Unverified Voracity Starts And Ends With Canada Comment Count

Brian December 6th, 2012 at 12:33 PM

IMPORTANT. McGary sings Beiber, endorses Teen Wolf:

IMPORTANT AS WELL. You kind of felt this was on the table when the Big Ten Network put up a survey that asked you whether you knew which division your team was in and you instinctively knew that even if you could figure it out by remembering that Michigan is not in the one mentioned by their fight song, you should put down "no." And then you thought about it and knew everyone else would do the same thing too. So yeah this happened at some conference that is apparently going on today:

Delany says names of Legends and Leaders TBD.

I mean who could question a decision to expand coming from the people who gave us Legends and Leaders? Speaking of:

So I went to a Maryland basketball game last night. They played a MEAC team Kenpom ranked 345th, and played like it. I have seen more people at a basketball game.

rhhsr[1]

I am pretty sure I have seen more people at a softball game.

The arena itself is cool, and amongst the few people around me were some old guys who had clearly been getting seats adjacent to each other since the dawn of time. At one point the cheerleaders held up big cardboard cutout credit cards and asked people to wave theirs around for some sort of prize that was probably FREEEE PIZZAAAA, and I marveled at… that.

I came away with an excellent picture of why Maryland's in such dire financial straights and with an unformed joke about how Northwestern should start calling themselves WASHINGTON'S BIG TEN TEAM™ because the position is most certainly open.

Meanwhile, Maryland forms a commission to consider re-adding some of the seven sports they recently dropped.

Mercenaries for… wait what? Yesterday's Bielema-related bombshell was the revelation that Arkansas offered him a whopping 600k extra to move to a school that has never won an SEC title and is probably never going to. Bielema was forced to say the usual things, added in some nonsense about how his first year he lost to Michigan 27-13 because of a bad call, and said this:

"When I began to have more and more success at Wisconsin, I stayed but a lot of my coaches left," he said. "I just wasn't able to compensate them in the way other coaches were. I know I'm hiring the right guys, because everybody keeps taking them from me."

Bielema lost six assistants last year, and he noted that three of them went from salaries around $225,000 per year to over $400,000 annually. He said that hours after the Badgers won the Big Ten title game last Saturday, three of his assistants told him they'd been contacted by other schools and were offered significant raises. He said he wouldn't have been able to match those offers.

"Wisconsin isn't wired to do that at this point," he said. "With what I wanted to accomplish, I needed to have that ability to do that. I've found that here at Arkansas."

If that's true—and I'm skeptical that people fleeing Wisconsin are not actually fleeing Bielema himself—that's another way in which the money is just not a factor. Wisconsin has that, and they are just choosing not to spend it because…? Because they need to build world-class facilities for non-revenue sports? Is that the answer?

That can't actually be the answer. But Wisconsin was the 8 team in revenue as of 2008 and I find it hard to believe they've dipped much what with the BTN. That year they brought in 30 million more than Arkansas. And yet…

Don't give me recruiting budget stuff either. Wisconsin spent 466k less than Arkansas in 2011, which is a big gap but it is also chump change. I don't know what the problem is, but adding more money to the huge and ever-growing money spigot isn't going to fix it. If it would, it already would have.

The problem is cultural: as Bielema said, we don't want to be like the SEC at all. Probably the best thing Brandon has done is pay the assistants the relative chump change that makes them happy.

The least the Big Ten can do for us as they set every tradition they can find on fire is actually spend the money on the stuff fans care about like "keeping that guy who has gone to three straight Rose Bowls."

BIG TENNNNN. Darrell Hazell is introduced as Purdue's next head coach and the world gets a terrifying glimpse into the reality of being a beat reporter in West Lafayette:

screen_shot_2012-12-06_at_9.48.46_am.0_standard_730.0[1] 

if I could summon the energy to do anything it would be obtain the sweet release of death

Darrell Hazell, by the way, is a wild-ass swing at another MAC coach of exceedingly short tenure (two years) who has shown little other than the ability to inherit a team that floats to the top of the MAC talent hierarchy for reasons unknown. And he'll just fly the coop if he works out anyway. Expanding the league does not fix this. Purdue is still Purdue.

But maybe they can be Purdue in another division! Here we go again:

"There are some advantages to 16 (teams) compared to 14," Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis told ESPN on Wednesday. "Fourteen is clumsy. We're not out looking for two teams, but basically we will continue to survey the landscape."

At this point I endorse all Big Ten expansions in an effort to get to the Bargaining Phase post. With 16 we we can chuck the Indiana teams into the other football division and pretend none of this ever happened.

But it's about academics you guys! No, no it is not. It is not about academics in any way whatsoever.

Professors at the meeting alleged that the Athletic Department did not consult the ABIA on the addition of the Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten Conference.

“I happen to think that the implications of expanding the conference ... are significant academic matters, and I was personally very disappointed when I heard it on the radio,” Political Science Prof. Edie Goldenberg, an ABIA member, said.

If it was about academics, the academics would know about it.

Explaining to do, attempted. Michigan nixed a charity run at the Big House in two steps.

Champions for Charity is a for-profit limited liability company, though Highfield says all of the money a team raises prior to the race goes directly to a charity of the participant’s choice.

"It's just a little mom-and-pop organization," Highfield told AnnArbor.com.

Champions for Charity rented the stadium each previous year for roughly $7,000. Highfield was astonished when the school more than doubled the old rate, charging just under $16,000 for the next annual run.

The next step was just cancelling the thing entirely, because:

Really the decision in the end came down to our external focus," said Ablauf. The department announced last monththat it would begin partnering with the Special Olympics of Michigan for community service efforts. The first event of that partnership is the "Polar Plunge" at Michigan Stadium on Feb. 23, 2013.

That partnership, Ablauf said, has become the department's priority. Ablauf said the run had become "a very challenging event ... to fit into our stadium."

"We have our own private rental program, we're doing stuff with the Special Olympics and we have a lot of things we do now in the stadium," Ablauf offered.

I was waiting to sputter about this until the athletic department had its say, and… that's it? You can't spare the stadium for one day in April and one of the reasons you state for this is because you rent the thing out for profit (and annoy everyone at every football game by constantly repeating that fact)? I'm feeling a sputter comin' on you guys!

Actually, I don't have anything to say on this that I haven't already said a lot. I mean, this is a great thing to have people do from the ol' branding standpoint:

big-house-run-thumb-646x429-128915[1]

someone had a super idea once and people liked it

The thing had a lot of traction and if there was some problem with the organizational nature of the thing that was not organized as a non-profit it doesn't seem to be that hard to work through the issues. But I'm neither surprised or even disappointed that this happened. It's just how things work these days.

Antidote! Hey Charlie Strong seems like a good good dude.

Strong: I was 9-10, and (Jurich) hands me an extension...How do you walk away from someone who trusts and believes in you. …

Strong said his ego had him thinking abt what he coud do in the SEC. "It's not abt that. It's about people and how you affect their lives."

Yes Virginia, there are Bo-like people still around. One of them is Michigan's coach, and that's nice. 

Anti-antidote. Mario Cristobal is fired by FIU after one bad year when he turned down opportunities to move up in the world after he took the fledgling program from an 0-12 national joke to a couple bowl games.

STAUSKAS. As always, Canada bails us out of feeling bad. John Gasaway ranks his top 25 freshmen in college basketball and Stauskas comes in third($):

3. Nik Stauskas, G, Michigan Wolverines
Stauskas is merely Michigan's third option on offense, and you may think being rated the No. 3 freshman in the nation is self-evidently disproportionate for a role player. In the abstract I agree wholeheartedly, but exactly how much tribute do we give to a player who has helped his team's offense to the very limit allowed by the sport itself? Stauskas has an offensive rating (152.8) that's in another zip code entirely from what even the amazing likes of Bennett (127.5) and Adams (122.8) have posted. He is a normal carbon-based player in only one facet of the game: Stauskas inside the arc with the clock running is a mere mortal. But if he's at the line (89 percent) or, heaven help the opponent, outside the arc (64 percent), he's Stauskasesque.

His numbers will correct downward from this point forward, but the larger point is that for a second consecutive season John Beliein has a freshman who arrived in Ann Arbor as a lightly regarded recruit and then promptly began stomping on opponents like Mothra.

Stauskas was a little less lightly-regarded than Burke but yeah I mean seriously the hobbit at NC State was a burger guy. Oh right and that GRIII guy comes in ninth, which probably gives Michigan the best recruiting class in the country as of December what with adding in McGary and LeVert and Albrecht.

Etc.: Annual bowl swag update. Here is a tiny fraction of the money in gift cards because we can't give you cash. Tom Izzo goes full Holtz after MSU beats up on a SWAC team. Bielema fallout. More fallout. UMHoops podcast. David Merritt stops by to suggest his Merit fundraiser. Hockey coaches can now call CCHA reffing a joke in public. Gordon Gee is either lying now or lied to Urban Meyer.

Comments

Erik_in_Dayton

December 6th, 2012 at 12:47 PM ^

Bill Polian apparently helped advise Purdue during its search, and Polian is a friend of none other than Jim Tressel, from whose coaching tree Hazell springs...Also, there's been speculation that Hazell will get the band back together as far as hiring other former Tressel guys.  Purdue may become Columbus West. 

As far as the Big Ten, I don't believe for a second that they're just surveying the landscape.  Rutgers and Maryland are only the beginning of the plan, I think. 

M-Wolverine

December 6th, 2012 at 12:49 PM ^

Do guys actually listen to Bieber, even if you "grew up" on him? I can't imagine whoever was the pretty boy pop idol back in the day (Justin Timberlake on back to however old you are) ever getting anything but disdain from the male half of the population, particularly from the "jock" end of the spectrum. Maybe a credit to the next generation that they're secure in their manhood, or judge things on merit and not on how many girls are going "ooohhh he's so cute"....or it's a sign of really bad taste.

Not that I really trust Brett anyway....but a bad call lost him his first Michigan game? What call got him outscored 17-3 in the second half?

The Professors are doing what Professors do; using their self-importance to squeeze their opinion into all things. Advisory professors on a school level have no business giving input on what's going on at a conference level. Guess what? The Athletic Directors aren't rubber stamping when and who we expand with. It's the college presidents. Who last I checked, were on the academic side of things. 

And now I have another reason other than Vance Bedford to root for Louisville football.

Wazoo

December 6th, 2012 at 12:57 PM ^

Don't underestimate this guy.  Yes, he's at Purdue, but he's a class act who gets it.  He reminds me of Brady in that way.  He was also OSU's WR coach for 7 years under Tressel, and an assistant head coach for Tress.  Purdue will get back to lighting up the scoreboard, at least until Perry the Torn-ACL-ephant has his way.  I bet nobody in West Layfaette told him about Perry or he'd have stayed at KSU.

PM

December 6th, 2012 at 9:34 PM ^

is where you call him a class act, then go on to underscore his long association with Tressel.  The two do not go hand in hand unless your definition of class is getting away with cheating. (free loaner car anyone? Money?...)

WolverineRage

December 6th, 2012 at 1:02 PM ^

I work with a Badger fan from Wisconsin & a Spartan/Buckeye fan from Michigan (his parents went to OSU, he went to State) and it is always an interesting discussion with them on things like that.

Badger-Fan is practically giddy, especially now that Alvarez is going to coach the Rose Bowl.  In his words "Bielema went to Rose Bowls, Alvarez won them."  He is convinced that last year's team was a National Championship caliber team now that he's seen Russel Wilson in the NFL and therefore Bielema blew it.  He also believes that Wisconsin is a destination program and therefore will get someone fantastic.

Spartan/Buckeye fan is very leery of the entire thing and feels like it could go either way but bottom-line, Bielema leaving for Arkansas is not a good sign for the B1G.

My fellow Michigan fans & I are fearful that we are going to see the end of Wisconsin as a power program and OSU will have run of the division (assuming current divisions maintain) and the B1G will continue to suffer a quality issue and fall even further behind.

So, its all about perspective I suppose.

matty blue

December 6th, 2012 at 1:13 PM ^

wisconsin, a "destination program?"  that's some monkeyballs crazy, right there.  if they screw up this hire they will be back to illinois-level inside of three years.  the talent level just isn't high enough to maintain this level without really, really good coaching.  bielema is a colossal douche, but the guy can (mostly) coach.

coastal blue

December 6th, 2012 at 3:26 PM ^

Actually, its Michigan fans who might be delusional about our place in the football world.

A comparison:

Since the BCS era up to this point

Wisconsin:

5 Conference Championships

5 BCS Bowls (2-2, Rose Bowl upcoming)

5 Top 10 finishes in one poll or another

10 Top 25 seasons (with potential for one more this year)

1 Losing season

7-6 Bowl Record (Game upcoming against Stanford)

 

Michigan:

4 Conference Championships

5 BCS Bowls (2-3) 

6 Top 10 finishes

9 Top 25 finishes (with potential for one more this year)

2 Losing seasons

6-6 Bowl Record (Game upcoming against South Carolina)

 

Basically our programs have been dead even in the modern era. This despite playing in the same conference in which we own a HUGE recruiting advantage over them.  The one area where Michigan football distinguishes itself from Wisconsin football is in the head to head record, 7-4. 

Yes, we have history, tradition, Michigan Stadium, the helmets, etc. But when it comes to on the field product, its tough to sell Wisconsin as something inferior to Michigan. 

Edit: 

From 2002 to 2012, the average gap between recruiting class ranks according to Rivals between Michigan and Wisconsin is 35 spots, with a low of 19 places in 2011 and a high of 67 in 2010. 

Erik_in_Dayton

December 6th, 2012 at 3:32 PM ^

I can't argue with the above.  It's all about how far you want to look back, of course.  Start just before the BCS and you get a Michigan national championship.  Go back even farther and, as I'm sure you appreciate, Michigan trumps Wisconsin by a wide margin...From this longer perspective, I do not see Wisconsin as being an equal to Michigan and OSU. 

Michigan hasn't had a good decade, though, and there's no way around that.  Frankly, if a fan of say, USC, said to me that Michigan hasn't been a big national power in a little while now, I would have to agree. 

coastal blue

December 6th, 2012 at 5:11 PM ^

I agree, that if you go back and tack on ten years or twenty years, then surely Michigan comes out on top. 

But its somewhat symbolic that Michigan won the last of the "old" NCs (as well as Nebraska for that matter) and has come close to a BCS title exactly once, in 2006. 

I guess I just feel odd critiquing another fanbase on their perception of their program when our track record over the last dozen years is basically equal and when you take into account the talent differnce in recruiting, somewhat inferior.

We should, in theory, have Ohio State's success, as our advantages are extremely similar to their own. But we haven't really come close. Instead, we're about on par with Wisconsin. 

 

matty blue

December 6th, 2012 at 4:52 PM ^

i guess i have a different definition of "modern."

put a 3-year rodriguez stretch on wisconsin and see about their "place in the football world."  same with boise, or tcu, or utah.  see where those programs go in the national consciousness if they crater for a couple years.  it's about way more than performance.

 

TrppWlbrnID

December 6th, 2012 at 3:19 PM ^

less a destination than lincoln Nebraska? seems they are both close to similar size metropolitan areas, Omaha (400k) and Milwaukee (600k). they both do well to get kids from talent rich states, although admittedly, Nebraska gets kids from huge growing texas and wisco gets them from ohio, illinois, which are decent talent-wise and they do well in florida. wisconsin ranks in the top 15-20 in terms of football and athletic spending and has a 20 year track record of success that gets the kind of alumni support most schools crave. they have built a program that knows what their strengths are, developing brawny farm kids in the trenches and scatter in some flyers at the edges and backs.

they really don't have more natural or structural impediments to success than michigan, nebraska or penn state, which might say more about how delusional michigan, nebraska and penn state fans are.

WolverineRage

December 6th, 2012 at 1:22 PM ^

The Logic is that if Bielema knew how to take advantage of the talent he had at his disposal and properly coach a running game, the games would never have been within reach of a hail mary.  That is what he has said at least.

The point where Buckeye-fan & I agree with him on is that OSU was a mess last year and Braxton Miller was really green and they should've been able to win that game.

FWIW, normal logic seems to take a vacation with this particular Badger-fan on a consistent basis.  This same person stated that Calvin Johnson is not a top-5 receiver in the NFL, so I like getting his opinions simply for entertainment.

Needs

December 6th, 2012 at 5:38 PM ^

Bielma totally screwed up the MSU game with atrocious clock management. IIRC, he took a time out that allowed MSU to get in position to throw their final hail mary. 

Now, "he didn't know how to coach a running game" is crazypants, but he is not a good in game coach.

lhglrkwg

December 6th, 2012 at 1:04 PM ^

bring Mel back as soon as Red retires and call it good.

It is amazing how openly the CCHA coaches are lambasting the refs. Maybe it's because it's the last year so everyone's getting their shots in now

matty blue

December 6th, 2012 at 1:09 PM ^

i wish i'd known that that race had a banner-touch in michigan stadium at the finish line, i would've done it every year.

 

our athletic department and our conference just don't get it.  everything we do seems to be based on trying to create "a brand."  we already have a brand, you nitwits.  quit fucking with it.

 

French West Indian

December 6th, 2012 at 1:44 PM ^

...should be an absolute no-brainer from the perspective of connecting with fans.  Can't believe they would cancel it for any reason let alone something as lame as our-biggest-stadium-in-the-country-can't-contain-the excess-of-a-5K-race.  Total line of BS.

Everyone Murders

December 6th, 2012 at 1:16 PM ^

Disclaimer - I cannot stand Gee and find him toxic to college sports and academia as a whole.  I think overall he's a liar and bad for the Big Ten and for his university.  And I love that he's whining about this because it helps raise the perception that OSU forsaked its national championship so it could have its ass handed to at the Gator Bowl last year.  Keep shining a spotlight on that unfortunate fact, Gordon! That's all really funny to me.

If I'm understanding Gee's position correctly, he's saying that he doesn't think self-imposing a bowl ban on OSU going to the Gator Bowl would have guaranteed bowl-eligibility this year. 

Gee's position does not strike me as inherently disingenous, and I don't think it's necessarily dishonest.  For those of us involved in dispute resolution, it's not uncommon to determine that (A) the party you're representing is unlikely to suffer a particular punishment for an infraction, but (B) if that party does suffer punishment does come will be severe.  It's akin to an expected value analysis.  (So akin, in fact, that it is an expected value analysis.)

In this instance, you also have to take into account the public perception.  A bowl ban the NCAA imposes is perceived of as more harsh than one a university self-imposes, at least in my view.  So the reasoning goes "if the NCAA wants to impose a bowl ban, given the bad facts here, they are goint to want to do it."  Public perception matters in these things - I believe that's why the NCAA layered on a few additional punishments in light of the Stretchgate nonsense.

The bottom line is that this was a tactical decision, and those sometimes look foolish in hindsight.  But it's not necessarily lying to be wrong about predicting a panel's findings, and none of us knows whether the NCAA would have been satisfied with a self-imposed bowl ban.

Did I mention that I think it's funny that OSU is undefeated but ineligible to play for the NCAA championship?  If not, I think it's hilarious. 

 

 

Everyone Murders

December 6th, 2012 at 1:30 PM ^

I think (in devil's advocate mode, with made-up odds) that the argument is "(h)ey, the evidence doesn't look bad enough that they'll find OSU at fault enough to impose a bowl ban.  Maybe a 30% chance.  But if the infractions committee does find OSU guilty of serious infractions requiring a bowl ban, they're going to want to hammer us." 

In that scenario, you can both honestly believe you're not going to get slammed, but consider the best course of action to account for the possibility you're wrong.  Now if OSU was telling people "(t)here's absolutely no chance of sanctions beyond what we've self-imposed," that would be another kettle of fish.  And a breath-takingly stupid thing for them to say (or a lie).  And a breath-takingly stupid thing for Urban Meyer or anyone else to take as dispositive.

And on your "behaving as such" point, I agree, but what could OSU do?  Once you self-impose, you have to act like it was a sufficient - or even onerous - punishment.  You've painted yourself into a corner at that point.

Everyone Murders

December 6th, 2012 at 2:06 PM ^

It's the same analysis that you go through anytime you go to trial (civil or criminal) or cop a plea/settle.  The problem for any defendant is that even if your assignment of probabilities is correct (a big assumption), your sample size is one.  And there were a shit-ton of infractions so there were myriad sanction scenarios for OSU here. 

It's all a risk analysis exercise.  And there are so many factors here it's hard to declare Gee a liar on this out-of-hand.  OSU made their best guess, and it's really hard to tell if there guess was wrong from an NCAA sanction perspective.  I think they'd have been better off self-imposing, but I don't know that. 

It is great fun, though, to be able to ask your local Buckeye if OSU's January trip to Jacksonville was worth giving up their national championship game.  It really scorches a lot of their fans.  All this analysis aside, I'll continue to ask Buckeyes that question because ... well ... why not?

(Not necessarily worthy of another reply, but I love Erik_In_Dayton's last comment in light of his signature line Yogi Berra quote.) 

K

December 6th, 2012 at 1:15 PM ^

I think we should take a page of the book of whoever named the UA All-American white team "Nitro" and use names of American Gladitors.  Michigan and Ohio shall be in Lace, with the Wiscy and Penn State in Laser. 

MGlobules

December 6th, 2012 at 1:16 PM ^

Not as advertised? 

I have been one of the absurdly optimistic people who said get UVA and UNC and all will be well, but. . . my side of the argument is not, at present, winning. 

Mon-L

December 6th, 2012 at 1:16 PM ^

A couple things I disagree with here.

1) Arkansas as a dead end job. The 2011 team was 11 - 2 and ranked #5 in the country at the end of the year. Loaded with talent. Sure you have to beat Bama and LSU. But anyone who thinks Wisconsin is a better job must have never seen a map. Arkansas has instate talent. Closer to Texas and Florida.

2) Wisconsin was giving no chance to counter the offer. Bielema told Alvarez he was going. No chance to counter.

3) 600K is nothing to sneeze at. Works out to 3mil more over the life of the contract.

4) Bielema was gone and there was nothing to stop him. He sent Jeff Long a letter expressing interest in the post in September. He has aspirations of national titles that cannot be fulfilled at Wisconsin.

MI Expat NY

December 6th, 2012 at 2:29 PM ^

It's not like the state of Arkansas is overflowing with talent.  According to Rivals, Wisconsin actually has more 3-star or better recruits than Arkansas this year.  It does appear that it's a one year fluke and Arkansas generally has more talent than Wisconsin, but it's not overwelmingly so.  As for proximity to Florida and Texas.  I'll grant you Texas, mostly, but Fayetteville is nowhere near the football producing parts of Florida.  At a certain point, convincing a kid to leave the state to go 16 hours away isn't all that different than asking a kid to go 19 hours away (actual distances from Tampa, Fl to Fayetteville and Madison, respectively.  Wrap your head around that!).  Arkansas isn't a dead end job, but it's certainly harder to recruit there than it is at Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Florida and Georgia, at a minimum.  He's looking at the 6th best job in the SEC at absolute best (better than Tennessee, A&M, Ole Miss, South Carolina?  I'll concede Miss St., Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Missouri).  He's not walking into a situation like LSU where you don the team colors and expect to be in the BCS hunt every year.  

You also can't say Wisconsin had no chance to counter and also say that 600K is nothing to sneeze at.  It's one or the other.  Wisconsin certainly could have made up that difference if they had been given the opportunity (or, what I think is more likely, they chose not to).  

Mon-L

December 6th, 2012 at 2:57 PM ^

1) Recruiting.

Arkansas is close to two major talent hotbeds. Louisiana and Texas. It's much easier to get a Florida kid to come to Arkansas than Wisconsin because a Florida kid has grown up in SEC country. He knows the teams, the rivalries.

2) Sixth best job.

These things are not written in stone. Everything is in flux. Before Spurrier Florida was a joke. Tennessee was a power. Now it's a joke. You can count on a couple of things. Vandy will struggle. Kentucky will always be a basketball school. LSU before Saban? Awful.

In just a couple of years, Petrino had Arkansas in the top 5. I've read this is the "second tier" SEC job all over the internet. I don't agree. Right coach, right recruiting can turn any of those big SEC West teams into juggernauts.

3) No counter.

Coaches and ADs are in NY for award season. Bielema walked up to Alvarez told him he was gone and that was it. No chance to counter. No discussion. Gone in 5 minutes.

4) 600K

There is a lot of double talk on this blog. Money drives expansion. Money is evil. But then it's a joke when Wisconsin won't reup Bielema for such a paltry sum. As if he took equivalent money to go to Arkansas. No matter how you slice it, 3mil is 3mil.

MI Expat NY

December 6th, 2012 at 3:37 PM ^

Arkansas' actuall recruiting performance belies your contention.  Arkansas best ranked recruiting class on rivals?  16.  A 31 man class in 2009.  They're typically in the mid 20's to mid 30's.  Not awful.  Certainly a little better on average than Wisconsin, but compared to the rest of their conference mates, I'd argue it's actually a worse position.  

I'll grant that Florida was nothing before Spurrier, but that was due to flat out underachieving.  LSU was not awful before Saban.  Immediately before? Yes.  The 90's were bad for them, which is probably why teams like Michigan were able to have so much Louisiana talent.  But they've been a consistent winner through the decades and were truly a sleeping giant.  Tennessee also won't suck for long.  They're one of the ten winningest programs in college football history, a couple down years is not going to change things.  I really think Arkansas, relative to its conference competitors, is in a worse position than Wisconsin is relative to the Big Ten.  One year ending in the top 10 does not make them a top tier program.  

So you were there when Bielema told Alvarez?  Nothing to the rumors that Alvarez knew two weeks beforehand that he was leaving?  He at least knew he was in play and could have significantly upped his salary.  He chose not to do so.  

Mon-L

December 6th, 2012 at 8:11 PM ^

Every account I've read (from verified sources and not guys on Twitter) has Bielema blindsiding Alvarez. No discussion. Read this interview with Bielema. Note how short the time frame is and how there's no talk of counter offer. Interviewed in NY. Accepted almost immediately. In Fayatteville the next day. 

http://espn.go.com/blog/sec/post/_/id/57422/qa-arkansas-coach-bret-biel…

Rabbit21

December 6th, 2012 at 3:37 PM ^

4) no double talk on money. Sick sums are being thrown around and money is being used to drive baffling decisions such as adding Maryland and Rutgers. Then b1g schools won't even use it to keep coaches who have been successful around. So the question becomes what's the point? We have to see traditions lit on fire and we don't even get the benefit of schools using it to stay competitive. Not sure where you think the disconnect is from.

Mon-L

December 6th, 2012 at 8:22 PM ^

Here's my take on this. Everyone is disgusted by the addition of Maryland and Rutgers because it seems to be a shameless money grab. I tend to disagree, but that's beyond the point. The current consensus would be that $$$ is ruining college football.

Coaches salaries are skyrocketing. Everyone thinks that's nuts.

Bielema gets a raise of 600K. That's a lot of scratch. Approx 24% more than he makes now. 3 mil more over five years. Now people are criticizing Wisconsin for not just opening the wallet and paying him more*.

It's a double standard. Either you think $$$ is ruining college athletics and coaches salaries are nuts and good for Wisconsin for showing some fiscal responsibility. Or you don't care and they should pay whatever to keep him. Can't be both.

The problem is that this defection is seen as a Big Ten "loss" and that creates this defensive reflex in the fanbase. 

SI.com actually ran a piece with a headline "SEC Beats Big Ten Again!" Ivan Maisel wrote a thing where he claimed the SEC were the Corleones and they were drinking the Big Ten's milkshake.

I'm trying to advocate for more reasonable and rationale thinking. Maybe it's not a case of a guy saying "SEC is better." Maybe Bielema was sick of living in Alvarez's shadow. There's a lot more to these things than what's portrayed here. 

* Never mind the fact that they never got the chance to negotiate, but that's another thing.

ross03

December 6th, 2012 at 2:50 PM ^

600K raise is 23% assuming my quick math was correct.  I agree that a 23% isn't insignificant.  I'd leave my current company for a 23% raise even though I'm relatively happy here.   I'm surprised people are acting like it's chump change or something.