Bret Bilema Runs While He Can; Eddie George Returns to Ohio State

It would seem that after securing your third Big 10 Championship and a third trip to the Rose Bowl in three years, job security wouldn’t be much of a concern. Look a little deeper though and Bret Bielema’s future at Wisconsin didn’t look so bright and a move to the head coaching position at Arkansas was a smart way to fend off the inevitable.

Hidden right behind that 70 to 31 B1G Championship win over Nebraska is an 8-5 record and a 3rd place finish in the leaders division. Add two straight Rose Bowl Losses and things aren’t looking near as good. With a steady stream of assistant coaches leaving for higher paying jobs chances are Bielema realized that this was as good as it may get for a long time. Although he was the hand-picked choice to follow Barry Alveriz into the Athletic Director’s chair as Wisconson, job security might have been on his mind when he decided to flee the Big 10 and a championship season for a sub-par SEC team.

The Urban Factor
It didn’t take long after Urban Meyer’s return to Ohio State for Bielema to start complaining about Meyer’s aggressive recruiting style. Throw Michigan’s Brady Hoke into the mix and suddenly the recruiting scene in the Big Ten is looking a lot like the days of the Woody vs. Bo recruiting wars.

In what should have been a rebuilding year for the Buckeyes, Ohio State’s undefeated season also came as something of a surprise. With only one career win over the Buckeyes as head coach at Wisconsin, the undefeated season along with a top contender spot for the BCS Championshionship in 2012, the insane bias toward SEC teams in the BCS Championship and future B1G championships not to mention BCS Games is looking bleaker and bleaker.

Eventually, Wisconsin’s bowl and B1G championship hopes are bound do diminish and as they do, the fans will not be so kind to Bielema. Sure, his future looked secure now but how many times have we said that about a coach only to see them out a few years down the road. Bielema raised the Badger fan expectations to heights he could not maintain. Better to get out now on his own terms while he’s still a hot commodity.

But Arkansas?
Compare the situation at Arkansas to that of Wisconsin. Other than the 2011 and 2010 seasons, four, five, six and even seven-loss seasons are the norm. Just getting to a BCS game would be considered a success not to mention the response if Bielema brought the Hogs their first BCS win.

Unlike Wisconsin, the entitlements of the SEC greatly increase Bielema’s odds of making it to a national championship game. If you can start a 4-8 season with a top 10 ranking it’s safe to say you’ve got an advantage in the BCS race. Texas A&M has done a good job at exposing the weaknesses of the SEC and Bielema sees it as ripe picking. It’s not like Arkansas can fall much lower. Remember folks, this is a school that looked to Bobby Petrino as a savior.

When Bielema announces to the Arkansas faithful that he wants to bring them a BCS Championship what’s to lose? That he won’t?

And Job Security
While the salary increase at Arkansas isn’t all that impressive the out clauses are. According to a report on Fox Sports, if Bielema Arkansas will pay Bielema $12.8 million if they fire him in the first three years of the contract. During the 4th year that drops to $9.6 million, $6.4 million in the fifth and $3.2 million in the sixth and final year of the contract. Considering the potential Wisconsin dilemma described above, that’s a pretty good deal.

Although it’s been a lot of fun watching Bielema’s frustrations over the last few years and he’s continued the development of Wisconsin into an effective Ohio State rivalry, as an Iowa born pig farmer you can’t blame him for returning to the hog trough.

Eddie George Comes Home
Following in the footsteps of fellow Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin, Eddie George has returned to Ohio State in an official capacity to The Ohio State University. George will serve as an assistant vice president working with a number of outreach programs for the university.

George has never been one to hide his Buckeye loyalty and it’s good to see him on back on the roster at Ohio State.

Comments

  1. says

    Your A&M “exposing” theory proves little,…other than the fact that neither Arkansas nor A&M are the same teams they were last season, not to even mention their coaches.

    If A&M and Arkansas were still the same teams they were last season, Then A&M, no doubt, wouldn’t have lost to a “sub par” Arkansas team last season, and A&M, no doubt, wouldn’t have beaten an Alabama team in Tuscaloosa either, now would they Jim?
    Let’s not try and act as if this has been happening all along in recent years,…just to prove a rediculous theory you only wish were true.
    Besides, Bama will crush ND in the NC game, much like they did Michigan at the beginning of the season in Ann Arbor.
    And Ohio State?…suprising?…not really. Two things happened here. (1) Urban is the real deal, even though many of you SEC haters fought this reality to the bitter end.
    I bet you love his winning ass now don’t you? (LOL!)
    (2) The Big 10 is more pitiful now with it’s lack of competition than ever before in it’s history. There’s nothing be proud of when you’re undefeated by playing NO ONE.
    You have no room what so ever to badmouth the SEC and it’s so called national bias. The Big 10 just sucks!…period, and that has nothing to do with Arkansas or the SEC. It’s just your way of making excuses to help yourself look and feel better about your own rediculous conference. What a bunch of losers. (lol).

    • Tony the "Quacking Duck says

      Gonzo – Why are you trying to rewrite history? YOU were the one who argued that the SEC was such a dominate conference and every other conference was a “joke”. You used Texas A&M as YOUR example ……..

      Here is a section of your quote:
      “If Oregon is so good, then picture this. Picture your Ducks replacing Texas A&M in the SEC West as the new guy on the block. Let’s see how over rated the SEC is then shall we?
      Let’s see what your argument would be when your O-line goes up against the best D-lines in the country on a weekly basis and has to rely on 2nd team depth just to get through the season without wearing down.
      Let’s see how they respond when they play a murderers row schedule against the likes of Bama, Auburn, LSU, Arkansas and an occasional Florida when they’re not experiencing rare down seasons like they have for the last two,…rather than play Tennessee when they really suck as a struggling program, then brag like you really did something to the SEC.
      What a joke your program and conference truely is in comparison to your idiotic so called facts. You must be so proud of your…ahem…accomplishments.”
      USA Today Gift-Wraps Another SEC Championship Berth for 2013 – August 17 2012

      You brought up a good point in this post and used Texas A&M as a measuring stick to see how over rated the SEC is. Well, the season is now over and I think Texas A&M has provided the answer for us. Top to bottom ….. the SEC is over rated. Coming into the final couple of weeks o the season the SEC had 6 schools in the top 9. That my friend ….. is a joke.

      • says

        Just to prove your “SEC is over-rated” theory correct Tony, what SEC teams would Texas A&M have defeated over the previous 6 seasons?…..you know,…the same conference that put a representative in the NC game to hold up the trophy 6 seasons i a row.
        Well, one thing is for sure. It certainly wasn’t Arkansas for the previous 3 seasons in a row, now was it Tony?

        Let me guess,…If Texas A&M knocks off OU in the Cotton Bowl, this means A&M would’ve been “Big 12 elite”,…..right? Even the best team in the Big 12, maybe?
        Isn’t this the same team that fielded a “middle of the road” Big 12 rep for the past several seasons Tony?
        Oh yeah, they sure did a lot of “exposing” this year didn’t they? (lol!)

  2. gulfportcarl says

    Don’t feed the SEC Troll, nothing in his post ,but hate. Go back to your closet where you spend your pitiful life.

  3. says

    I’ve been sitting on another article about the SEC for a couple of weeks but let me reference Paul Newberry of the AP (http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/21087034/column-sec-needs-to-be-flagged-for-soft-schedule) who points out that the 14 teams of the SEC have only played a total of 14 out of conference games against major conferences. This includes in-state rivalries such as Kentucky/Louisville, Georgia/Georgia Tech, Florida/Florida State and SC/Clemson.

    Vanderbilt and Missouri were the only SEC teams that scheduled more than one game to a BCS conference opponent. Vanderbilt lost to Northwestern and beat Wake Forest. Missouri lost to Syracuse and beat Arizona State.

    Mississippi State and Texas A&M didn’t play anyone from a BCS conference outside of the SEC.

    Then of course there was that high quality out of conference weekend late in the season when Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Texas A&M, Kentucky, Florida and South Carolina all played FBS schools.

    Continuing from Newberry’s article, Vanderbilt is the only school that played outside of the SEC’s geographic region. Florida hasn’t played a non-conference game outside of Florida since 1991.

    Georgia who finished the season ranked No. 7 but only beat two upper division teams with winning records–Florida and Vanderbilt. And we know what South Carolina did to them. yet there they sit, safely in No. 7 heading to a New Year’s Day bowl game. Although I have zero faith in Nebraska, if Nebraska beats them what exactly does that say about the depth in the SEC?

    And how about that SEC Bowl draw? No. 3 Florida vs. No. 21 Louisville, No. 7 Georgia vs. No. 16 Nebraska (coming off that great performance against WI), No. 8 LSU vs. No. 14 Clemson. Alabama and A&M are the only two playing close to their ranking. Yet if the SEC comes out on top in the bowls we will once again hear how the SEC is such a dominant conference.

    The SEC can’t claim dominance unless they are willing to test themselves out of conference which they refuse to do.

    The Newbury article quotes Steve Spurrier who said, “We don’t need to go play Oregon and Stanford and those kind of teams unless we want to lose a bunch of games…If we keep playing the top teams from other conferences, our record isn’t going to be near as good”

    Spurrier knows which way the wind blows. Too bad the majority of the SEC fans (and the media) don’t.

  4. says

    Another interesting fact –

    Michigan lost four games, three of which were to the top three teams in the AP. Two of those games were out of conference games. That’s a good schedule.

    ND should also be commended. They beat four ranked teams, one less than Alabama. The difference between Alabama and ND however, is that only one of Alabama’s ranked opponents was outside of the SEC (Michigan).