Bret Bielema To Arkansas! Comment Count

Brian December 4th, 2012 at 3:11 PM

This is not a drill:

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 Tuesday, sources told Y! Sports, but Bielema is not expected to be introduced until Wednesday.

But like adding Rutgers and Maryland will prevent this sort of thing from happening. People in charge of things are just in charge of them, for no reason.


I Like Burgers

December 4th, 2012 at 3:36 PM ^

Being the rishest conference and having all of that BTN and ESPN money coming in is absolutely pointless if the teams won't step up and start paying their coaches and staffs like the big boy conferences.  This is the reason the Big Ten is falling behind.  There's no reason Big Ten schools can't start offering any coach in the county $4M+ to come to their school.  A school like Purdue should absolutely be looking to get someone big.  Instead, they'll probably find some retread or CUSA coach or something and pay them $2M a year.

You've got the money, spend it.


December 4th, 2012 at 4:01 PM ^

Petrino was making $3.7 (million per year), Les Miles was making $3.9 but got a raise to stay at LSU.  Bielema was making $1.8 and got a raise to $2.6 at the end of the 2011 season.  (Hoke makes $3.0, Urban Meyer $4.3 FWIW.)


PB-J Time

December 4th, 2012 at 4:29 PM ^

I was half-joking but your point is amazing that everyone but the division (conference for that matter) doormat will have changed coaches within the past year.

To expand your point neither Rutgers nor Maryland is rolling with a long tenured man either.

Also mostly joking, that picture doesn't help much. I would gather from comments that he is Indiana's coach but given the lack of notority of that program the picture sorta looks like just a guy with an Indiana polo on.

Big Blue Ball

December 4th, 2012 at 11:20 PM ^

i would seriously be meh.  Bret is not a big time recruiter, his assistants all started chasing greener pastures, and his offense is boring.  His primary claim to the throne - he turned fat guys into passable road graders and found big power backs.  Lloyd owned him to the point Wojo wrote a Fraudgers column every year.  If Lloyd exposed him every year by out-powering him, what will saban/miles/ every year?  MEH 


December 4th, 2012 at 3:23 PM ^

This year's team made the Rose Bowl because 2 better teams were ineligible.  Last year's team made the Rose Bowl, but that was viewed as something of a disappointment for a team that had legitimate national title hopes.  I don't think he's a bad coach, but if he's one of the Big 10's best coaches, that's an indictment of the Big 10 more than praise of Bielema.  His recruiting is fine, but not amazing, and his in-game coaching is often terrible.  I haven't been to Arkansas boards yet, but I'm guessing the reaction will be more "meh" than "this is an amazing coup!"  Maybe I'm wrong, thought.  


December 4th, 2012 at 3:29 PM ^

I think it's going to be thought of as an amazing coup, as they hired a coach from a top tier program in a top tier conference. 

I think it will turn out 'meh' though.


December 4th, 2012 at 3:32 PM ^

two tiers in the SEC and Arkansas is in the first tier.  Please don't misunderstand, this is not a conference thing.  Meyer, Hoke, O'Brien, Fitzpatrick, and Dantonio (YTD) are better coaches than Bielema.  Arkansas was desparate for some kind of credibility and Wisconsin is not a lasting product in the Big Ten.  It is a great move for Bielema, but I don't think Arkansas is getting much of a coach.


December 4th, 2012 at 3:39 PM ^

If we take off the maize colored glasses, under what objective criteria is Hoke a better coach than Bielema?  I mean, Hoke seems like a better human being, but he hasn't even won a conference title yet (in any conference -- MAC, MWC, B1G).  Bielema has done a pretty fine job at Wisconsin. 


December 4th, 2012 at 3:46 PM ^

Hoke probably has more Coach of the Year awards on his mantle (one from BSU, one from SDSU, and one from 2011 here).  We should note as well that if Michigan and Wisconsin had been in each other's division, we'd have gone to the Big Ten Championship Game each of the last two seasons while they'd be sitting at home. 


December 4th, 2012 at 3:50 PM ^

Wisconsin's not a lasting product? They've been consistently good since Alvarez's 3rd season in 1993. That's 20 years. They've won almost 70% of their games since then and have been to more Rose Bowls than any other team in the Big 10.


December 4th, 2012 at 3:15 PM ^

Bielema, who is about as classic as a Big 10 smash mouth football coach, is going to the do what exactly?

I will be shocked if he is still there four years from now.  What an idiotic move. 


December 4th, 2012 at 3:24 PM ^

MANBALL in Little Rock?  I don't see this ending well for him next year or the year after.  He's already behind the curve what with their complete lack of talent on defense and the OL.  ARK will never win the conference having to compete with Florida, LSU, Alabama, etc.  It had to be a money (and warmer weather) move.



December 4th, 2012 at 3:31 PM ^

but no matter. 

But yeah, the current state of their team is a complete dumpster fire.  Considering the value the ESSS EEEE SEEE puts on winning, and winning right now, he'll be in a world of trouble.  Why leave a respected program for one that needs a complete overhaul.  Makes little sense to me.


December 4th, 2012 at 3:55 PM ^

Peyton Hillis, Darren McFadden, etc.  Long line of talented running backs coming out of Arkansas, put a competnent O-line in front of them and get a decent defensive coach and you'll get a Wisconsin level program in Arkansas soon enough.  Maybe not able to always keep up with the big boys, but good for a conference title or two and a floor of about 9 wins.  I think he'll do just fine down there.


December 4th, 2012 at 4:28 PM ^

True enough but the Arkansas fans aren't content with that.  Razorback football is the only sport down there and their fans are near-insane.  I disagree with you that Bielema will sniff a conference championship down there and, if not, it won't be enough.  He's definitely moving out of his comfort zone as yearly conference championship contender.  He's got a lot of work ahead of him, but I guess that's why they're paying him the big bucks!



December 4th, 2012 at 3:25 PM ^

It's B1G style football with top tier talent. That classic 1v2 battle between LSU and Alabama last year was a great SEC defensive battle. Or a 9-6 B1G snoozefest.

Miles and Saban are both old B1G coaches. They play smashmouth too.


December 4th, 2012 at 4:13 PM ^

I think this is very close to the mark.

Look, Alabama is already MANBALL with, as JeepinBen says, top-tier talent.  Muschamp at Florida is on record as saying he wants to move in the direction of power football.  I could make the argument that Georgia is closer to power football than it is to Oregon-spread. 

I don't see Bielema's style as a bad fit in the SEC.  With talent and time I think he would do fine.  The question is whether he'll get either.

I wonder how much of this is also based on what he sees as the challenges recruiting in the frozen north with a resurgent Michigan, Ohio State and Notre Dame sucking up the good talent?

Final thought - Wisconsin vs. Stanford is no "gimme" for Wisconsin.  That's smash-v-smash football.  If Wisconsin loses that there'll be a whole bunch of scorn heaped on Bielema's head ... three straight and no room to argue about Oregon's speed or tempo. 


December 4th, 2012 at 7:52 PM ^

Because three straight losses in the Rose Bowl is hard to overcome, regardless of whether one is the underdog or not.

Plus, coming off the drubbing Wisconsin laid on Nebraska, the first best in its division, with Wisconsin putting up eight miles of rushing yards ... the expectation would be Wisconsin should match up with Stanford.

Also, playing 3-yards-and-a-cloud vs. Oregon's up-tempo spread-n-shred gave Wisconsin a little bit of wiggle room coming off a loss.  But Stanford is essentially the west coast Wisconsin.

For what it's worth, I like the Wisconsin / Stanford matchup.  If Wisconsin shows up to play, that may well be a hell of a ball game.