Bret Bielema Finding SEC a Tough Place to Play

By Southern, Michael | The Tuscaloosa News, October 19, 2013 | Go to article overview

Bret Bielema Finding SEC a Tough Place to Play


Southern, Michael, The Tuscaloosa News


When Bret Bielema accepted the job with the Arkansas Razorbacks, the Big Ten transplant had every intention of bringing his hard- nosed, physical running style with him to Fayetteville.

But implementing it in the rugged Southeastern Conference has been a challenging work in progress. Saturday night in Bryant-Denny Stadium, Bielema's learning curve continued as his Razorbacks suffered a 52-0 loss to the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.

"It's been a tough road," a frustrated Bielema said in the postgame press conference. "I knew it when we signed up for the schedule.

"The SEC is a very competitive market."

Arkansas arrived in Tuscaloosa with a winless record in the SEC, and any hopes things might improve faded quickly as the Razorbacks became the centerpiece of a Crimson Tide luau.

Before Saturday's trip to the slaughterhouse, the Razorbacks had been outscored 127-50 in SEC losses to Texas A&M, Florida and South Carolina.

The 52-point loss mirrored last year's 52-0 drubbing by Alabama in Fayetteville.

"Obviously, this is getting a little old," Bielema said. "Nothing that we did out there today can give us any indication that the things we need to do are that close. It's a long way to go. "What we have to do as coaches is begin to move forward with guys that are going to execute what we're asking them to do. The guys that survive this, the guys that move forward with us will be rewarded."

For Mobile native Darius Philon, who played at Vigor High School and was a one-time Crimson Tide commitment, the return to his home state became a bittersweet event. …

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