Bret Bielema enjoys hunting for silver linings.

His Razorbacks have lost nine straight games entering their opener against Auburn on Aug. 30, but the second-year head coach believes Arkansas is still on better footing than the program he inherited in 2006 at Wisconsin, which entered the season positioned near rock bottom of preseason rankings.

“I think we were ranked 76th in the country. We finished 12-1 and No. 5. I know that rankings do truly not matter,” Bielema told reporters at the Little Rock Touchdown Club according to the Arkansas Democrat. “As a player, as a fan, you don’t necessarily see things through the eyes of a head coach. I know where we are at.”

Since his arrival, Bielema’s focus in Fayetteville has been cleaning up the mess left by John L. Smith with a strong foundation.

The wins, he says, will come.

“The thing that we’re building is something that will last,” Bielema said. “If you build it the right way the first time, you’re never going to have to go back and do it again. It should last a long long time. That’s true if you’re building a fence, building a house or building a program. It may not be a mansion, but it’s definitely going to be a functional living space.”

The Razorbacks are one of three SEC teams, joining Tennessee and Kentucky, without a single vote in the preseason Associated Press Top 25.