Doan on Bielema: A huge coup for Arkansas
Posted Dec 4, 2012

Bart Doan on Bret Bielema to Arkansas - A huge coup for the Hogs

By Bart Doan
Follow me @Bart_cfn

That rocks glass filling up with expensive scotch you just heard? That's Jim Delany and frankly, most of Wisconsin's fan base after shocking, and we're talking "the Arch Deluxe making a comeback" shocking news that Bret Bielema, he of three straight Rose Bowl bids at Wisconsin, is taking off for what's currently a middle of the road SEC program.

Arkansas fans are enthused, and why wouldn't they be? Bielema has a 68-24 record since being hired at Wisconsin. Not to mention those three aforementioned Rose Bowl bids. The immediate reaction to Wisconsin fans right now, at least on their message boards, a wonderful place to find unfiltered, immediate emotion (sort of like girls, the last song of senior prom) is total disbelief.

More if it is shock it seems not that Bielema would be fielding calls, but that such a prominent program in the midwest would not be able to offer a competing or better contract. We'll await the details to come to a head before making the call there.

But aside from the obvious of this looking like a lateral or step down movement for Bielema, there are more questions that come into this. It was Bielema who famously chided Urban Meyer, former SEC kingpin, for not adhering to the unwritten "gentleman's agreement" in the B1G where you don't go after players already committed to a different school.

Newsflash, Bret, this is the SEC. Where there aren't any agreements, and there might not actually be all that many gentlemen. Especially when it comes to recruiting, a courting jousting match that often defines whether guys keep their jobs or not.

The other laugher of this is that Bielema famously said during his verbal quarrel with Meyer that he didn't want to see the B1G become like the SEC. What was he talking about then, the BCS titles?

This is the classic tale of out with your long time girlfriend, set to get engaged, and the waitress serving the chicken wings is an 11 out of 10. And when your ole lady catches you sneaking a glance, you say "no way, she's not my type. I was just thinking." And the next thing you know, you're writing your number on the receipt and leaving a $20 on a $40 ticket. No, I've never done that.

Bielema will find the waters rough in Arkansas, who has to be giddy. Who knows what it was that turned the odds. Will it be money? Would that ever be admitted if it was? Reportedly, Wisconsin commits are already wavering. Bielema will apparently coach the Rose Bowl as part of his deal, but you can imagine the Badger fan reaction will be frosty. Expect more boos for his introduction than anything Stanford or the referees do.

In the end, a huge coup for Arkansas, a huge coup for Mike Slive, and a huge set back for Wisconsin. It's too early to prognosticate where to go from here, but this happening right after former Badger coach Dave Doeren left for NC State makes it even murkier. Something the B1G has seen a lot of lately.

So off goes the man who sold it well, his devotion, ending every interview with the famous "On Wisconsin." And fully expect to hear after every other sentence "Woo Pig, Sooie" from here on out. If nothing else, this lets reminds us that in college football, someone's always at your table thinking about giving that 50 percent tip.