FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas coach Bret Bielema had a tough time falling asleep following a 45-33 loss to Texas A&M last week.
The loss was the second straight for the Razorbacks, the fifth time Bielema has lost at least two games in a row during his eight seasons as a head coach.
Bielema has lost more than two games in a row just once in his career, a four-game stretch while at Wisconsin in 2008 — a mark he hopes to avoid matching when Arkansas (3-2, 0-1 Southeastern Conference) travels to No. 18 Florida (3-1, 2-0) on Saturday.
Despite the loss to the Aggies, Bielema's insomnia afterward had less to do with how poorly the Razorbacks played and more to do with what he called the "positive things" about the game and direction of the program. There are things to do.
Arkansas was 4-8 last season under interim coach John L. Smith, and it was picked to finish last in the SEC West this season.
Bielema, meanwhile, never had a losing season while leading the Badgers to three Rose Bowl appearances in seven years there. His worst season was a 7-6 mark in 2008, during which Wisconsin lost four in a row and five of six games after opening 3-0.
"It's a totally different perspective for me," Bielema said. "I mean, I knew coming in and taking this job that there were some things we were going to have to go through. ... I told our guys after the game, I said, 'We're not there yet, but this climb up the mountain has been a lot of fun, and when we get to the top it's going to be really fun to know what you did.'"
Arkansas never led against Texas A&M, but it looked much crisper on offense than it had a week earlier during a loss at Rutgers. The Razorbacks led by 17 points in the second half of that game before falling 28-24 in a game they played without quarterback Brandon Allen.
Allen returned from a shoulder injury against the Aggies and threw for a career-high 282 yards and three touchdowns.