Story Poster
Photo by Rey Romo, TexAgs
Texas A&M Football

Texas A&M football becoming a source of consistent frustration for Arkansas

July 17, 2019
31,459

Remember the frustration of continually losing football games to LSU?

Remember the exasperation when opportunities to win were squandered?

Remember the irritation of watching them celebrate at the Aggies' expense?

That’s the way Arkansans feels about Texas A&M.

As the losses mount — the Razorbacks have lost seven in a row to A&M — so does the aggravation.

"For Arkansas fans, the game and outcome has been a frustrating situation,” said David Bazzel, a former Razorbacks linebacker and host of a popular sports talk radio show in Little Rock. “That’s the game that really irritates Razorbacks fans.

“If you look at the (series) history — back when I played — Arkansas won more than they lost against Texas A&M in general. So, that’s really been a frustrating game.”

Current Razorbacks players are also keenly aware of how frustrated the general Arkansas population is.

“It’s not even about us, it’s about the fans,” Arkansas senior defensive tackle McTelvin Agim said on Wednesday at Southeastern Conference Media Days. “I know the fans want that win more than us. They want it as much as we do. We’ve got to get it back for the fans.”

“I know the fans want that win more than us. They want it as much as we do.”
- Arkansas DT McTelvin Agim

Losing is difficult for the Swine to swallow. But the manner in which the Hogs have lost is even more painful.

Three of the last five games went into overtime. Missed field goals, crippling penalties, goal-line failures, poor coaching decisions and late interceptions have all left the pigs in a poke.

A&M didn’t have to beat Arkansas. Arkansas would beat itself.

“There were several occasions where Arkansas could have won those games,” Bazzel said. “And it could have given (former coach Bret) Bielema some momentum in the season. It was a major thorn in the side.”

Of course, Arkansas’ thorns aren’t limited to A&M. Just last year the Hogs lost to North Texas and Colorado State for crying out loud.

Indeed, the Razorbacks have averaged just over five wins a season over the last seven years. Further, since Texas A&M entered the SEC in 2012 Arkansas’ football program has crashed like Bobby Petrino’s motorcycle with a 35-52 record.

Even though the Aggies are responsible for just seven of those losses, some in Arkansas feel it’s no coincidence the Razorbacks’ struggles started when A&M joined the SEC.

Arkansas sports writing legend Wally Hall, the venerable sports editor and columnist of the Arkansas Democrat, sees a connection.

“I absolutely do,” Hall said. “All of a sudden Arkansas wasn’t the only school from the SEC recruiting the state of Texas. I think it hurt them recruiting in Texas.

“When A&M came into the league they were taking the players that Arkansas was after. And they began to get more players from Texas because they were playing in the SEC. It was great for A&M, but it wasn’t great for Arkansas.”

Neither was the hiring of Bielema, who made a difficult recruiting situation even worse with some ill-chosen words to the wrong people at the wrong time.

Isaiah Downing/USA Today Sports
Chad Morris is looking to get Arkansas’ football program back on track after a 2-10 finish last season.

“I think Bielema really killed his recruiting in Texas when he spoke to the Texas High School Coaches Association and told all those high school coaches, basically, that the ‘Spread’ (offense) wasn’t going to stay. It’s not going to work, and if you don’t run two tight ends and a fullback against him he’s going to beat your ass,” Hall said. “Eighty percent of those high school coaches were running the Spread. He insulted them. That really hurt him in Texas. It eventually cost him his job because he couldn’t recruit Texas.”

To repair that damage, Arkansas ironically turned to an Aggie — coach Chad Morris, a Texas A&M graduate and former Texas high school coach.

Arkansas needs to recruit well in Texas. Last February Morris assembled a recruiting class that was ranked 23rd in the nation, which was rather impressive considering the Razorbacks finished 2-10 in Morris’ first season.

“I think going into year two we're in really good shape where we're at, and we’ve got to continue to recruit,” Morris said. “It's like shaving. If you don't do it every day, you look like a bum. So you’ve got to recruit. And it's every day and our staff hears it from me every day.”

An uptick in recruiting obviously helps, but Arkansas is also relying heavily on transfers to improve. In fact, running back Rakeem Boyd and quarterback Nick Starkel started their careers at Texas A&M.

Morris also brought in former A&M defensive coordinator John Chavis to supervise the defensive unit.

The Razorbacks will be a better team, which would give them a chance to beat A&M.

Except, the Aggies figure to be better, too.

“The problem now is (A&M coach) Jimbo Fisher has actually raised the bar from Kevin Sumlin and made Texas A&M a much tougher team to beat,” Bazzel said.

Which means Arkansas could be facing more frustration, exasperation and irritation.

Discussion from...

Texas A&M football becoming a source of consistent frustration for Arkansas

21,972 Views | 19 Replies | Last: 4 yr ago by aeon-ag
el_guapo
How long do you want to ignore this user?
"I know the fans want that win more than us. They want it as much as we do."

Ummmm......???
Rock1982
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
I support this message.
DarrellS8
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Quote:

"All of a sudden Arkansas wasn't the only school from the SEC recruiting the state of Texas."
What kind bull crap is this they were never the only SEC team recruiting Texas.
C Loves L
How long do you want to ignore this user?
el_guapo said:

"I know the fans want that win more than us. They want it as much as we do."

Ummmm......???



Its R-Kansas logic
rangerdanger
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Will be interesting to see how having Morris' son as QB will impact this team. If the kid stinks it up, will he bench him as a coach or give him the benefit of the doubt as a father? Regardless, QBs will most likely think twice committing there over the next several years.
Agsuffering@bulaw
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Arkie was one of the first SEC teams getting half a dozen 3* types from TX. The others would cherry pick higher rated players, but were not using TX recruits to meet basic needs.

I still disagree with the conclusion. Even in 2009, Arkie was sucking 4th teet in TX after the sips, ou, and us. And, LSU and others were cherrypicking. They won b/c Petrino was still in his prime.

Because they must import so much talent, they have a natural disadvantage. This will make hiring the right coach difficult. Nutt was a good builder, but not a champion. Petrino is dirt and everybody knew it. Betters would not touch him. Bielema got too big for his britches at Wiscy and Arkie bought high. Morris only took the job b/c of family connections to Arkie.

It will be interesting to see how they recruit DFW after 2024. I think they take a step back, unless Morris gets them clicking.
hogfan14
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Agsuffering@bulaw said:

Arkie was one of the first SEC teams getting half a dozen 3* types from TX. The others would cherry pick higher rated players, but were not using TX recruits to meet basic needs.

I still disagree with the conclusion. Even in 2009, Arkie was sucking 4th teet in TX after the sips, ou, and us. And, LSU and others were cherrypicking. They won b/c Petrino was still in his prime.
Obviously Arkansas being good mostly coincides with how good the Arkansas-born players on the roster are in a given year, but Nutt and Petrino both had quite a few successful Texas players. Bielema pretty much abandoned Texas.

Petrino had guys like Knile Davis, Cobi Hamilton, Travis Swanson, Ryan Mallett (born in Arkansas but played in Texas), DeMarcus Love, and Tramain Thomas that were pretty solid starters.

The downturn in the last 7 years has been a combination of bad coaching and the state of Arkansas not producing players like Matt Jones, Shawn Andrews, Darren McFadden, etc. at the rate it used to in large part because the Little Rock school district now has more players playing basketball instead of football. Arkansas has produced quite a lot of all-SEC level players in basketball lately for its size such as Malik Monk, Bobby Portis, Daniel Gafford, Daryl Macon, KeVaughn Allen, etc. Petrino had the benefit of walking into the best high school WR class Arkansas has ever produced in 2008 with three receivers that were drafted from the same tiny school in Warren, AR. We'll always be an up and down program unless someone like Morris is able to recruit out of state consistently because the in-state talent level is so volatile from year-to-year, which if we give him long enough I think he should be able to make a pretty good impact in east Texas.
BleacherRat
How long do you want to ignore this user?
hogfan14 said:

Agsuffering@bulaw said:

Arkie was one of the first SEC teams getting half a dozen 3* types from TX. The others would cherry pick higher rated players, but were not using TX recruits to meet basic needs.

I still disagree with the conclusion. Even in 2009, Arkie was sucking 4th teet in TX after the sips, ou, and us. And, LSU and others were cherrypicking. They won b/c Petrino was still in his prime.
Obviously Arkansas being good mostly coincides with how good the Arkansas-born players on the roster are in a given year, but Nutt and Petrino both had quite a few successful Texas players. Bielema pretty much abandoned Texas.

Petrino had guys like Knile Davis, Cobi Hamilton, Travis Swanson, Ryan Mallett (born in Arkansas but played in Texas), DeMarcus Love, and Tramain Thomas that were pretty solid starters.

The downturn in the last 7 years has been a combination of bad coaching and the state of Arkansas not producing players like Matt Jones, Shawn Andrews, Darren McFadden, etc. at the rate it used to in large part because the Little Rock school district now has more players playing basketball instead of football. Arkansas has produced quite a lot of all-SEC level players in basketball lately for its size such as Malik Monk, Bobby Portis, Daniel Gafford, Daryl Macon, KeVaughn Allen, etc. Petrino had the benefit of walking into the best high school WR class Arkansas has ever produced in 2008 with three receivers that were drafted from the same tiny school in Warren, AR. We'll always be an up and down program unless someone like Morris is able to recruit out of state consistently because the in-state talent level is so volatile from year-to-year, which if we give him long enough I think he should be able to make a pretty good impact in east Texas.
Just curious, but I thought Jerry Jones' son was gonna be a super star (no pun intended), at Arky? I never hear about him since he left town.
hogfan14
How long do you want to ignore this user?
LewP said:

hogfan14 said:

Agsuffering@bulaw said:

Arkie was one of the first SEC teams getting half a dozen 3* types from TX. The others would cherry pick higher rated players, but were not using TX recruits to meet basic needs.

I still disagree with the conclusion. Even in 2009, Arkie was sucking 4th teet in TX after the sips, ou, and us. And, LSU and others were cherrypicking. They won b/c Petrino was still in his prime.
Obviously Arkansas being good mostly coincides with how good the Arkansas-born players on the roster are in a given year, but Nutt and Petrino both had quite a few successful Texas players. Bielema pretty much abandoned Texas.

Petrino had guys like Knile Davis, Cobi Hamilton, Travis Swanson, Ryan Mallett (born in Arkansas but played in Texas), DeMarcus Love, and Tramain Thomas that were pretty solid starters.

The downturn in the last 7 years has been a combination of bad coaching and the state of Arkansas not producing players like Matt Jones, Shawn Andrews, Darren McFadden, etc. at the rate it used to in large part because the Little Rock school district now has more players playing basketball instead of football. Arkansas has produced quite a lot of all-SEC level players in basketball lately for its size such as Malik Monk, Bobby Portis, Daniel Gafford, Daryl Macon, KeVaughn Allen, etc. Petrino had the benefit of walking into the best high school WR class Arkansas has ever produced in 2008 with three receivers that were drafted from the same tiny school in Warren, AR. We'll always be an up and down program unless someone like Morris is able to recruit out of state consistently because the in-state talent level is so volatile from year-to-year, which if we give him long enough I think he should be able to make a pretty good impact in east Texas.
Just curious, but I thought Jerry Jones' son was gonna be a super star (no pun intended), at Arky? I never hear about him since he left town.
He'll probably battle with incoming 4* freshman KJ Jefferson for 3rd string. He's pretty elusive but he's like 5'8, 170. I think Starkel eventually takes over for Hicks this year and then starts in 2020, then Jefferson/Jones/Chandler Morris battle it out in 2021 if he doesn't transfer by then.
Agsuffering@bulaw
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Even with Sherman, we were winning most H2H recruiting battles with Arkie for TX athletes.

The Little Rock WRs may have been worth a win a year. Petrino recruited to his system and outschemed teams with better athletes. He was a quieter, dirtier Mike Leach.

No offense, but A&M and tu would have to slip to regularly lose recruiting battles to Arkie. Nothing wrong with Arkie, but it is not the local school and significantly farther away from DFW and almost everywhere in state.

The Jerryworld game will go away after 2024, which will make things tougher. A rotation of lesser BDF programs is possible, but it lacks the continuity and appeal as an SEC game.

Arkie's road must be with coaches who can do more with less. Nutt and Petrino are prototypes. The jury is still out on Morris. The problem is that "more with less" coaches typically have warts. True champion coaches rarely stay somewhere that cannot give them everything they want.
PharmD4
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Borderline erotic
BoozingAg
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Quote:

Arkansas sports writing legend Wally Hall, the venerable sports editor and columnist of the Arkansas Democrat, sees a connection.

"I absolutely do," Hall said. "All of a sudden Arkansas wasn't the only school from the SEC recruiting the state of Texas. I think it hurt them recruiting in Texas.

"When A&M came into the league they were taking the players that Arkansas was after. And they began to get more players from Texas because they were playing in the SEC. It was great for A&M, but it wasn't great for Arkansas."



That's absolutely false. We weren't losing TX players to Arkansas with any regularity before joining the SEC. They were beating us because we had Mike Sherman and they had Bobby Petrino. That was a huge mismatch in their favor.
hogfan14
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Agsuffering@bulaw said:


Arkie's road must be with coaches who can do more with less. Nutt and Petrino are prototypes.


Nutt wasn't as bad as Arkansas fans treated him but the guy lost 5 games with Darren McFadden, Felix Jones and Peyton Hillis in the backfield. He rode Matt Jones and McFadden to death or he might not have lasted 10 years. Wouldn't consider him doing more with less. He did make it to 2 SEC Championship games however.

Bielema definitely did less with more though. Pretty sure during his tenure we were in the top 5 in the SEC in number of players drafted and the most we had to show for it was a Liberty Bowl win.
Agsuffering@bulaw
How long do you want to ignore this user?
IIRC, Nutt never had highly ranked classes. Yes he recruited McFadden, but he also had a slew of 2*s. He was a lightweight version of Kirk Ferentz. He was good at finding and developing players others missed. But I dont think he ever had comparable athletes to Bama, Auburn, LSU once Saban got them going, or the good East programs.

He was good for a bad year ever 3-4 years, but that is typical for scouting/developing HCs. Again not trying to be ugly, but that is the program's trajectory absent a miracle coaching hire or some radical demographic shift.

Also FWIW, I dont expect us to keep running off wins like this. I do expect us to even the series Arkie in my lifetime.
jturner181
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
I expect us to beat that ass as long as Jimbo is recruiting well!

Maybe in 2030 Arkie..... or start paying up like ole miss
hogfan14
How long do you want to ignore this user?
The funny thing is Petrino signed the highest rated class we've ever had at #16 and it turned out to be a terrible class while his 49th ranked class was better.

If Morris can get us consistently around 20th every year instead of yo-yoing back and forth every year then we'll be a lot better off. There really isn't a whole lot of difference between the 11th-25th ranked classes most years IMO.
Lateralus Ag
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Arkansas will be like A&M. They will have a good season every 5 years or so and they will have a season where they compete for a top ten spot.

Otherwise they will be mediocre every year.

Punked Shank
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Lateralus Ag said:

Arkansas will be like A&M. They will have a good season every 5 years or so and they will have a season where they compete for a top ten spot.

Otherwise they will be mediocre every year.




Like how.a&m was in the past. I believe we'll. Start competing.starting last year going forward.
aeon-ag
How long do you want to ignore this user?
el_guapo said:

"I know the fans want that win more than us. They want it as much as we do."

Ummmm......???
So does Starkel!!!! It's gong to be interesting.
Refresh
Page 1 of 1
 
×
subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.