The Razorbacks were the SEC’s most experienced team in 2011

Knile Davis will be back in 2012.

The Razorbacks’ pulled off an impressive last minute recruiting coup when they signed once Tennessee commit Otha Peters earlier this week. Otha Peters is a 4* stud linebacker out of Covington, LA and ties as our 2nd highest rated player in Arkansas’ 2012 recruiting class. Much like our disappointment after losing a highly coveted WR from a state to our north, the Tennessee faithful were a bit upset when they discovered Peters was going elsewhere, and like all good college football fans, they took to a message board to voice their opinion. Most of the thread is useless (incorrect) information from a bunch of butthurt fans, but one user (RiotVol) pointed out that Arkansas does have a plan…. and the plan relies experience and player development over stars.

RiotVol did is homework and points out that Arkansas had more returning players with experience on their 2011 roster than anyone else in the SEC. To do this he created a pretty impressive chart that shows exactly what Bobby Petrino has built in his short time at Arkansas. He gives a point for each varsity letter earned, and a half-point for each redshirt player.

Team Experience Points 2011 Record
Arkansas Razorbacks Logo

Arkansas
Razorbacks

115.4 11-2
Auburn Logo

Auburn
Tigers

104.5 8-5
LSU Logo

LSU
Tigers

101.5 13-1
Vanderbilt Logo

Vanderbilt
Commodores

99.0 6-7
Alabama Logo

Alabama
Crimson Tide

96.0 12-1
Georgia Logo

Georgia
Bulldogs

91.5 10-4
Kentucky Logo

Kentucky
Wildcats

88.5 5-7
Mississippi State Logo

Mississippi State
Bulldogs

88.0 7-6
South Carolina Logo

South Carolina
Gamecocks

85.5 11-2
Florida Gators Logo

Florida
Gators

69.5 7-6
Tennessee Vols Logo

Tennessee
Volunteers

56.0 5-7
Ole Miss Logo

Ole Miss
Rebels

25.5 2-10

Of course, experience isn’t everything, and recruiting a top-5 class will always be the easiest road to a SEC WEST National Championship, but it appears that Bobby Petrino is trying to prove that player development and experience will do the trick as well. Considering that he took the Razorbacks to the Sugar Bowl in only his 3rd season after taking over with a bare cupboard following Houston Nutt’s departure for Ole Miss (Notice he’s done the same with them) in 2007, I tend to agree.

How about you? Can player development and superior coaching make up for a lower-ranked recruiting class?

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I started Hog Database (originally called Razorback Legacy) in April 2005 as an Arkansas Razorback photo archive. It has grown into a site covering all aspects of Arkansas Football. Follow me on Google+ or on Twitter @HogDatabase.

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