Friday, July 25, 2014

Should Arkansas replace Bret Bielema with Mack Brown?

Former Texas head coach Mack Brown just landed a new job as a college football analyst for ABC. That's not stopping Barry Trammel of The Oklahoman from looking ahead to Brown possible next career move -  the next head coach of Arkansas.

The Arkansas head coaching position is currently occupied by Bret Bielema, who had a disaster of a inaugural season in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks' 3-9 record last season (0-8 in the SEC) put Bielema firmly on the Hot Seat.

Trammel's argument is that Brown would be a better "fit" at Arkansas than Bielema, who moved from Big Ten powerhouse Wisconsin to an Arkansas program still recovering from the fallout of Bobby Petrino's notorious departure from the program. 

"The Razorbacks have a coach, of course, and it’s a coach who I think will end up doing well in the Ozarks. Bret Bielema was a big winner at Wisconsin and could do the same with the Hogs. But it’s a dicey fit. A Midwesterner trying to forge his way in the SEC.

That recipe can work. Les Miles. Urban Meyer. But when it goes poorly, it goes poorly fast. The South is clannish. Get in good or get out quick.

Arkansas went 3-9 in its first season under Bielema. If Year 2 doesn’t go any better, who knows what Bielema’s future holds? And wouldn’t Mack fit well in the hills? He speaks their language; he’s a folksy Tennesseean who has coached and coached well all over Arkansas’ neighbors. Texas, North Carolina, Tulane, Oklahoma, Appalachian State, Iowa State."

Trammel does have a point. Brown's built a reputation as a coach in the South and Midwest, which would be a benefit for Arkansas. On the downside, Brown has garnered a reputation as being a poor recruiter in recent years, missing out on recruiting in-state Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks  Robert Griffin III, and Johnny Manziel.

Brown would also have to deal with the same college football landscape Bielema has to coach in - a loaded SEC East with Alabama, Auburn, LSU, and Texas A&M was ahead of Arkansas in the chase for division supremacy.

It's really too soon to start looking for Bielema's replacement at Arkansas, even with a tough 2014 schedule ahead of him. Mack Brown would be a popular choice to replace Bielema is things go south quickly this upcoming season.Whether or not he would be the right choice is another thing altogether.

(via The Oklahoman)

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