Tuesday it was announced that Wisconsin head football coach and all around target for criticism, Bret Bielema was leaving for Arkansas. Nobody was happier to hear about this news was myself who has been writing about removing Bielema here, here, here, and here plus I have been complaining about Bielema long before starting this blog. His winning was built on easy non-conference schedules, Indiana, a downturn in the Minnesota program and some poor decisions by other teams. Finally we rid ourselves of the coach that was driving the program into the ground and we can move on with new improved ideas. Plus anybody we hire should be able to make a decision in a close game closer than Bielema did
With Bielema there were too many close games or games that were closer than they should have been. Too many blown opportunities to keep, too many close losses to have faith in the Wisconsin football program. With Ohio State coming off their probation and Penn State in four years, there was little to no chance for success since the road to Indy would go through both of these school. Both programs are rejuvenated and winning, a combination that does not prove well for Bielema.
For as inept as I have said Bret is, him moving to another school was probably one of the smarter ideas he thought of in some time. Bielema saw the writing on the wall, he knew that dark days were ahead for the Wisconsin football program. Bad recruiting was catching up to him and games in which we would be battling Indiana at the bottom were in the near future. The biggest signal of issues to come was no established Quarterback for next season since his “free agent” pickup did not pan out. Another area of concern, that I have talked about before, was at Wide Reviver. After Jared Abbrederis, there is nobody that can fill the role of wide receiver, nobody. Other positions lacking due to Bielema horrible recruiting were:
- Tight End – We have no true tight end’s. We have converted Fullbacks to Tight Ends
- Fullback – We have converted Linebackers for Fullbacks
With all these area deficit in top talent, it was time to move on to another school before his winning reputation, built with his cupcake schedules, is tarnished and any chance of a big payday was gone. His last decisions at Wisconsin was his best decision… leave
Bielema was come into the Arkansas program with so much hype and so much talk. When hired at Wisconsin, he took over a top notch program, at Arkansas he takes over a 4-8 program. Bielema flourished on the easy opponents, at Arkansas, he will be the easy opponent. Arkansas will be what Wisconsin was going towards, just accelerated by 5 years, near the bottom of the SEC. In Wisconsin, college football comes third behind the Packers and Brewers. In Arkansas, college football is first, second, third and fourth. There is nothing to deflect the attention of people in the Razorback state, no other professional sports for people to change the channel too. All eyes will be on Bielema and if you do not win, you pay the price.
Teams like Alabama and LSU have just marked their calendar with a “W”. They do not fall into all the big talk that comes with Bret, they know how to recruit and how to win the close games. Bret had trouble with Michigan State, he is going to have real trouble with Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M and all the other big names of the SEC. The issues will be amplified and Bret will have no way out.
With this move this is a chance for the Wisconsin program to move on and correct the issues that have plagued the program for the last seven years. It will be interesting to see how each program comes out in the end, but I’m glad the Bielema era is over!