Arkansas kicks off spring football practice today, and with it comes plenty of questions and storylines. To kick things off, Edward Aschoff has a good piece on the expections to have of Bret Bielema as year five gets underway. Bielema hasn’t had the same success that he had at Wisconsin, or that some peers in the SEC have had, but the complexity of his situation should be taken into account when judging his success.
With the move of Paul Rhodes to defensive coordinator and the switch to a 3-4 defense. Plenty of attention will be on the defense and their progression this spring. More about the defense and other things to look for this spring here. The list includes things like Austin Allen’s progression in year two as a starter, and the impact of the early enrollees.
Recently, the NCAA decreed that if coaches receive two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, they could be ejected just like players. Naturally that led to a discussion of which college coach would be the first to hold that honor. SB Nation held a draft guessing which coaches would do it first, and Bielema came in as a top-10 pick.
It’s still March but we’re already getting to put into perspective how big of an anomaly last year was for Razorback baseball. After a series win against Missouri, Arkansas has now equaled their series win total from last year and is just two wins away from matching last year’s conference win mark. With the series win Arkansas is now ranked in every poll for the first time this year. Most polls have the Hogs at No. 20, but Collegiate Baseball has them all the way up to 17.
Arkansas Basketball has had a tough time keeping their roster in place in recent off seasons. Last year the entire 2015 recruiting class was gone before they started their sophomore year. Mike Anderson says he doesn’t anticipate any players besides the three graduating seniors to leave this offseason. Keeping the same players in place could be huge for the Hogs with the incoming recruiting class to make a run at consecutive NCAA Tournament runs.