For this post, Sharp and I are collaborating. Hogtrough
Willy Robinson has had a long and illustrious career throughout his lifetime. He has coached from 1978-2011 straight. During this time, he has only coached a total of 8 years as Defensive Coordinator (4 of which come from Arkansas), although other coaching positions were on the defensive side of the ball. Is it time for him to go? Let’s analyze his career as a defensive coordinator.
Fresno State University 1992-1993
- 714 Points Given Up over 25 Games
- Average of 28.5 PPG
Oregon State University 1999
- 277 Points Given up over 12 games
- Average of 23 PPG
- Gave up 41 points to Georgia Southern (Div I-AA)
San Francisco 49ers 2004
- 452 Points Given up over 16 games
- Average of 28.2 PPG
- Ranked 32nd out of 32nd in NFL
University of Arkansas 2008-2011
- Currently ranked 10th in SEC in Defense while being 3rd Highest Paid DC in SEC (ranked 9th in SEC Defense last year)
- 1277 Points Given up over 51 games
- Average of 25 PPG
Hogtrough, it’s good that you’ve brought Willy Robinson’s historical points per game record to the forefront. To be blunt, nothing about this is personal. This is an issue of the best direction for Razorback football to traverse in order to reach the Summit because Coach Petrino has brought the Razorbacks to heights we could not have expected in such a short time.
Over the last 11 years, the highest point average allowed by a BCS Champion defense was right at 24 points per game by Auburn in 2010, but on AVERAGE, BCS Champions allow 13.7 points per game. The next highest point total allowed per game was LSU’s 2007 improbable championship team which allowed just under 20 points per game. Beyond those two, ALL others allow 16 points per game or fewer.
Of the 17 main categories listed on a team’s profile on the NCAA’s website, Points Allowed per Game is the single most consistently determining statistical category of a BCS Champion. Period.
To take this out of the statistical area and to give a real life example, look at either the Ole Miss or Vanderbilt games this year. If a team that normally puts up 40 points or so on the board struggles offensively, and only puts up 28, a defense which is used to allowing 20 points per game is now on the field longer and gives up another touchdown. Now this game is one that is close.
At Louisville, Coach Petrino took the Cardinals to two one-loss seasons. In each of those seasons 3 points were all that separated Louisville from being undefeated.
For those who would like to say that Arkansas can simply outscore opponents, the problem with that is truly a matter of numbers. Doing an analysis earlier this year, when two SEC teams score over 28 points each in a game, the chances of having a game decided by 3 points or fewer are 50-50. The risk of a loss is that much greater. Certainty in winning games comes with under 16 points allowed per game.
Willy Robinson’s defense isn’t performing by an objective standard.
Separately, one has to wonder about the fundamentals and how much they are drilled into the defensive player’s heads. The concern remains as it did four seasons ago that Willy Robinson may not stress, or may not know, or is not skillful at teaching and drilling fundamentals of defense into these guys. Maybe it’s a matter of scheme. Pro defensive scheme are professional schemes for a reason and college schemes have traditionally been less complex for a reason. No matter how good the players in college may be, they do not have the professional skill sets to recognize the situation nor the physical skill set to execute… like professionals do. If they did, there would easily be more teams in the NFL.
If Razorbacks Fans are wanting a National Championship, allowing 25 points per game will not get us there.
Again, it’s nothing personal and not stated out of anger or division. It’s the way things are.