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Andy Hodges

King on how hiring ‘right’ coach most important factor in college football

No, college football is not about the players if the wrong coach is leading things and Arkansas fans probably should already know all about that.

It’s a subject a lot of people tend to get confused when the old debate over whether it’s the players or coaches most important to winning games in college football.

The bottom line is it’s the coaches. Coaches can win some games, but it takes players in the mix to win championships.

Bill King of Nashville SportsRadio understands that like a lot of us old-timers have for years.

“The No. 1 thing when you go to hire a coach is get the right guy,” King said Wednesday afternoon with Phil Elson, Matt Jenkins and Matt Travis (Halftime) on ESPN Arkansas. “That sounds pretty obvious, but many don’t get the right guy. Nothing matters more than the head coach.”

Arkansas fans should know that better than most. The last two coaching staffs brought in enough players to be bowl eligible the last three seasons.

Talking about a lack of talent is simply providing an excuse for the failures of Bret Bielema and Chad Morris.

“The guys you go get — I don’t care how star-studded that class is that you bring in recruiting — if you’ve got the wrong coach he’ll screw it up,” King said. “He will screw it up. This line of thinking — and some coaches will tell you this but I don’t think they mean it — that it’s all about the players, well, it is except when you compare it to the players.”

You hear that tired mantra from winning coaches all the time. It’s always been entertaining to hear guys making millions of dollars and consistently continue to say it’s all about the coaching.

The same guys, saying the same things for decades … not just over a four-year period. Coaching is not picking a play on third-and-2 from midfield, it’s more about putting the pieces in place for them to have success.

With the Razorbacks, the last two coaching staffs have coached players down.

Regardless of my opinion of him, Bobby Petrino coached players up.

“It’s a big lie that’s being told that the players determine everything,” King said. “Not if the coach is wrong.”

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