2012 was an... eventful... year in Razorback sports. In fact, at the conclusion of the 2012 Cotton Bowl, everything seemed to be going the Hogs' way. But, a major bowl victory to cap the 2011 season, a strong core returning for the 2012 season, and Mike Anderson's first season back home on the Hill became overshadowed by the Petrino scandal in April and the disastrous JLS-led 2012 football season.
Presented for your enjoyment: A timeline of notable events, across all sports, that have shaped the current state of Razorbacks athletics.
January 6: As the end to an impressive 2011 season, the Razorbacks beat the Kansas State Wildcats 29-16 in the AT&T Cotton Bowl. Arkansas finishes the season ranked 5th. Seems like an eternity ago, doesn't it?
January 21: Men's basketball knocks off favored Michigan in a packed Bud Walton Arena.
Febuary 1: #1 overall recruit Dorial Green-Beckham spurns the Razorbacks for Missouri; Arkansas signs the #34 overall class.
February 26: The Razorback Men's Indoor Track & Field team wins the SEC championship.
March 17-19: The Arkansas women's basketball team makes their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2003. The Lady'Backs are eliminated with a 2-point loss to defending national champion Texas A&M (led by former Arkansas coach Gary Blair) in the 2nd round.
April 1: Bobby Petrino signs lifetime contract with Arkansas. APRIL FOOLS! Petrino is involved in a motorcycle accident that becomes the catalyst for the investigation into an alleged inappropriate relationship with a subordinate.
April 9: BJ Young announces that he will forgo the NBA draft and return to Arkansas for his sophomore season.
April 10: Jeff Long fires Bobby Petrino with cause, for "engag[ing] in a pattern of misleading and manipulative behavior designed to deceive me and members of the athletic staff, both before and after the motorcycle accident."
April 21: The Razorback women's gymnastics team advances to the NCAA Super Six (gymnastics equivalent to the Final Four). Since its founding in 2002, the Razorback gymnastics team has made it to the NCAA Championship Tournament 6 times.
April 24: John L. Smith is announced as head coach for the 2012 season. Hilarity and gnashing-of-teeth ensues.
May 12: Three Arkansas players (including starting WR Marquel Wade) are arrested in connection with residential burglary charges for stealing from a University dorm. None return to the team for the 2012 season.
May 13: The Razorback Men's Outdoor Track and Field team wins the SEC championship by an astounding 78 points. Including the Indoor championship and the 2011 Cross Country championship, this victory gave the Razorbacks their 13th SEC Triple Crown.
June 11: The Razorback baseball team beats the Baylor Bears in the Waco Super Regional to punch their ticket to the College World Series in Omaha, NB.
July 4: Reports begin to trickle out that John L. Smith would be facing bankruptcy over failed land investments in Kentucky. Smith would eventually file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy while claiming $25 million in debt, and later amend that figure to $40 million.
September 1: The Razorbacks begin the 2012 football season ranked in the top-10 of every major preseason poll.
September 8: Nothing important happened today.
November 16: #1 center and 5-star recruit Bobby Portis and #7 center Moses Kingsley sign letters of intent to play basketball for the Razorbacks.
November 17: With a 15-45 loss to the Mississippi State Bulldogs, the Razorbacks are officially eliminated from bowl contention.
November 24: Jeff Long announces that that John L. Smith will not be retained beyond the end of his contract. The fanbase is understandably shocked - shocked that it even needed to be announced.
December 4: Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports reports that Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema will be hired to fill the coaching vacancy at Arkansas.
From the excitement of a Cotton Bowl win, to the worst April Fools Day joke ever, to the absolutely embarrassing 2012 season, and finally to renewed hope as the Bret Bielema era begins, it's been a wild ride, Hog fans. Here's hoping to a wonderful 2013.