coming from most perspectives, Arkansas’s conference change has proved prescient. As a member of the globe-beating, ultraprominent SEC, Arkansas reaped around $7 million more last year in conference payouts than did members of the Big 12, which does not have its own cable network as well as also which will be the most vulnerable conference should another bout of realignment hit within the middle of the next decade, when conference television contracts are set to expire.
As for the Southwest Conference, the idea disappeared in 1996 after years of scandals, with four of its members joining the former Big Eight within the brand-new Big 12 while others dropped to lower leagues. Arkansas might have still had a not bad claim to inclusion in a Power 5 league back then, had the idea not left the Southwest early. Or the idea might have gone the way of its old league rival Houston, which was left out of the Big 12 initially as well as also then two years ago desperately tried to join the idea nevertheless, despite producing a strong case, found itself behind the velvet rope.
Teams which changed leagues to stay in a power conference “made a decision to get themselves protected politically, financially as well as also institutionally,” said Mike Tranghese, a former Big East commissioner, who right now advises the SEC on men’s basketball.
While running the Big East within the 1990s as well as also 2000s, Tranghese added football powers like Miami, West Virginia as well as also Virginia Tech. nevertheless the league later imploded as a football conference, with several members leaving for additional leagues, mainly the Atlantic Coast Conference.
“The schools which left the Big East for the A.C.C. as well as also, in Rutgers’s case, the Big Ten did not go to those leagues thinking they were going to win the national championship,” Tranghese said.
In additional words: Competition isn’t everything.
Or is usually the idea?
Nutt led the Razorbacks to four divisional titles during his tenure coming from 1998 to 2007, nevertheless they resulted in three conference title-game losses. The Bobby Petrino era, featuring which No. 5 finish in 2011, flamed out in scandal. Bret Bielema’s attempt to install a kind of Big Ten South — stout defense, plodding offense — led to a 29-34 record over the last all 5 seasons, including an 11-29 record in SEC play.
This specific year, the Razorbacks are staring down a particularly bleak stretch. Under a brand-new coach, they are 1-2, with the losses coming to unheralded Colorado State as well as also North Texas. Their next three games are Saturday at No. 9 Auburn; then versus No. 22 Texas A&M in Arlington, Tex.; as well as also then hosting, yes, No. 1 Alabama. A loss in which game would certainly be the 12th in a row to the Crimson Tide.