When we last saw Arkansas State in 2009, the Red Wolves were a sub-.500 football program stumbling and bumbling their way through the Sun Belt Conference. Back to back 4-8 seasons in 2009 and 2010 led to the resignation of head coach Steve Roberts. He was replaced by offensive coordinator Hugh Freeze; an interesting move since Freeze had only three years experience as a division 1-A assistant coach. (2006-07 as the tight ends coach at Ole Miss.) Freeze did have 10 years experience as a high school head coach (1995-2004) and two years as an NAIA head coach (2008-09 at Lambuth University).
Recipe for disaster, right? Arkansas State jumped to 10-2 in 2011, winning the Sun Belt championship, and a berth in the Go Daddy Bowl.