Bret Bielema knew he was taking over a group of players still reeling from the fallout of the Bobby Petrino scandal when he was hired at Arkansas last December.
Coming off a 4-8 season under interim coach John L. Smith, the Razorbacks were in desperate need of stability at the top - something they immediately found with Bielema. The former Wisconsin coach took one look at his new team, with its 18 seniors and emotional scars, and let his expectations be known right away.
''With all due respect, I didn't come here to be great in three years,'' Bielema said.
Arkansas has its first opportunity to live up to Bielema's early expectations on Saturday when it hosts Louisiana-Lafayette. The game will mark the beginning of the Bielema era, one without household names such as Tyler Wilson, Knile Davis and Cobi Hamilton.
What Arkansas does have is a collective chip on its shoulder, thanks to preseason predictions of doom and gloom. The Razorbacks were picked to fini...