OT rumors: Bielema to Arkansas (per Yahoo!)

Submitted by dnak438 on December 4th, 2012 at 3:03 PM




In a stunning coup, Arkansas will hire Wisconsin's Bret Bielema as its next football coach, Yahoo! Sports has learned.

Bielema, who has taken the Badgers to three straight Rose Bowls, was nowhere on the radar amid months of speculation over who Arkansas would hire.

An announcement will come today, sources told Y! Sports, but Bielema is not expected to be introduced until Wednesday.



December 4th, 2012 at 4:45 PM ^

Kill seems like a good coach. If he can get his seizures under control Minnesota might develop into a solid squad. The late Terry Hoepner did a good job of making IU competitive again. If not for tragic deaths the Big Ten would have two solid coaches who came straight from the MACTION.


If anything it seems that coaches who come straight from the MAC seem to suffer health crisies.:Hoepper(cancer), Walker(heart attack), and Kill(seizures). It 


December 4th, 2012 at 5:44 PM ^

He was a very average coach who was likable and died tragically.  He had one year where he tied in a three-way tie for first. Northwestern "won" the Big Ten while being unranked because they managed to upset us and not play OSU. They went to the Alamo Bowl.

Outside of that one year he had one other year with a winning season where he went 7-5.  


December 4th, 2012 at 4:46 PM ^

Kelly was at Cinci before ND.


Saban was the Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator before he went to Sparty, he was at Toledo for one year.


Randy Walker had a losing record in the Big Ten, even if you remove his first season.


Urban was at Utah, then Florida


Hoke was at SDSU 


Who exactly are you talking about? Almost no one goes from the MAC to a big time program and succeeds.


December 4th, 2012 at 3:11 PM ^

If this is true, it's a humiliation for the Big Ten.  The coach of our league's 3-time champ, who has no ties to the South whatsoever, would be leaving for a mid-tier SEC program.  Sobering. 


December 4th, 2012 at 3:26 PM ^

Agreed.  Then again, everyone is always talking about money in college football (Dave Brandon likes to on national television).  This had to be a money grab on Bielema's part.  Sometimes employers are simply unwilling to match competing offers.  Good for Wisconsin if they decided not to play the Les Miles/LSU game of chicken.



December 4th, 2012 at 3:47 PM ^

True, but these things never end up well for the people that are in comfortable positions but are looking for more money.  Inevitably, the current employer eventually tells them to go pound sand, the employee leaves for "greener" pastures and finds that everything other than the money is sh-ttier than their previous position.  I've seen it numerous times in my personal life.  As I get older, the more I realize that money isn't everything (and this is coming from a lawyer that will be paying off his school loans until the year 2419).



December 4th, 2012 at 3:23 PM ^

That's about how I see it as well. I can only imagine this had to do with money or that Bielema clashed with the AD on some issue (similar why RR left WV). With all of the money the B10 network is raking in, it is absolutely puzzling why a coach of one of the conference's top programs would bolt for a midling program in the SEC. Even as it gets richer, the B1G continues to get worse.


December 4th, 2012 at 3:18 PM ^

Although He's lost some of his closest assistants over the years, I just don't see, outside of a money grab, that this makes any sense.  You compete year in and year out (3 straight B1G titles), have a niche recruiting market in the Wisconsin/MN area, great fan base, etc...  It all speaks to one of two things.....or probably both.  1. Money  2. Ego/desire to win bigger things

Now that I think about it, I guess I can't blame him for it.




December 4th, 2012 at 4:00 PM ^

 Not really that strange given the recent collapse of the Big tens football programs. The mac is probably better from top to bottom than the big ten right now. The SeC is best conference in football by far , so maybe he wanted a chanllenge.

 To the folks saying bye bye Wisconsin. i remember folks saying the same thing when Alvarez retired. They've had more success under bielima than they did under Alvarez. We'll see who they hire


December 4th, 2012 at 4:22 PM ^

You realize the eleventh place Big Ten team beat the Orange Bowl bound MAC champion, right? The other team in that game lost by 33 to a two win Kentucky team. Here's that slate, by conference standings. Also, Sagarin Predictor spreads for a neutral site game:

NIU v. OSU -5
KSU v. Nebraska -10
BGSU v. Michigan -16.5
Ball State v. Penn State -13
Toledo v. Northwestern -11.5
CMU v. Wisconsin -28
Ohio v. Michigan State -18
Buffalo v. Purdue -16.5
Miami v. Indiana -13
WMU v. Minnesota -8
UMass v. Iowa -29.5
EMU v. Illinois -7.5

That's not factoring in Akron (0-8, eight point loss at home to UMass) into the equation; the Big Ten is favored by double digits in 9/12 games, and is more than a touchdown favorite in two others.


December 4th, 2012 at 3:20 PM ^

I'm making my prediction now.  The B1G is in negotiations to add Arkansas as its 15th member.  As part of the agreement to join, Arkansas gets Bielema and assistant coaches to be named later from the B1G.  In return, the B1G gets to again expand it's footprint.


December 4th, 2012 at 3:28 PM ^


Granted I wasn't following this coaching search closely, but I was under the impression that not only was Chris Petersen pretty much a done deal, but that the quite successul and beloved hand picked heir to the Alvarez throne would never think of leaving.  Wow.  Just wow.


December 4th, 2012 at 3:35 PM ^

This won't end well for Bielema.  Petersen rejected them and they grabbed the first name coach they could.  Tenn did this with Kiffin.


December 4th, 2012 at 3:35 PM ^

I think this is a dumb move.  He is a midwest kid that has a good thing going on at Wisconsin.  I could see him havinfg several medocre years at Arkansas then geting fired.  He would then have a tough time getting a job as good as Wisconsins ever again. 

He may make more money in the short run, but long term this is a bad move. 


December 4th, 2012 at 3:42 PM ^

I can be the Les Miles of Arkansas.  Though the recruiting situation is very different. He may also have NFL aspirations and know that he's going to never have a run like this again with OSU on the rise under Urban Meyer.

I think it's a bold move and I admire him for it.  Yes, it makes the B1G look inferior (highly) to the SEC but that's the reality.

The ultimate jerk to the ultimate cheater conference.  I love it.


December 4th, 2012 at 3:37 PM ^

Wow. This would be the definition of things no one saw coming.

That being said, I will agree with others who said this is a bit of an indictment on the state of affairs in the Big Ten. Bielema is (now, was) 68-24 with multiple 10-win seasons and three trips to the Rose Bowl to his credit, so it certainly wasn't a move in advance of potential unemployment. Reports also say he wants to coach the Rose Bowl game, so that will be an interesting atmosphere in Madison for the next month.

Definitely an upgrade from John L. Smith, of course. In a strange season for the Big Ten, this has to be one of the strangest things to come out of it yet. The few tweets that I have seen from Arkansas fans show some underwhelmed responses, but then it basically just happened.