National picture of Bielema starting to fade after Belk Bowl collapse

It didn’t take long after Arkansas’ historic collapse in the Belk Bowl on Thursday night for the national media to start weighing in.

Clay Travis at had an interesting take:

I think the way the Razorbacks lost coupled with a senior tight end getting popped for stealing from Belk in the Belk Bowl — seriously, this is the best viral marketing in Belk Bowl history — it’s clear that Bret Bielema, who is now 25-26 and 10-22 in the SEC after four years, is not the answer if your goal is to compete for championships

Now, if your goal is to go 7-5 or 8-4 and win half of your SEC games and every four or five years contend for the SEC West, I think Bielema can pull that off. But anything more than that isn’t happening. Arkansas’s problem is two fold: 1. Bielema has a 15 million buyout and 2. who else can you hire that’s definitely better?

I think Bielema would be a good coach in the Big Ten — where we already know he won big at Wisconsin — or the Big 12. But the problem is he’s at Arkansas and right now the Razorbacks are the 8th or 9th best job in the SEC. (Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M, LSU, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida are all definitely better jobs. And South Carolina, Missouri and Ole Miss are roughly equivalent jobs. The only schools in the SEC that Arkansas is definitely a better job than are Mississippi State, Kentucky, and Vanderbilt.)

So if you’re going to win big at Arkansas you need to have a coach who either has a schematic coaching advantage, like Bobby Petrino, or one who recruits consistent top ten talent. Bielema offers neither of these. So how is Bielema ever winning at a high level at Arkansas?

It’s simple, he isn’t.

But who would definitely do better at Arkansas? I’m not sure there’s an easy answer.

Travis, who also does a national morning radio show on Fox Sports Radio, is saying the same thing a lot of Arkansas fans are muttering right now on various message boards.

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You can read Travis’ blog here (there is adult language for those who might find that offensive).