FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino and his players have never been shy about proclaiming their expectations.

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino and his players have never been shy about proclaiming their expectations.

They figure there’s no sense in keeping goals a secret. The Razorbacks are working to win championships, expect to win championships and aren’t afraid to say it. But Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson and the Razorbacks also aren’t foolish — they realize accomplishing it isn’t easy.

“We play in the best conference,” Wilson said. “We play against great opponents every day. It’s tough to get there.”

The 2011 season helped the Razorbacks realize they may not be that far off, though. One season after reaching the 10-win mark and a Bowl Championship Series game for the first time in school history, the Razorbacks fell one victory short of securing a spot in the national championship game.

In the end, the Razorbacks had to settle for a Cotton Bowl victory, equaling a school-record with 11 wins, and finishing in the top five in the final polls for the first time since 1977. It’s plenty to be proud of, but Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said the Razorbacks are already looking forward to the future in hopes of taking the next step in 2012.

“Two more wins,” Petrino said when asked what was next for the Razorbacks, referencing the losses at Alabama and LSU. “That is really what it is. You have got to be there consistently. That is what we are fighting for – to be there consistently, continue to compete for it, get yourself in an opportunity in November when you have a chance to get to Atlanta.

“We have been there, we have knocked on the door. We have just got to keep going and sooner or later we will knock it down.”

The Razorbacks came close in 2011 thanks to a senior class that served as the foundation for Petrino’s program.

Veterans like Jarius Wright, Joe Adams, Jake Bequette, Jerry Franklin and Jerico Nelson were instrumental, providing leadership for a team that had to deal with loads of adversity.

Arkansas will, at least, step into 2012 with plenty of buzz because of those contributions and the talent returning, beginning with Wilson and Davis. The duo will likely be mentioned as preseason Heisman Trophy candidates next summer, but said their main goal is winning big games.

“I feel like if we have a complete season together we can do big things,” Davis said. “People better look out.”

The Razorbacks have, at this point, shown the ability to take a step forward under Petrino’s watch each season. Arkansas won five games in 2008, eight in 2009, 10 in 2010 and 11 in 2011.

He said Arkansas’ hope now is to get to the point where it can “reload” instead of being forced to rebuild after losing veteran players. But no matter what, he said Arkansas will never back off of its expectations of winning championships.