FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) - Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema has been fired after five seasons with the Razorbacks.
Bielema went 29-34 Arkansas while posting a dismal 11-29 against SEC opponents. Things were even worse against divisional opponents for the Razorbacks as they were 7-22 against the SEC West under Bielema including a combined 0-10 against Alabama and Texas A&M.
The 2017 season never got going as Arkansas lost star running back Rawleigh Williams III in the spring to a career-ending neck injury then the Razorbacks lost their leading receiver (Jared Cornelius), top corner back (Ryan Pulley) and All-American center Frank Ragnow during the season. Senior and starting quarterback Austin Allen also missed more than four games due to a shoulder injury.
Arkansas finished this season 4-7 and will miss a bowl game for the first time since Bielema's first season in 2013.
Bielema’s fourth year at Arkansas, the 2016 season, looked to headed for his best as the Razorbacks started the season 7-4 and led Missouri 24-7 but the Hogs saw that lead slip away against a team that finished last in the SEC. Arkansas then saw things get worse in the Belk Bowl as they let a 24-0 disappear as Virginia Tech outscored the Razorbacks 35-0 in the second half as Bielema and his team finished the year 7-6.
When Bielema was hired at Arkansas on Dec. 4, 2012, most thought the former Wisconsin coach would be the answer to help put the Razorbacks’ football program in the hunt for a SEC championship. Bielema went 68-24 as head coach of the Badgers and led them to three Big Ten championships and the same number of appearances in the Rose bowl.
Arkansas started to improve under Bielema in his second season in Fayetteville as they improved from 4-8 in his first season to 7-6, including a Texas Bowl win over the University of Texas. The Razorbacks took another step forward in 2015 as Arkansas won eight games for the first time in three seasons and beat Kansas State in the Liberty Bowl.