Can Arkansas coach Bret Bielema’s approval rating get out of bottom 3 of SEC?
Arkansas football rules the world of Razorbacks sports. So, with your bacon, have some Hogs for Breakfast and get caught up. It’s SEC Country’s weekday column and roundup on all things Arkansas … especially Arkansas football. Opinion, numbers, inane babble and more! And now with ironic exclamation points! There is no place like it on the web.
Bret Bielema is in the bottom three in popularity of SEC coaches
Each month here at SEC Country, we ask you, the fans, to rate the job being done by your head coach. LSU fans vote for Ed Orgeron, Florida fans for Jim McElwain, Arkansas fans for Bret Bielema, and so on. In July, the Razorbacks’ head man checked in with a 65.7 approval rating. Seems high, right? But this isn’t presidential politics.
When put against other coaches in the SEC, that 65.7-percent approval rate is the third-lowest in the league. Only Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin (understandable) and Auburn’s Gus Malzahn had lower percentages of approval.
Now it’s time to check in again, in August. You can vote four ways: Strongly approve, approve, disapprove, strongly disapprove. Not sure what sort of person is picking “strongly disapprove.”
If Arkansas makes a bowl game this season, it will be the first time the Razorbacks have gone to four straight bowls since 2000-2003. Bielema isn’t exactly slouching out there. In fact, he has had only one bad Arkansas team since he arrived, and that was coming off the disaster that was the John L. Smith era. Everything else Bielema has done has been competent or better.
Perhaps there are pessimists among the voters. Maybe there are those — including myself — who think Arkansas won’t make that fourth straight bowl appearance. But I haven’t seen that. Conventional wisdom suggests 7-5, the most common prediction seen. Nonetheless, consensus does not believe the Razorbacks are a .500 team or worse.
Then again, I haven’t understood approval ratings since November.
Remembering the LSU field-rush game in 2014
It only felt like the entire stadium’s worth of people blitzed the field when Arkansas beat LSU in 2014.
The win was Arkansas’ first in the SEC in 18 games and the first league victory for Bielema, who was hired before the 2013 season. Personally, it was my first year on the Arkansas beat and the first significant event I remember, having only started about a month before.
The moment came in at No. 11 in SEC Country’s 25 Most Memorable Moments in Arkansas’ 25 SEC seasons.
The countdown continues this week with the top 10 kicking off Monday. Any guesses as to what’s left? Hint: Seven football and three basketball.
Johnny Majors reflects on Frank Broyles
What makes a good boss? It isn’t just someone you like. It has to be someone you also respect. They can’t be a pushover. They should test your limits, maybe even make you mad every so often. More than anything, though, they should be the type of person who gets the best out of you and one you want to give your best for.
That’s the sort of boss Frank Broyles was. At least, according to one of his most famous lieutenants.
Former Tennessee head coach and Arkansas assistant Johnny Majors spoke with SEC Country’s Trent Shadid on Saturday, the day of Broyles’ public day of celebration at Bud Walton Arena. The Razorbacks icon died a week ago from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 92.
- Mark another vote for Arkansas in the Liberty Bowl against Kansas State. I think it’s probably copied, but hey, it’s something.
- What Bear Bryant is to Alabama is what Broyles was to Arkansas writes Bob Holt at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
- Arkansas soccer, ranked No. 17 in the country, opened its season this weekend. SMU beat the Razorbacks down in Dallas, 1-0, Friday night, but Arkansas countered Sunday afternoon with 2-0 win against North Texas.
- Bielema is the best recruiter at Arkansas since Broyles, Richard Davenport says.
Tweets and the like
Some people leave social media when their friends post too many baby or pet photos. That’s about the only reason I keep one. Call me old, but these are the best.
Broke fall camp yesterday with a hungry football team to #RaiseTheBar
— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) August 20, 2017
Here is the exact quote from Majors on being an assistant under Broyles.
My favorite quote from talking with Johnny Majors today … pic.twitter.com/sYIYxJKMUR
— Trent Shadid (@Shadid13) August 20, 2017
North Texas doesn’t sound like a scary opponent, I know. But check out this nugget.
Arkansas with its first win of the 2017 season and giving UNT its first loss at home since 2014.
— Razorback Soccer (@RazorbackSoccer) August 20, 2017
Rest in peace, coach.
— Arkansas Razorbacks (@ArkRazorbacks) August 20, 2017
Who is ready for college baseball season?! OK, probably just me and the people in this photograph. Everyone else wants football. But I got psyched seeing this tweet Sunday. “Spring is coming.”
— Razorback Baseball (@RazorbackBSB) August 20, 2017
Yee-Haw! Today in Arkansas
There are two approaches to robbing something (I’m told). You can go stealthily, silently. In and out. Or you can go for it with brute force.
These folks chose the latter.
Skip Breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here.