We know what going down this path can lead to, but we’re prepared. But with all the chatter about who Arkansas may or may not go after, we decided to examine just how good the job actually is. But first we’ll go ahead and take care of all the low hanging fruit. Because we know how you all think.
Yes, Arkansas is in the SEC.
Which means they have stacks on top of stacks of money to compete at the highest level with.
Yes, Arkansas is right smack dab in the middle of a fertile recruiting ground.
And in theory because of its location, Arkansas COULD snag recruits from Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, & Missouri.
And yes, Bobby Petrino was able to win big at Arkansas.
So, it can be done.
But does that make Arkansas a great college football job? We say no. Mainly because all of Arkansas’ strengths are really their weaknesses.
Confused? Let us explain.
Strength 1: Playing in the SEC
As we mentioned above playing in the SEC means mega money which is a good thing. But money isn’t enough. You have to win. And winning at Arkansas isn’t easy.
Just to make it the SEC Championship you have to emerge from SEC West play with a better record than the last two National Champions in Alabama and Auburn (yeah we know) and a team that played in the National Championship game last season in LSU. Contrast that with a team in the East like Georgia that only has to deal with Florida and maybe Tennessee or South Carolina and it’s easy to see that being in the SEC is really a disadvantage for Arkansas because they are in the West and not the East.
Strength 2: Location
Just by taking a quick glance at Arkansas’ spring roster, you’ll find players from Texas, Missouri, Louisiana, Oklahoma as well as Arkansas. On the surface it may seem as if Arkansas is cherry picking from other states, but that simply is not the case. The truth is Arkansas is mainly taking the kids that the schools in those states pass on. And to matters worse, they can’t even keep the top player in the state from leaving the state.
Maybe a great recruiter changes all that. But it will be an uphill battle nonetheless.
Strength3: Bobby Petrino proved you can win there
Let’s face it Bobby Petrino is a top five, maybe top three college offensive mind/playcaller. Arkansas is just not going to find someone who can duplicate what Petrino was able to accomplish offensively. And even with a great offense, he was unable to get over the hump because of his lackluster defenses. And we all know you’re not winning SEC championships on a consistent basis without at least a serviceable defense.
So where does that put Arkansas on the totem pole of college football jobs? It’s an okay job. The right person can win there. But because of these strengths that really are weaknesses, it will be tough for Arkansas to ever be seen as a great job.