A rebuilding plan for Arkansas

The Les Miles chase was never going to work, but following A&M's lead will

Updated: November 28, 2012, 5:31 PM ET
By Rod Gilmore | ESPN Insider
Arkansas Razorback mascot Wesley Hitt/Getty ImagesThe 2012 season was a big disappointment for the Razorbacks. How do they turn it around?

When I wrote in September that the Arkansas Razorbacks were in danger of having their season and program spin out of control after a 1-1 start, I said that something as bad as a 6-6 record was possible.

As it turns out, the Razorbacks' drop was even worse than that.

Arkansas went from a preseason top-10 ranking to a 4-8 record. There was the embarrassing loss to Louisiana-Monroe and the beatdown by Alabama. The Hogs' once-great offense, with talented quarterback Tyler Wilson and running back Knile Davis, finished last in the SEC in scoring and rushing.

You can blame it on former coach Bobby Petrino, interim replacement John L. Smith or the players. During 4-8 seasons, there is plenty of blame to go around. But regardless, the fact of the matter is that only the USC Trojans were a bigger bust in college football this season. The Razorbacks are now left looking at a situation with no BCS game, no winning record and no coach.

Ah, yes, no coach. As I wrote in September, Arkansas will have a difficult time attracting A-list coaches to take over the program, and I still believe that to be the case. Yes, there were those reports that Arkansas made a five-year, $27.5 million offer to LSU Tigers coach Les Miles, but as expected, LSU spent the money it needed to in order to keep him.

If luring an elite coach from a division rival isn't the Razorbacks' quick fix, how can Arkansas pick up the pieces and put its program back on track? Let's take a look.


To read Rod Gilmore's full take on how Arkansas should rebuild, including a list of ideal coaching hires, you must be an ESPN Insider.

Rod Gilmore

College Football analyst
Rod Gilmore serves as an ESPN studio analyst on SportsCenter and College Football Live, and provides commentary on ESPN's Friday night game telecasts. He writes regularly for ESPN Insider.