The season has gotten away from Arkansas, and now favorite son and starting quarterback Tyler Wilson needs to sit down. The Hogs are going nowhere fast in 2012 and would benefit in 2013 and beyond by benching Wilson so the team can polish its future top quarterback.
Arkansas (1-4, 0-2) won’t be competing for an SEC or national championship. Arkansas likely won’t be in a bowl game. Interim head coach John L. Smith will be catapulted out of Fayetteville immediately after—and maybe before—the Razorbacks are finally put out of their misery after losing to current No. 4 LSU on November 23.
In short, Arkansas has only pride left to play for in 2012.
Unfortunately for the Hogs, pride won’t help produce any wins in 2013. There’s going to be a new captain guiding the ship and new sailors to make it go next season.
Wilson won’t be around to help in the rebuilding of a once-competitive program. The pride of Greenwood High will be under center or patrolling the sidelines for some NFL outfit.
At this moment Wilson—who sold his teammates out after they were embarrassed by Alabama 52-0 in a game in which he didn’t play—is essentially the past of Arkansas football. Why should he take away invaluable snaps from one of the team’s future signal callers? Nothing Wilson does from here on out in 2012 is going to help the Hogs become a better football team.
In benching Wilson, it’s not like Arkansas is telling Joe Montana to take a seat. Wilson is a pedestrian 79 of 145 for 1,355 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions. Five of those touchdowns came against the likes of mighty Jacksonville State and Louisiana-Monroe. Thanks largely to Wilson Arkansas is converting a meager 33 percent of third downs and ranks 109 in red-zone offense.
There’s no getting around it: Wilson’s draft stock will fall. Barring a catastrophic injury, he’s likely still a late first-, second- or at the least-third round selection. He may not be a starter from the jump, but eventually he’ll get his shot at being QB-1.
Wilson’s benching won’t benefit Smith. However, it will allow for each of the five other signal callers to have some time under center and also provide a base of knowledge for whichever coach—and don’t kid yourselves Hogs fans, it isn’t going to be a huge name—comes in to clean up the mess.
Bid adieu to Wilson, Hogs fans. Sure, you’ll be sad to see him go, but in the end it’s in the best interest of your beloved program to sit him down.