Bret Bielema To Arkansas!

Submitted by Brian on 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.


Ali G Bomaye

December 4th, 2012 at 3:47 PM ^

No doubt he's an odious person, but that (at least the part where he ditches jobs for better jobs) can be controlled contractually.  But he's dramatically overachieved at both schools at which he coached.  He took an average Louisville team and made them into a consistent top-10 team, and took a sinking Arkansas team and made them into a top-10 team as well in a ridiculously hard division.

He might be a scumbag, but his on-field coaching is great.


December 5th, 2012 at 2:44 PM ^

Sounds like someone is a little too salty to realize that at the time of his hire Rich Rod was one of the most coveted coaches in college football and Michigan, a very traditional football program, hiring the coach who invented the spread offense and fully intended to implement it was taking a HUGE risk.


December 4th, 2012 at 3:39 PM ^

Petrino is a dynamic offensive mind, but I wouldn't call him a great coach.  He's rarely stuck around long enough at a place, and culturally I don't he'd mesh well with the Big 10.  He was as guilty as anyone for over-recruiting (a couple of 30+ classes), and the reasons he left Arkansas basically make him toxic for all but the most desperate programs. 


December 4th, 2012 at 3:25 PM ^

with the same package offered to Les. I'm too big to ride motorcycles so no issue with that clause in my contract. And it's good to hear the SEC doesn't allow shady recruiting like old Urban."


December 4th, 2012 at 3:27 PM ^

I assume this means that Bielema will not coach Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.  (Maybe that is not for certain.)  Anyway, if true, how many B1G teams are we up to that will be without their coach in a bowl game this year?

Lazer with a Z

December 4th, 2012 at 3:27 PM ^

You know, during the B1G championship game they were talking about a conversation they had with Barry Alvarez, and they asked him if he would ever coach again. They said that he responded by simply smiling and walking away (or something like that, I had a couple of beers.)

I know it's crazy talk, but maybe.....just maybe


December 4th, 2012 at 3:29 PM ^

Why exactly did you mention MD and Rutgers? What does conference expansion have to do with the fact that it is easier to recruit better players to arkansas because the talent around the state is better? Or the fact that Wisconsin like most of the big ten schools isn't willing to shell out big money for coaches? Wisconsin makes a lot of money from football, how they choose to spend it has nothing to do with expansion.


December 4th, 2012 at 3:36 PM ^

Yeah, I don't really see the connection there.  Jim Delany can't control whether or not his member schools decide to shell out for their coaches.  I don't think Wisconsin is in any kind of financial trouble that would have prevented it from keeping Bielema.  I guess Alvarez just didn't want to give Bielema a raise.

STW P. Brabbs

December 4th, 2012 at 3:44 PM ^

Brian is indicating that B1G programs ares not constrained by lack of funds -they already have plenty of money. Therefore, expansion is unlikely to improve the quality of play in the conference at all.

One more data point to show that this was more of a Big East type move than an SEC or Pac 12 one.


December 4th, 2012 at 4:17 PM ^

Yeah but adding Maryland and Rutgers doesn't hurt that either.  Its not about quality of play in this situation.  Beilima thinks he can accomplish more and get more money at arkansas.  Having lots of money is good for athletic departments, more than just football, just because Wisconsin isn't willing to shell out enough to keep their coach doesn't mean having more money for schools is a bad or unhelpful thing.  Also, arkansas cand and does get better recruits than wisconsin so I don't really disagree with Beilima's decision.

Naked Bootlegger

December 4th, 2012 at 3:29 PM ^

I be like DANG!   Did not see this coming.   Maybe Bret was feeling underappreciated and bolted for the mega pay raise.    He was Alvarez's hand-picked successor, so this won't play well with General Alvarez.

The Wolf

December 4th, 2012 at 3:55 PM ^

This leads me to believe that perhaps there is some bad feelings between Bielema and Alvarez, and it wouldn't surprise me if it all focuses around the loss of 6 of Bielema's coaches last year.  Maybe Alvarez wouldn't pay up to keep top talent coaches surrounding him and he got fed up?  It will be very interesting to see who he hires now at Arkansas.


December 4th, 2012 at 3:30 PM ^

but i do think the major thing that has hurt the B1G the past few years, more than the demographic shift that has been occuring for 50 years that eveyrone harps on, is program instability. this does not help.