Ouch. The Southeastern Conference football schedule hasn’t yet begun and the New York Times offers an article suggesting the Arkansas Razorbacks aren’t up to playing in the league.
The days in the Southwest Conference were glorious, the article recounts. But:
Since joining the SEC in 1991, the Razorbacks have had just one top-10 finish, in 2011, when their two losses came to the two teams that played for the national championship: Alabama and Louisiana State. Those are two extraordinarily formidable programs that, as a member of the SEC West, Arkansas now plays — and often loses to — every year.
….Now Arkansas has a problem that seems all too common among teams that have switched conferences in college football’s modern era, usually with money as a prime motivator: It may just be in the wrong league. Rutgers, Maryland, Boston College — are you listening?
Among other bits: Houston Nutt opines and the article notes that the move to the SEC produced what Frank Broyles had envisioned — money and lots of it. It also notes another conference switcher, Texas A&M, has done pretty well.
One person — Mike Tranghese, a former Big East commissioner who now advises the SEC — thinks the schools were motivated by considerations other than competitiveness.
For many programs, changing leagues “put them in one of the Power 5 conferences, which protected them both politically and institutionally,” Tranghese said. “Anything good that came about regarding competition was a bonus.”
He added, “There’s nothing wrong with that.”
Fans of Arkansas, Rutgers and a few other programs might beg to differ.