By James Brown
December 5, 2012
On Tuesday the Arkansas Razorbacks made a major announcement and changed the landscape in the SEC. The Razorbacks hijacked the Big Ten and surprised the Wisconsin Badgers by signing away head coach Bret Bielema.
Bielema spent seven years in Madison, amassing 68 victories while leading the Badgers to three Rose Bowl appearances. Bielema will now have the job of resurrecting the Arkansas football program after a tumultuous season.
This is a bold move for the Razorbacks and is a perfect fit for a team that is in desperate need of an attitude change.
Headlines for the Right Reason
Athletic Director Jeff Long had his work cut out for him.
The Razorbacks needed a head coach that would instantly make an impact on the program. Needless to say, he found his man and stole college football headlines across the nation.
The Razorbacks spent the year floundering on and off the field, void of direction and without the appearance of true leadership. The team needed a big name to show the rabid fan base that they were earnest in the search for a game-changing coach.
Hiring Bielema is a grand slam and the effect will be felt immediately.
Bielema brings discipline to a team that had lost all semblance of respect for authority.
This year the Razorbacks made frequent appearances in the local police blotter, which eventually led to many players being dismissed from the team.
Bielema has run a clean program and will demand respect from all of his players the first day he walks into the locker room.
If You Can’t Beat Them…
Alabama and LSU have spent years atop the SEC and the college football world by instituting a simple football philosophy.
That philosophy is to run the ball and play stout defensively.
Bielema will need some time to assemble players that fit this style of play, but can be successful with the right personnel.
Bielema brings with him a no-nonsense approach to football and believes the game is won and lost in the trenches.
After a short period of time Bielema will be able to field a team that will compete with Alabama and LSU in the talented SEC West.
Not Afraid to Take on the Big Dogs
Bielema is not afraid to take on the big name coaches in college football.
This was made very clear when Bielema attacked Ohio State coach Urban Meyer in an interview with The Sporting News.
“I can tell you this, we at the Big Ten don’t want to be like the SEC — in any way, shape or form.”
Bielema was referring to the recruiting tactics of Meyer and was not afraid to let his feelings on the subject be heard. Bielema obviously had a change of heart as he is very happy to be a part of the SEC and ready to make an impact right away.
With characters in the SEC like Nick Saban, Les Miles, and Steve Spurrier, Bielema will be ready for the challenge.
Do you know the last coach to leave the Big Ten for the SEC?
Nick Saban left Michigan State to coach LSU. Saban’s success is legendary and Arkansas fans will be thrilled if Bielema can elevate this program to a similar status.
Although comparing Bielema to Saban may be a reach to some, it is something for Razorbacks fans to get excited about and right now that is exactly what this team and the community needed most.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: James Brown (@jtsneaks) is the founder of Bookieblitz.com, a sports pick and prediction blog where sports fans can gather to share their opinions on sports.