Nobody in Madison or the state of Wisconsin for that matter saw this coming. It’s tough to call anyone a lifer these days, but Bret
Bielema appeared to be quite entrenched with his position in Madison.
Winning three straight Big Ten titles and getting the Wisconsin Badgers to three straight Rose Bowls made Bielema larger than life in Madison. Only the Michigan Wolverines have ever made it to three straight games in Pasadena.
Bielema referred many times to his upcoming 2013 class on paper as perhaps his best ever. So the Badgers stand to be better next season.
Throw in the fact that Bielema hates everything the SEC stands for. Now he’s trading in his cowhide boots for the snake-skin variety down in SEC country.
Bielema complained of Urban Meyer’s (Ohio State head coach) recruiting tactics, and how after a little more than two months on the job, Meyer has already gotten under the skin of his new Big Ten colleagues. Bielema even went as far as saying in his National Signing Day press conference that Meyer was using “illegal” recruiting practices. He echoed those thoughts to The Sporting News.
If Bielema didn’t like Meyer’s recruiting efforts, what does he think he’s getting into by joining the mighty SEC. There’s no more Illinois, Purdue, Minnesota and the like to pick on. It’s a dog eat dog world in the SEC. The players are bigger, faster and stronger and it’s a war to get them to come to your school.
Just what is Bielema getting into at Arkansas? A colleague of mine, Kevin McCrarey is the Sports Director at the South Carolina Radio Network and has been covering the SEC for years. He paints a pretty good picture.