I made myself a list a while back of what I would be looking for and the type of football coach that I thought the Razorbacks needed for success.
After doing so, I immediately became depressed. None of the candidates being floated around fit my criteria. The notion that a Bret Bielema of Wisconsin even existed, much less would come into play, never crossed my mind.
Here’s my list of the attributes I think the Razorbacks need for success:
- Play hard-nosed football. Play rough and dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.
- Big emphasis on the linebacker and safety position. Build your defense around them.
- Strong “smashmouth” running game. Attack downhill, set up play action. Be the toughest SOBs on the field in the fourth quarter.
- Patient approach to the game. Be willing to let your defense and special teams take care of business and let the game come to the offense.
- Effective, versatile, opportunistic passing game. With the quarterback as a player…not just a bus driver. Be able to pass effectively both when you want to, and when you need to.
- A coach that demands attention to detail and commitment to excellence in every play. Don’t beat yourself with poor decisions and costly penalties.
No, I wasn’t looking for a throwback to the days of Houston Dale Nutt. He refused to coach quarterbacks as anything other than “bus drivers.” Even if he hadn’t refused, I’m not certain he knew how to coach them anyway.
I certainly wasn’t looking for someone that figured they would just outscore the other team. That might get you to 9-3, but it will not get you consistently past Alabama or LSU. Unless Bobby Petrino changed his ways, he was never going to beat both Alabama and LSU in the same year.
Think about it…the best teams in the nation this year all exhibit the attributes I’ve listed above: Alabama, Notre Dame, Stanford, LSU, even Ohio State. Petersen, Patterson, Chip Kelly and Briles and such will have games of brilliance and outscore just about everyone they play. But they struggle when they play teams with the attributes above.
Some fans say recruiting will be an issue. I don’t think so. Some say this will be “boring.” I don’t think so.
Winning is never boring. I think we got us a winner.