The first thought I had when heard Bret Bielema was headed to Arkansas was the following, how on earth is this dude going to survive in the SEC when he was crying tears of pain over Urban Meyer’s poaching of players not 11-months ago? Seriously, where does he think Urban Meyer crafted his practices in the first place?
In case you don’t remember the story, here’s a little recap—in Bielema’s own words, of course:
Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema was asked Wednesday whether he had noticed any changes in recruiting in a Big Ten with new coach Urban Meyer now in charge at Ohio State.
Turns out, the answer is yes.
“There’s a few things that happened early on I made people be aware of that I didn’t want to see in this league that I had seen take place at other leagues,” [emphasis added] Bielema said on Wednesday. “Other recruiting tactics, other recruiting practices that are illegal. I was very up front and was very poignant to the fact. I actually reached out to Coach Meyer and shared my thoughts and concerns with him and the situation got rectified.”
Those statements came from Bret Bielema after ‘National Signing Day’ last February. Last I checked, the SEC was still as competitive on the recruiting trail as ever and de-commitments are as commonplace as BCS Championships.
Now, this is just my two-cent opinion, but here’s the reason I feel Bielema so quickly exited Wisconsin: he got scared.
You can say and think what you like about Urban Meyer (I certainly have some salty opinions of the guy after his time at Florida) but he’s building something big in Columbus and he’s using an SEC formula to get the job done. Bret Bielema isn’t blind to this fact, I’m sure, and he certainly realized his best days at Wisconsin were over as far as Rose Bowls and BCS chatter are concerned so long as Urban Meyer is running the show at Ohio State.
And, no disrespect to the other teams in that league, but who is really going to challenge Meyer on his way to the proverbial promised land?
Oh, I know, Michigan, right?…maybe, but not likely.
The buzz name in B1G Ten country is ‘Urban Meyer’ and they aren’t even bowl eligible this season.
Bielema saw the writing on the proverbial wall and got out while the gettin’ was good (read: before he had to suffer the indignity of being replaced in a couple years).
That said, why run to the SEC where his fear of recruiting competition will come face-t0-face with the likes of Auburn, Alabama, and LSU?
Doesn’t that just seem like a bad idea?
Not to mention the fact that he’s a former defensive coordinator with a run-first mentality. He’s hardly the guy you thought about when it came to finding a replacement for the Razorbacks.
Then again, perhaps, that’s what AD Jeff Long was looking for—the anti-Petrino.
Well, Mr. Long, you got him.
Welcome to ‘Cutthroat Island’ Mr. Bielema, hope you brought your sword.