There’s a legitimate argument to be made that Arkansas will deploy the best running back and the best quarterback in the SEC this year. That’s a formidable combination. So why is there less buzz about the Hogs going into the 2012 season?
I’ll let Paul Myerberg explain.
It all comes down to coaching. Arkansas was never going to beat Alabama and L.S.U. with talent against talent – while the Razorbacks recruit well, the team’s overall talent level alone will never be enough to claim an SEC West title. It’s all about coaching; it’s about schematics, blueprints, game plans and adjustments, and it’s in these areas that Arkansas will take the steepest dive without Petrino running the show. He was the reason why Arkansas was viewed as a national title contender prior to April: Petrino was such a good pregame and in-game coach that it seemed logical that he’d eventually dream up a plan for beating Alabama and L.S.U., even if the Razorbacks were steamrolled by this pair a season ago. With Petrino gone, I can’t think of any reason why Arkansas should remain among those teams in the national title conversation.
I keep saying it – there’s a reason a guy with the personal baggage Bobby Petrino totes around keeps getting plum coaching jobs (and don’t think he won’t have a new one within two or three seasons, tops). The man can coach. There’s also a reason John L. Smith was going to be coaching at Weber State until Petrino took that fateful motorcycle trip. It’s not the same reason.