How Arkansas Razorbacks football collapsed
Video Channel: RJ Young
What happened to Chad Morris? How did Arkansas football become the butt of jokes that used to be reserved for Kansas and, lately, UCLA? This was the program that Frank Broyles built. The 1964 national champions. The place that turned Lou Holtz back into a name. The home of the 10-1 1977 Razorbacks who thwarted Oklahoma’s chance at a national title with a 31-6 victory in the Orange Bowl. The university that gave us Jerry Jones, Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer.
How did the Razorbacks fall so far?
You can actually start by going back to 2012 when Bobby Petrino got a standing ovation from the Little Rock Touchdown Club for apologizing for lying about having an affair with an Arkansas staffer and former All-SEC volleyball player after his infamous motorcycle crash.
Petrino was fired, and the Razorbacks have not been back since. You could say Arkansas put themselves in this mess when they went to get coach who had done nothing but win at Wisconsin in Bret Bielema. From 2006 to 2012, Bielema won at least seven games every year in Madison and had four double-digit win seasons.
Then he came to the SEC. After five seasons with an 11-29 record in conference play, including a 1-7 record in his final season, Bielema was let go just in time to help the Patriots win a Super Bowl in 2018.
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RJ Young is a former Sooners football and basketball beat writer, investigative journalist, essayist, novelist and Ph.D student. His memoir LET IT BANG (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is out October 2018.