SEC Country reporter Eric W. Bolin will candidly answer your Arkansas Razorbacks sports queries each weekday in our Mailbag Question of the Day. Join the conversation by sending your questions via Twitter to @SECCountryHogs or by email to Eric at email@example.com.
Arkansas Question of the Day: Thursday, Nov. 30
This completely depends on one’s perspective.
Would Lane Kiffin win football games at Arkansas at the level that would satisfy the fans? Probably a bit. But the assumption was Bret Bielema would, too. Instead, Bielema did for two years then was unceremoniously run off.
Kiffin has done well this season (his first) season at Florida Atlantic. Thing is, it’s just that. One season.
His previous head coaching gig in the SEC was … well, less than enthusiastic. He left Tennessee — by all accounts a superior job to Arkansas (until about four days ago) — after one 7-6 season. Didn’t exactly leave Volunteers faithful with a great taste in their mouth.
But in retrospect, it wasn’t a surprise. Kiffin has proven himself to be … what’s a good way to put it? A character. He is an iconoclast on Twitter, where his filter is rather limited — which I personally appreciate. A bit of a maverick in the flesh-and-blood world, too. USC tired of his ways quickly when he was in Southern California, much the same as Arkansas fans were finished with Bielema’s “mouthy” personality by the end.
It’s one thing, though, for such a lack of filter to go over when you’re coaching at Florida Atlantic. That school wants as much attention it can get for whatever reason, you’d have to think. As long as Kiffin isn’t doing anything of questionable morals, the Owls will take it.
Play it like that at Arkansas, though, and it doesn’t go over quite as well. That’s part of the reason Bielema never completely got over with some of the higher-ups. His personality was a complete clash. He wasn’t an Arkansas Man. If Bielema wasn’t, Kiffin definitely isn’t.
As such, it’s hard to imagine Kiffin succeeding for long in Fayetteville. His personality is too much like sandpaper for the bunched-up-shirt crowd. Same reason I also can’t see Mike Leach lasting long in Fayetteville. Doesn’t mean it won’t happen, but guys like those two don’t strike me as the type to be controlled.
That’s what Arkansas wants.
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