkansas Razorbacks, Knile Davis, NFL | 5 Comments »
Posted by Adam Butler on December 11, 2012
New Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema announced the hiring of Wisconsin Defensive Coordinator Chris Ash to the same position late this afternoon.
From the release:
Ash spent the last three seasons at Wisconsin and helped the Badgers win three straight Big Ten championships and become the first Big Ten team to play in three straight Rose Bowls since Michigan following the 1976-78 seasons. Ash brings experience as a defensive coordinator at two other schools and has also been a recruiting coordinator three times in his career.
At 39 years old, with 2 Rose Bowl defenses on his resume as a (co) coordinator, established success as a secondary coach and a reputation as a good recruiter, Ash (at least on paper) appears to be just what the doctor ordered for a Razorback defense that has struggled in recent years.
Only time will tell whether he produces Mike Haynes-like players or Paul Haynes-like defenses.
Posted in Commentary, Sports | Tagged: Arkansas Razorbacks, Chris Ash | 1 Comment »
Posted by Adam Butler on December 7, 2012
Special to BlogHawgs by Kris Boyd
It’s Heisman Trophy Award Eve, so that means it’s time for our final Blog Hawgs Heisman 5+1 of the season.
Below are the results from the 2012 final voting for the Blog Hawgs Heisman 5+1. The +1 voters feature media members, bloggers, former Division 1 football players and no-talent hacks like myself. The voters are from 12 different states and it is goal of the +1 to eventually feature voters from all 50 states.
Johnny Manziel dominated the first place votes, which are in parentheses. Collin Klein kept it close. The real race was for 3rd place between USCw’s Marqise Lee and Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o. Lee edged Te’o even though Manti received some first place votes.
There was a clear top 5. A few voters noted they felt Te’o wasn’t as impressive as Jadeveon Clowney of South Carolina or Jarvis Jones of Georgia. There was a note from a voter who felt Alabama offensive lineman Barrett Jones was more valuable to his team than Te’o, as Barrett won the Outland Trophy last year, moved to Center this year and was the heart and soul of the best OL for the best team in college football.
Jadeveon Clowney: 1
-Tajh Boyd received no votes even though he led Clemson to a 10-2 record and put up great stats.
-Tavon Austin was shunned despite having over 2,500 yards of total offense.
-Nick Florence received one vote even though his stats were almost identical to Robert Griffin, III’s 2011 Heisman-winning stats while only having two less wins than RG3.
Posted in Commentary, Sports | Tagged: Braxton Miller, Collin Klein, Johnny Manziel, Marqise Lee | 3 Comments »
Posted by Brett Kincaid on December 6, 2012
The regular season ended last weekend, and once again Alabama sits atop the Select 17 heading into the BCS Championship Game. Is it 2011 or 2012?
Yep, it’s 2012; the Razorbacks do not appear on the bowl schedule. Sad to say, for the first time since 2008 the Hogs are home for the holidays. The upside, of course, is that some smokin’ hot wife has a husband that wants to coach here. Enthusiasm is already surging throughout Razorback Nation, but we need to put a cap on this season before looking ahead to spring practice and kickoff against UL-Lafayette on August 31, 2013 – which is 267 days from now.
So back to the teams still playing…
If you ever wondered whether or not ESPN controls the world, go ahead and look at the BCS Championship Game. Alabama versus Notre Dame for all the marbles. Can you imagine two teams that mean more to the history of college football squaring off for the title? This game will KILL any previous record for ratings of a college football championship game. The Vatican may very well provide free ESPN for all American Catholics. The Alabama National Guard will likely run coax from border-to-border, stealing cable from their neighbors in Tennessee, Florida, and Georgia. (They won’t even try to get it from Mississippi for obvious reasons.)
Perhaps the price we pay for such a great matchup in the title game is a slate of crap for the rest of the bowl season. In total there may be 5 other games I care to watch. I will, of course, probably watch all or part of 90% of the games (aided by the fact that I’m on vacation during Bowl Week), but I will bitch about it all the while.
As for the final Select 17 rankings, you’ll find a theme that repeated itself all season show up once more. The SEC dominates the list, placing six teams in the rankings including three of the top four. We began the year with 5 SEC teams in the rankings with Alabama and LSU occupying the top 2 spots. The more things change, the more they remain the same.
To the numbers…
||Notre Dame (6)
Others Receiving Votes: UCLA 7, Jeff Long 6, Nebraska 6, Wisconsin 6, Utah St. 5, San Jose St. 2, Kent St. 1, Louisville 1
Posted in Sports | Tagged: Alabama Crimson Tide, Arkansas Razorbacks, BCS, ESPN, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, SEC | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Adam Butler on December 6, 2012
By BlogHawgs Stat Front Man Brian Rogers
Driving into work yesterday, I decided to flip through the dial of my satellite radio to see if any national shows were discussing the new Arkansas coaching hire. I landed on FoxSports radio at the top of the 7:00 hour to hear their question of the day, “Why is Arkansas a better job than Wisconsin?”. While that question would never have been posed one month ago, the fact that the question was even asked as a matter of fact speaks volumes.
I won’t rehash the numerous national columnists’ reactions (below on this site) on Arkansas’ hiring of former Wisconsin Coach Bret Bielema.
However, there has been a question posed that piqued my interest and put me into action to check out the answer.
Someone asked: How many times has a coach of a team headed to a BCS bowl left for a different college team? At first there were two obvious answers that immediately came to mind: Brian Kelly and Urban Meyer.
After a little research, it seems that since 1998, there have now been 8 instances:
· 2012 Bret Bielema: Wisconsin (Big10) for Arkansas (SEC) after 3 straight BCS bowl bids
· 2010 Randy Edsall: Connecticut (Big East) for Maryland (ACC)
2012 Dave Doeren: N. Illinois (MAC) for N.C. State (ACC)
· 2009 Brian Kelly: Cincinnati (Big East) for Notre Dame (Ind) after 2 straight BCS bowl bids
· 2007 Rich Rodriguez: West Virginia (Big East) for Michigan (Big 10)
· 2007 June Jones: Hawai’I (Mountain West) for SMU (Conference USA)
· 2004 Urban Meyer: Utah (Mountain West) for Florida (SEC)
· 2004 Walt Harris: Pitt (Big East) for Stanford (Pac10)
· 2002 Mike Price: Washington State (Pac10) for Alabama (SEC)
Nice work, Jeff Long
Posted in Commentary, Sports | Tagged: bret bielema, Brian Kelly, The Arkansas Razorbacks, Urban Meyer | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Brett Kincaid on December 5, 2012
A whirlwind day that started with Butch Davis and moved with near “certainty” to Mike Gundy ended with Bret Bielema as the new Arkansas Razorbacks football coach. The only universal truth associated with this hire is its shock value. The former Wisconsin head coach was never on anyone’s radar. And now he’s in Fayetteville, tasked with quickly righting the ship of what was once the nation’s fastest moving program. Of all the annoying tendencies employed by national writers, I found one theme pissed me off more than any other today. Many scoffed at Arkansas, calling this a “middling SEC program” or “middle of the pack” job. While 2012 was an obvious disappointment, the 2010 and 2011 seasons produced 21 wins and back-to-back Top Ten finishes. While Arkansas is not Alabama, it aint Ole Miss either.
While the hire certainly turned heads, there is no consensus about this being a “great” hire. The chattering class ranges from standing ovation praise to outright dismissal. I had a hard time getting my head around the move earlier today. After some perspective and a little reaserch, I’m firmly of the opinion that Jeff Long made a very strong hire. Bielema plays big boy football, puts linemen in the NFL regularly, and has the arrogance highly successful coaches need. Look at him, then look at his wife. Tell me that isn’t a guy that knows how to win big with fewer tools than his competitors.
Let’s take a look back at what others have been saying.
Yahoo! Sports – Pat Forde (who broke the story)
It will be an interesting fit for Bielema, who has spent his entire playing and coaching career in the midwest. He was a nose guard at Iowa and an assistant coach at Iowa and Kansas State before moving to Madison. But clearly Long was less worried about getting someone with Southern ties than he was getting someone with an established winning record.
ESPN – Chris Low
But when it comes to coaching and developing hard-nosed football teams committed to running the ball and playing sound defense, Bielema has cornered the market on that brand of football in the Big Ten.
It just so happens to be the same brand that wins championships in the SEC.
CBS Sports – Tom Fornelli
As for what this means for Arkansas, the Razorbacks are getting a coach who’s a proven winner. It’s not often that coaches with three consecutive conference titles in a BCS conference are available for the taking, but Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long pulled it off. Considering the way things have gone in Fayetteville over the last year from the Bobby Petrino embarrassment to the John L. Smith disaster, things couldn’t have played out any better for the school.
Sports Illustrated – Andy Staples
Bielema can succeed at Arkansas. If he can keep the future Darren McFaddens and Tyler Wilsons in state and then pluck the rest of his roster from Texas, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida — bringing along current Wisconsin assistant Charlie Partridge would do wonders in the Sunshine State — the Razorbacks can be competitive in college football’s toughest division. At Wisconsin, the former Iowa defensive lineman identified diamonds in the rough and put tough, disciplined teams on the field. If he continues to prefer an offense that lines up and hands off and then uses play action to set up the pass, then he’ll fit right in with Alabama, LSU, Georgia and Florida
College Football News – Pete Fiutak
Can Bielema go into a living room and get a kid to turn down Saban, Les Miles, and Will Muschamp? Maybe, but he has yet to prove he can beat the powerhouse salesman.
Posted in Sports | Tagged: Arkansas Razorbacks, Big 10, bret bielema, College Football, Jeff Long, Pat Forde, SEC, Wisconsin Badgers | 8 Comments »
Posted by Adam Butler on December 5, 2012
Here’s a very quick primer on Arkansas’ new head coach, Bret Bielema, in advance of his formal introduction tomorrow as Head Hog.
- While he is known as a run-1st head coach, Bielema’s offenses have been balanced, passing for over 3,000 yards the last 3 years.
Posted in Commentary, Sports | Tagged: Arkansas Razorbacks, bret bielema | Leave a Comment »