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Bielema to take Arkansas job


RobDeer 45

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Please explain to me how Arkansas is any kind of upgrade over WI? This is all about the money. He is getting $2.5 Million at UW and Arkansas is paying him $4 Million. So he is going to take the higher paying job to get his but kicked year in and year out in the SEC. Congratulations?

 

Might as well see if Chryst would want to come back. Should be interesting to hear the names they are thinking about and what the heck they plan to do with the Rose Bowl less than a month away. Who the heck is going to coach, Matt Canada?

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The problem is that he is a Big Ten guy though; basically all of his staff are B10 guys. How is he ever going to compete for recruits against Alabama, LSU, Florida, Etc? This just seems like a bad fit.

 

I was never a huge BB fan but I thought he was a decent enough coach. This year made me rethink that a little; perhaps the success was due to his assistants. He will probably do fine; but I don't think there is anyway he somehow is going to compete for titles at Arkansas.

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Rick Pizzo of Big Ten Network said that Alvarez was aware that Bielema was going to leave before the regular season even ended. An Arkansas message board poster with apparent connections also said that Bielema told Arkansas in April he wanted the job, but was going to wait until after the season. Those two things seem to jive if true. It would then mean that Alvarez has already started the search for a new coach. Hopefully he hires one ASAP to calm the fears of the recruits.
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This is mostly about money, but the move also gets him off the hot seat. The Badgers certainly look to be on a downswing. I think that he will get eaten alive in the SEC, but the move buys him a few years to rebuild. You never know though, the guy seems to have a golden horseshoe up his rear.
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This is mostly about money, but the move also gets him off the hot seat. The Badgers certainly look to be on a downswing. I think that he will get eaten alive in the SEC, but the move buys him a few years to rebuild. You never know though, the guy seems to have a golden horseshoe up his rear.

 

Wait... The Badgers are on the downswing and he was on the hot seat? Please explain that to me? They lost 5 games this year... but with any luck they could have won all of them. Add that to the fact that the team only had 9 seniors? And then add to that they have a couple of the best recruiting classes Wisconsin has ever had coming in in 2013 and 2014? How is that showing characteristics of being on a downswing? And how is a coach who has coached a team to 3 consecutive Rose Bowls on the hot seat?

 

I'm not old enough to remember the days before Alvarez... but things can be a lot worse than an 8-5 season with a trip to the Rose Bowl! I'm not/wasn't a huge fan of Coach B... but I do respect the success he brought to the program and the way he treated the kids.

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Or even a week earlier and we could have had Dave Doeren back.

 

This is what I initially thought... but then it came out that Alvarez has known for a few weeks already the Bret was leaving. During the Big 10 Championship game, the sideline reporter said she asked Alvarez if he'd ever return to coaching and she said he walked away with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. Between that comment, and then not reaching out to Doeren, I'm guessing Barry may be eyeing returning to the sideline.

 

My thoughts on this are mixed. I like the idea, as long as he's willing to give a 5-7 year commitment. Bill Snyder at K-State was pretty successful in his comeback. And Barry's only 65. He'd be able to name the "coach in waiting" like he did with Bret, and be able to have a seamless transition. But if he's not willing to give that 5-7 year commitment, I hope he looks elsewhere. Chryst isn't the answer. I hope he looks to the ND staff, as they have 2-3 highly regarded assistants... and that is where he came from, after all.

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Wait... The Badgers are on the downswing and he was on the hot seat? Please explain that to me?

 

They finished behind Penn State, barely beat Northern Iowa, and lacked a quality win until last weekend. I don't actually believe that BB was on the hot seat, per se, due to his relationship with Alvarez. That said, I wouldn't say that he's seen as the second coming of Lombardi by the fans/media in this state either. The Badgers may continue being an upper tier Big Ten team... but in my view, coming off three straight Rose Bowls, there's nowhere to go about down. Like I said though, this move was mostly motivated by money.

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Wisconsin was hardly on the downswing. Bret has been building a very good program here, drawing more talent than has ever come through the door at WI and raising the profile of the program. Remember a coach has to appeal to 18 year olds not grumpy old men who want a cliched professor on the sidelines winning 10-0 with a plodding game plan and "good fundamentals". The team has the 2nd fewest seniors in the Big 10 behind only Indiana. The freshman class this year was very good, with a top 10 QB from CA who unfortunately got hurt, then another Freshman, Stave stepped in and looked pretty good for a freshman. A couple of Freshman O-lineman were pushing for playing time and along the D line they have some highly regarded young talent. Gordon showed a bit of why he was a highly recruited back out of High school and according to many has looked stronger and faster than even Ball in practice.

 

Next year's class would have started out on paper as the highest rated class in WI history. The state player of the year from MN decommitted from the Gophers and was in, a DB/WR no less. A DB decommitted from FSU and was in, a top RB had his final choices down to ND and WI, guess where he picked? WI over ND not to mention offers from Ohio St., PSU, Nebraska,WVU, FSU, Rutgers, etc. A top safety out of CA who was down to Oklahoma and WI picked WI. It doesn't take long to look at the other schools recruiting the players WI was starting to get and see the step up in talent, they weren't beating out MAC schools and bottom rung B10 schools for weaker talent and hoping to "coach 'em up". They were a finalist for Jacoby Brissett year who picked Florida at the last minute and many thought he was going to WI. Players like that wouldn't even have given WI a look in the past. Even for 2014 they already had a verbal from a 4 star QB from Michigan.

 

I always got a kick out of the complaints people had about Bielema, we scored too many points, he's too young, the job wasn't posted properly (I think some people must have the delusional idea that it would on the state job board and they might have had a chance at it or something.)

 

The reality is WI was a football backwater for years and was just starting to move up to the next level and the wrong hire here could be devastating. WI doesn't have a deep pool of in state talent compared to Ohio, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and much of the SEC country. It is hard to lure a 18 year old from the warm climate and programs that have nicer facilities, even more rabid fanbases, longer history of success and easier academic standards in some cases. Look how many people gripped about Bielema's salary over the years, and yet it still wasn't enough to keep him around because there are some programs out there willing to pay top dollar. Arkansas is still paying out the nose for Petrino and they nearly doubled BB's salary.

Arkansas has competed in the past with LSU and Alabama, prior to Saban in LSU they weren't churning out top 5 finishes, nor was Alabama, all three have good history, Bama better than the others but Arkansas is no poor step child there, if BB can recruit top talent to WI he will get even better at Arkansas.

 

I really hope WI goes for a younger coach who can recruit, meaning both having the personality to do it, the connections, and the style of play that makes kids want to play here. In college it doesn't matter how great a X's and O's guy a coach is if he doesn't get the talent to come. Saban was always a good coach but didn't start winning championships until he was put in a situation like LSU and Alabama where the talent would go, same with Urban Meyer. I'm not sold on Darrell Bevell as a name I would be excited about. His offenses in the NFL have never seemed all that great and most of the time he has been more of a figurehead coach, in GB he wasn't coaching Favre, in MN Childress was the offensive mastermind of a rather unimpressive production. And I don't know that he has any recruiting connections.

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Wait... The Badgers are on the downswing and he was on the hot seat? Please explain that to me?

 

They finished behind Penn State, barely beat Northern Iowa, and lacked a quality win until last weekend. I don't actually believe that BB was on the hot seat, per se, due to his relationship with Alvarez. That said, I wouldn't say that he's seen as the second coming of Lombardi by the fans/media in this state either. The Badgers may continue being an upper tier Big Ten team... but in my view, coming off three straight Rose Bowls, there's nowhere to go about down. Like I said though, this move was mostly motivated by money.

 

So after losing two coordinators in 2 years, losing much of the offensive staff with one of them, coming off a Rose Bowl team that was one of the best in WI history an 8-5 season winning the Big 10 championship game impressively with their 3rd starting QB is a down trend? They may have won a few more of those games if they just had a decent kicker or the actual need to beat PSU (which is why I still think they should have just went for 2) I seem to recall a number of stinker years much worse under Alvarez including the year after the first Rose Bowl when much of the team was back. I'm not sure how barely wins means anything, Ohio State barely beat such stalwarts as Indiana, Cal, Purdue and had no impressive wins either if WI didn't. For a downswing they sure look pretty talented and I'll take a Rose Bowl in a rebuilding year with new QB's, new offense, new O-Line, etc.

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We will see what others think of the program when they start interviewing. In theory, this is one of the most attractive vacancies to pop up in a while, no need to rebuild at all, lots of good recruits coming. So I expect big names to be interested. If not, then we have to ask why everyone is bailing at an odd time.
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'Downswing' may have been the wrong term to use in this case. Can the Badgers improve on a 7-5 season? They should. That said, in my view there is much more downward potential here than upward after three consecutive Rose Bowls. I would also dispute that this was a rebuilding season. That became the company line after the first few poor performances, but people forget that this team was ranked in the top 10 or 15 almost everywhere. I get that they 'could have' won a lot of big games, most notably the last two Rose Bowls, but I fail to see how losing the close ones is the hallmark of a great coach. The bottom line is this, BB is a good recruiter no doubt. He will have to prove this down in Arkansas... though they have tons of cash down there, they are landlocked by the schools in Texas, Louisiana and the SEC. I guess that you could say that he sold high on himself, but in the end, this was mostly a lateral move driven by $$$ and (without knowing what was going on behind the scenes) probably ego. Bottom line, this opportunity gives BB a chance to carve his own legacy away from Barry.
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I'm not upset that Bielema won't be the coach next year, I'm upset that we were used as a stepping stool for all intents and purposes. We have had two coaches in 23 years. UW is a place coaches go to retire, not to use as a resume builder.

Although the Wisconsin football program is physically close to both my home and workplace, I don't follow CFB closely enough to be able to knowledgeably comment on the Xs and Os of whether this is a good football-career move. However, I have been in position to observe the red-sweater crowd for quite a while, including the tail end of the pre-Richter/Alvarez era. Here's what I think is contributing to some of the disgruntled reaction:

 

1. The change is super abrupt, and awkwardly timed for the bowl game preparation.

2. When has something like this ever happened at Wisconsin - a coach in a major sport being lured away by another college program? Fans who have fancied UW to be a big college athletics playa school might be surprised to see another school up the "playa quotient" (I love making up phrases) the way Arkansas has. Tying in to NMF's statement above, it stings to realize you were someone's stepping stool.

3. Even I'll admit to a little bit of "$2.5 million isn't enough for you? Really?" Wisconsin is full of spendthrifts, maybe especially in the current economy, who aren't likely to feel sorry for someone making "only" that much.

 

My initial reaction this afternoon was surprise, but I soon realized I wasn't sure if I was more surprised by the announcement itself, or by the idea that a big-time athletic school wanted to swipe a Wisconsin coach.

 

NMF's quote also made me realize, kind of with a start, that wow, Wisconsin has had only 2 coaches the last 23 years. They had three during my student years (1985-1990; I graduated just as Barry completed his first spring season, so four if you count BA).

Remember: the Brewers never panic like you do.
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LOL Bielema was not on the hot seat. He was the hand picked successor of the football coach who is now the athletic director. As long as he didn't fall completely on his face by having a bunch of four win seasons in a row he wasn't getting fired.

 

He's going to be in for a big surprise though. Arkansas football fans are some of the most delusional on the planet. They expect at minimum BCS and some expect National Championships. Good luck getting even close to that with LSU, Alabama and to a lesser extent Texas A&M in your division.

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My thoughts after sleeping on this:

 

He was not on any sort of hot seat. The only thing I think he could have ran from was maybe Ohio St and Michigan. Maybe just thinking he could not out recruit them. Or that he thought there were too many limitations at WI.

 

If his goal is to win a National Championship, he's got a lot more of a shot down there (despite us having a shot last year). All it takes is a lucky season with a solid team and you are in the national championship. It's not going to be easy but let's face it, the football is better down there right now.

 

I don't know what type of coach we'll get. I think people are correct, WI is not a stepping stone type place but I also think it's in a second or third tier of desitnations. You can be solid here but there are definite limitations.

 

I have faith we'll get someone that's good, but boy, I really have no clue who that is. How about the Sweater Vest!!!

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He wasn't on the hot seat; it probably would have taken another 5+ loss year to get to that point.

 

But I can see the downward swing a bit. 5 losses this year and also could have easily lost to Northern Iowa and Utah State as well.

 

Last year was great but we lucked into Russell Wilson; if we had to go with the QB's that Bieliema recruited and developed we would have had atleast a couple more losses last; possibly quite a few more.

 

I don't think it is an alarming downward swing by any means but I can envision it coming. Thankfully the entire B10 has been crap for a couple years now so UW has looked great in comparison. UW will always get the offensive lineman and the top players in the state of WI; but Bret's recruitment and development of QB's and WR's have been awful at best. Good luck winning in the SEC without the skill position players.

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Why do these announcements come out before Bowl Games. Couldn't the NCAA make teams wait to interview and announce until after the season like every other sport ever?

 

Also, and this is serious, what about Bobby Petrino? Basically switching with Arkansas, only we get the better, though morally challenged, coach. Guys always get second chances and he came clean on everything.

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