December 5th, 2012 at 6:45 PM ^

I can earn $600,000 cummulatively in the my entire life.

Bielema left for money, but he left because Wisconsin tripped into the Rose Bowl this year but is a program on the decline running out of QBs to poach, and because Michigan and Ohio are going to be kicking ass and taking names for the next 10 years in the Big Ten.  If you are going to lose two to four games per year you might as well do it for $600,000 more.


December 6th, 2012 at 8:47 AM ^

Michigan grads can't be poor? /s

And no, Bama, LSU, etc., are not going anywhere, but two losses in the Big Ten and you are unranked, two losses in the SEC puts you close to or into the playoff discussion.


December 5th, 2012 at 3:50 PM ^

Chump change.


Btw, Tennessee seems to be having trouble getting the coach they want.  I've heard reports that they've offered 5 or even 5.5 million per year to the  Okie State coach.


December 5th, 2012 at 3:49 PM ^

$600,000 is probably the difference in what the Athletic Departments are paying.  I suspect football is more of a religion in Arkansas, which means that the TV and endorsement money is significantly more.   Of course, Bielema's decision might also be related to the fact that he sees Michigan recruiting like crazy and Nebraska in the rear view mirror and is cognizant of the fact that the Badger run of success is about to end and it's time to get out while the getting is good.


December 5th, 2012 at 3:55 PM ^

Or it could be that he knows his assistants will get paid better at arkansas and understands that good coordinators are important.  Or it could be that recruiting is easier at arkansas than at wisconsin so he feels the ceiling is higher.  Or maybe he is just tired of the cold.  Who cares? There are any number of reasons this decision got made and the people trying to pit this as an sec vs big ten thing are creating a story that isn't there.  Arkansas is at worst on the same level as wisconsin as a desirable job and with that maybe personal things is what drove him to arkansas, we don't know but it also doesn't really matter.  


December 5th, 2012 at 5:37 PM ^

Those are good points.

At least one person on the radio here in Minnesota asserts, plausibly, that Bielema wants to coach in the NFL someday; if that is the case I completely understand this move. As long as he's at Wisconsin no NFL team will give him a second glance, chalking up his success to 20th century strategy, a second-rate conference, and the good fortune of dropping into a nice situation. After all, nobody in the B1G really quakes in their shoes about facing Bielema as a coach.

Further, if he moved laterally to another "Midwestern" program, the same stigma would follow. On the other hand, if he goes to Arkansas and wins, he suddenly looks a whole lot more impressive. And the League might come calling. 

If he wants to coach in the NFL, he made the right choice.

Smash Lampjaw

December 5th, 2012 at 3:51 PM ^

Judging by the surprise that Barry Alvarez professed, Bielema did not start this discussion in hopes of a counter offer. Unless that is information that hasn't come out yet.


December 5th, 2012 at 3:53 PM ^

From what I've heard, the big part of the deal is that Arkansas has agreed to pay his assistants a significantly larger salary than what Wisconsin has agreed to do.  Sounds eerily similar to the change that Michigan went through to get Hoke and Mattison . . .



December 5th, 2012 at 3:59 PM ^

Compare that to Darrell Hazell, of course (story), whose base compensation will now apparently go from $300,000 annually to $2 million. It is an order of magnitude, at least, if it is a jump from the MAC to the B1G. I wouldn't mind making about six times what I do now either. So, we know now that it wasn't necessarily a security thing or perhaps not primarily about the money either.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder if Bielema thought that this is as good as Wisconsin would get in the context of the Big Ten and that he is trying to leave before he literally hits the performance wall for the program and things became stale, or even went into slow decline with Michigan and Ohio State being a factor. We may never know unless Bret himself speaks about it.