The Arkansas Razorbacks have hired Wisconsin Badgers head coach Bret Bielema to be their head coach of the future. There will not be an official announcement until Wednesday but the news has already broken, as the Badgers are left stunned.
Bielema led the Badgers to their third consecutive Big Ten Title after Wisconsin manhandled the Nebraska Cornhuskers 70-31 at Lucas Oil Stadium this past Saturday night. The 42-year-old has been the head coach of Wisconsin since 2006 after taking over for legend Barry Alvarez and has been a part of the Big Ten for the majority of his career on and off the field.
Bielema played as a nose guard for the Iowa Hawkeyes and coached there from 1994-2001. He then was the co-defensive coordinator for the Kansas State Wildcats from 2002-2003 before taking over the defensive coordinator duties at Wisconsin for two years.
The 68-24 overall record, which is the best winning percentage since George Little coached the Badgers in 1925-26, proves that Bielema is fit to handle the pressure of leading a team in the SEC. However, his 2-4 bowl record will certainly need some work if he wants to make a name for himself in college football’s toughest conference. Rumor has it Bielema still wants to coach the Badgers against the Stanford Cardinal in the Rose Bowl, but it is doubtful Wisconsin will allow that to happen.
This is certainly a low blow to Wisconsin who adored Bielema since he arrived on campus, even if he struggled separating his name from the school’s athletic director. Considering Bielema never won any significant bowl games, while Alvarez brought home three Rose Bowl victories, he always appeared to have a monkey on his back. One could make the argument that Bielema did coach the Badgers to a significant victory against the Razorbacks in the Capital One bowl in his first year as the head coach, but that was with Alvarez’s recruits.
It is not known who will take the reins of Wisconsin’s established football program, as Alvarez will have to go through several interview processes to find the right man for the job. One thing is for certain, whoever does become the head coach will have big shoes to fill, as the Badgers are the three-time defending Big Ten champions.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.