The Arkansas Razorbacks are a very successful college football program, and head coach Bobby Petrino deserves plenty of credit for the great run. Petrino is considered an offensive-minded coach and under his leadership, the Razorbacks have achieved plenty of lofty goals.
If Arkansas is going to take the next step and be mentioned in the same breath as LSU and Alabama, Petrino has to change things up.
Last year, when the Razorbacks were trounced 41-17 against LSU, Petrino blew up on the sideline. He was shown screaming obscenities on the sideline and made a scene during the postgame handshake with Les Miles.
It could be argued that Les Miles ran up the score with the game in hand, but it does not matter. Petrino has to be better than this. The blowup could be perceived by many that Miles got under his skin and beat Petrino on and off the field. This hurts the program in more ways than one. It shows that Miles and Alabama coach Nick Saban have an edge over Petrino. Petrino has to improve the way he handles himself, because even if one recruit was turned off by the display, it is too many.
In recruiting, Petrino will compete directly with Saban and Miles, and one thing can completely change the game.
Petrino will have to get defensive.
Petrino is an offensive genius, and his type of game plan has developed some outstanding talent in Arkansas, proving that the team can score with any team in the country. However, it’s not enough.
In the last two years, the Razorbacks have been very close to getting over the hump and becoming an elite team in the country, but the defense has failed them in the biggest games. The defense has to be able to keep the Hogs in a game when the offense is sputtering. Petrino has made some changes to the coaching staff in the offseason, but if they don’t pan out, Arkansas will always play second fiddle to Alabama and LSU.
The Razorbacks have the talent and the skill players to make a run at the national championship. If they want to take that next step, they have to make some changes, and it all starts at the top.
James Brown is a B/R Featured Columnist and can be followed on Twitter here. Feel free to contact James at firstname.lastname@example.org.