Like Florida State, Arkansas hoped to get a struggling coach to Year 3 and avoid paying a massive guarantee (around $10 million) with four years left on the contract. And, like Florida State, Arkansas had no choice but to reboot by booting its coach.
Chad Morris is out after a 22-game tenure every Arkansas fan would just as soon forget. Morris didn't win a single SEC game in 14 tries and suffered embarrassing losses to San Jose State, Colorado State, North Texas and Western Kentucky. He recorded only two wins against FBS opponents.
Arkansas endured its worst two-year stretch since 1952-53, when it won only five times in 20 games.
Given the struggles, Arkansas' next coach shouldn't face outsized expectations at the start. If Morris' successor can get Arkansas winning SEC games again and making bowls, he should have time to build. Still, Arkansas has pressure and politics like its SEC West brethren, as evidenced by the end to the coaching tenures of Houston Nutt and Ken Hatfield. Arkansas must compete against programs with more recent tradition and better access to talent. While the Hogs' next coach must be capable of recruiting Texas, Arkansas is competing against Jimbo Fisher's Texas A&M team, other SEC suitors, the Big 12 schools and others. Its current recruiting class is No. 23 in ESPN's national rankings, but the team hasn't had a top-20 class since 2011. "Arkansas is a brutal job," an industry source told me. "It's a hard job."
Here's a look at the Arkansas job and who could be the Head Hog in 2020.