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College Sports

Bielema expects improvement at Arkansas after winless first run through the SEC

  • Arkansas Preview Football-1.jpg

    FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2013, file photo, Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, right, shouts after his team's victory over Samford in an NCAA college football game in Little Rock, Ark. Bielema begins his second season with Arkansas in 2014. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File) (The Associated Press)

  • Arkansas Preview Football-2.jpg

    In this photo taken Nov. 23, 2013, Arkansas coach Bret Bielema walks onto the field in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi State in Little Rock, Ark. After an unsuccessful first season, including nine straight losses to end the season, Bielema returns for his second year with the Razorbacks in 2014. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston) (The Associated Press)

  • Arkansas Running Wild Football-3.jpg

    FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2013, file photo, Arkansas running back Alex Collins (3) carries against Auburn during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Fayetteville, Ark. Collins will return for the 2014 season. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File) (The Associated Press)

Bret Bielema has experienced a new sense of excitement heading into his second season at Arkansas.

Simple things — increased intensity during practice and a renewed belief — have been a welcomed reboot for both the Razorbacks coach and an entire program in desperate need exactly that after bottoming out last season.

The 3-9 season, the first losing record of Bielema's head coaching career and Arkansas' worst mark since joining the Southeastern Conference, capped a disheartening two-year run for a program considered among the league's best just a few years ago.

Last season has done little to quell Bielema's belief in himself, his coaching staff and players — despite being picked to finish last in the SEC West this season.

The Razorbacks open on Aug. 30 at Auburn.