Quick links:
 Latest Team Rankings
 Free Rivals Alerts
 Member Services
ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports

December 4, 2012

Arkansas hires Wisconsin's Bielema







For eight long months we asked which coaches with a big name have a reason to leave their current situation for Arkansas, but we failed to consider that any coach could view Arkansas as an opportunity too good to pass up.

Arkansas Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long did not conducted a quiet search, he conducted a silent search. Not a single person gave Bret Bielema even a passing thought. His name did not genuinely pop up until late Tuesday morning, rocking both Arkansas and Wisconsin fan bases.

"I assure you we will seek a head coach that possesses the expertise, leadership skills and character to maintain Razorback football as one of the nation's elite programs," Long said in April.

Bielma, 68-24 (74 percent) is expected to meet with Razorback players at 2:45 pm Wednesday and will be formally introduced at 4 p.m. in the Miller Room inside the Broyles Athletic Center.

"I am very humbled and honored to become the head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks," Bielema stated in a release. "During my conversation with Jeff he described the characteristics for the perfect fit to lead this program. It was evident we share the same mission, principles and goals. The infrastructure in place at Arkansas shows the commitment from the administration to accomplish our goals together and I am excited to begin to lead this group of student-athletes. This program will represent the state of Arkansas in a way Razorback fans everywhere will be proud of."

The Illinois native played nose tackle for the University of Iowa in the early 1990s and is a defensive-minded coach. His teams have always operated out of a pro-style offense with a strong rushing attack. He has previously had coaching stints at Iowa, Kansas State and Wisconsin as the defensive coordinator.

Bielema coached teams are 44-5 all-time in home games. His teams have run pro-style offenses with a focus on the run. 65 percent of play calls have been running plays, with 51 percent of the total yardage coming on the ground. 43.8 percent of the time, his defenses hold opponents to fewer than 20 points.

Arkansans should stop listening to outsiders who tell them Arkansas is not as good of a job as they think they are. Arkansas' primary state motto is was once 'The Land of Opportunity,' and now more than ever there are opportunities to succeed at its flagship university. Bielema does not have to ask for facilities upgrades because they're being done at the highest level. He doesn't have to push for a raise if he does well because Arkansas is now proven to reward success handsomely.

Penn State and Ohio State are not eligible for the Big 10 Championship due to NCAA sanctions, so say Wisconsin doesn't deserve to have played Nebraska in the Big 10 Championship game. Even though the 70-31 win was impressive, an 8-5 mark isn't his best year. A bowl win would have made that a 9-win season, however, and that's pretty good for a squad that was rebuilding with players and with several new assistants.

Even without this upcoming Rose Bowl, Wisconsin has still gone to the last two and had a BCS caliber team under Bielema in 2006 when they went 12-1 (7-1 Big 10) and won the Capital One Bowl over Arkansas. Since that season, under Bielema Wisconsin has gone 9-4 (5-3), 7-6 (3-5), 10-3 (5-3), 11-2 (7-1) and 11-3 (6-2).

Bielema is only 42 years old. In most cases a school that hires a 42-year old coach is either giving the coach his first big job or is hiring a coordinator. Bielema comes with seven years of winning football in a major BCS conference under his belt.

Positives a coach could see in Arkansas

  • Prior to the 2012 season, the UA completed two state-of-the art-elevated practice fields that attach to the Walker Indoor Practice Pavilion and sit above a new parking deck, and Arkansas just completed renovation on the third largest HD big screen in college football.

  • The school is in the process of building a $35 million football operations center that will attaches to the 12-year old Walker Pavilion and slightly newer weight room. The project is expected to be completed in time for the 2013 football season.

  • The UA announced plans to expand Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium with club seating and luxury boxes in the north end zone, which will put a 'finished' look on the stadium.

  • Arkansas competes in the toughest division in the toughest conference in college football, and the SEC has produced the last six national champions, with Alabama going for seven in-a-row this time. Winning the SEC clears a path to the national championship.

  • Arkansas has shown it can compete at a high level in the Southeastern Conference. Bobby Petrino had two of the three best seasons in Arkansas' SEC history before being dismissed for off-field conduct.

  • Arkansas is heavily invested in Athletic Director Jeff Long, extending his contract, increasing his salary and raising his buyout package. A new coach does not have to worry about suddenly dealing with a new athletic director who wants to make his own hire.

  • The Razorbacks pay big bucks for the right man and will also put together attractive packages for his assistants.

    Negatives a coach could see in Arkansas

  • Arkansas has to spend top-five money on the recruiting budget because it does not have a big back yard. While Arkansas has a lot to offer, it is difficult to pull a top prospect out of Alabama if the Crimson Tide and Tigers want him first, so Arkansas coaches have to think outside the box with recruiting and must be great talent evaluators.

  • Programs like Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee are considered to be giants in college football and are all in the SEC. And that doesn't include South Carolina, which has been very impressive the last two years, or surging Texas A&M.

  • Northwest Arkansas is regularly ranked by multiple publications as one of the top places to live in the country, but there are some who may enjoy more of a big city lifestyle, and Fayetteville, Rogers, Springdale, Bentonville and other connected cities certainly are not that.

  • Aside from a clever joke from an uninformed individual who thinks we're all shoeless and toothless, that about wraps it up.

    Bielema: Inside the numbers
    (compiled by UA Media Relations)

    51-0 in games he is expected to win (7 point or more favorite at home, 10 point or more favorite on the road and 8.5 or more favorite on a neutral site)

    Home record 44-5

    Rivals Record 10-2

    As a head coach total yards are 51% run and 49 % pass. Play calling is 65 pct. Run and 35 pct. Pass

    As a Head Coach, is very proficient in keeping opponents off the scoreboard, only allowing teams to score 26.65% of the time when they get the ball.

    As a Head Coach, does a great job of getting his defenses off the field quickly, forcing three and outs 26.95% of the time.

    As a Head Coach, does a great job of getting his defense off the field, forcing his opponents to punt the ball on 46.30% of defensive possessions.

    Bret Bielema has shown the ability to improve upon the recent history of the program. His tenure at Wisconsin has produced a winning percentage of 73.91%, which is a significant improvement over the 60.94% winning percentage the team had in the five years prior to him taking the job.

    Bret Bielema, as a Head Coach, has shown the ability to consistently dominate when having a significant talent advantage over his opponents, winning an amazing 90.48% of the games.

    Bret Bielema, as a Head Coach, has shown the ability to consistently win games in which the talent level is relatively equal, winning 72.22% of the games.

    Bret Bielema, as a Head Coach, has had defenses that consistently keep opponents under 20 points per game, allowing 20+ points only 52.17% of the time.

    Bret Bielema, as a Head Coach, has had offenses that consistently score over 30 points per game, scoring 30+ points 59.78% of the time.

    Bret Bielema, as a Head Coach, has demonstrated an ability to win against quality opponents. His record versus teams that finished the season above .500 is 26-21.

    Bret Bielema, as a Head Coach, has had a very good 3rd down efficiency differential. For his career, his differential is +8.32%.

    Bret Bielema, as a Head Coach, has had offenses that are extremely efficient on 3rd down. For his career, his teams convert 44.47% of the time.

    Bret Bielema, as a Head Coach, has had offenses that frequently overachieve versus opponents. His teams score 129.2% of the opponent's point-per-game average.

    Bret Bielema, as a Head Coach, has had defenses that frequently overachieve versus opponents. His teams allow only 75.1% of the opponent's point-per-game average.

    Bret Bielema, as a Head Coach, has done a remarkable job winning at home. For his career, he is winning 89.80% of his home games.

    Bret Bielema, as a Head Coach, has clearly demonstrated that he knows how to put points on the board in conference games. His offenses average 33.62 points per game when playing conference foes.

    Bret Bielema, as a Head Coach, has shown the ability to consistently stop the pass against his opponents, giving up an average of only 189.73 yards per game through the air.

    Bret Bielema, as a Head Coach, has clearly demonstrated that he knows how to keep opponents off of the scoreboard. His defenses allow an average of 20.31 points per game.

    Bret Bielema, as a Head Coach, has shown the ability to consistently stop the pass against his conference opponents, giving up an average of only 188.40 yards per game through the air in conference play

    Bret Bielema, as a Head Coach, has shown an ability to beat ranked opponents, winning 43.48% of his games versus ranked foes.

    Bret Bielema's teams are consistently ranked in the Top 25 at the end of the season.

    Bret Bielema, as a Defensive Coordinator, is very proficient in keeping opponents off the scoreboard, only allowing teams to score 26.18% of the time when they get the ball.

    Bret Bielema, as a Defensive Coordinator, does a great job of getting his defenses off the field quickly, forcing three and outs 25.24% of the time.

    Bret Bielema, as a Defensive Coordinator, has shown the ability to consistently dominate when having a significant talent advantage over his opponents, winning an amazing 90.00% of the games.

    Bret Bielema, as a Defensive Coordinator, has shown the ability to consistently win games in which the talent level is relatively equal, winning 71.43% of the games.

    Bret Bielema, as a Defensive Coordinator, has had defenses that consistently keep opponents under 20 points per game, allowing 20+ points only 41.51% of the time.
    Bret Bielema, as a Defensive Coordinator, has had defenses that are very good at getting off the field on 3rd down. For his career, his teams make stops 32.46% of the time on 3rd down.

    Bret Bielema, as a Defensive Coordinator, has had defenses that frequently overachieve versus opponents. His teams allow only 59.4% of the opponent's point-per-game average.

    Bret Bielema, as a Defensive Coordinator, does a great job of getting his defense off the field, forcing his opponents to punt the ball on 46.69% of defensive possessions.

    Bret Bielema, as a Defensive Coordinator, has shown the ability to consistently stop the run against his opponents, giving up an average of only 117.39 yards per game on the ground.

    Bret Bielema, as a Defensive Coordinator, has shown the ability to consistently stop the pass against his opponents, giving up an average of only 192.79 yards per game through the air.

    Bret Bielema, as a Defensive Coordinator, has clearly demonstrated that he knows how to keep opponents off of the scoreboard. His defenses allow an average of 16.83 points per game.

    Bret Bielema, as a Defensive Coordinator, has shown the ability to consistently stop the pass against his conference opponents, giving up an average of only 190.27 yards per game through the air in conference play.

    Bret Bielema, as a Defensive Coordinator, has clearly demonstrated that he knows how to keep conference opponents off of the scoreboard. His defenses allow an average of 17.94 points per game in conference play


  • Arkansas NEWS

    [More]

    Latest Headlines:


     

    Rivals.com is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
    Site-specific editorial/photos HawgSports.com. All rights reserved. This website is an officially and independently operated source of news and information not affiliated with any school or team.
    About | Advertise with Us | Contact | Privacy Policy | About our Ads | Terms of Service | Copyright/IP policy | Yahoo! Sports - NBC Sports Network

    Statistical information 2014 STATS LLC All Rights Reserved.