Next time, they’ll do better.

One positive development from player compensation becoming a reality is that I doubt we’ll see the days of allowing a coach who went 29-34 overall in five seasons at Arkansas, 11-29 in the SEC during his tenure to walk away with an $11.935 million buyout again.

Which is a good thing, considering how boneheaded both sides were about Bert’s hire in the first place.

Since getting fired, Bielema has thought a lot about what worked so well at Wisconsin and what didn’t work at Arkansas. The biggest difference between the two, he believes, was how well he understood the Badgers’ program before he took over as the head coach after spending two years as Barry Alvarez’s defensive coordinator. “I want to go into a situation where you know everything that’s going on,” Bielema said. “I didn’t have to worry about uncovering land mines halfway into the job.”

Bielema estimates that he’d spent about 24 hours in Arkansas in his entire life before taking the Razorbacks job. At Wisconsin, he knew exactly what the program’s strengths and deficiencies were. Plus, Alvarez had provided a spectacular blueprint for success. (A blueprint current Badgers coach Paul Chryst has followed quite well.) At Arkansas, Bielema had to learn all that on the job. The fallout from Bobby Petrino’s firing and a disastrous season with John L. Smith as the interim coach necessitated an overhaul, but if you examine Bielema’s record, he actually came through that part O.K. The 2015 season, when the Razorbacks went 8–5 overall and 5–3 in the SEC, seemed to indicate a turning of the corner.

But Bielema admits he didn’t initially realize how deep a team needed to be on both lines of scrimmage to succeed in the SEC West.

Might have been nice to know that before you jumped jobs.  And to think that many people believed Jeff Long was one of the most competent ADs in the business.

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16 Comments

Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, Bert... uh... Bret Bielema, It's Just Bidness

16 responses to “Next time, they’ll do better.

  1. 81Dog

    But but but…….. I thought the Big Integer in general and Wisconsin in particular was Just. As. Good. As. Anyone. In. The. Overrated. SEC! Bert was going to ride into town and start road grading the SEC into submission with a bunch of bratwurst eating Kowalskis, just like he did in Madison. Et tu, Bert? Sic transit Gloria. Sic transit Kowalskis. I guess it really Is harder than it looks from the Midwest, eh?

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  2. Thorn Dawg

    I think Wisconsin would say Bert was the landmine.

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  3. AusDawg85

    Shorter Bert…”I’ll take an assistant’s job!”

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  4. DoubleDawg1318

    That line of reasoning doesn’t even make sense Bert. Very few coaches get hired at a program they know top-to-bottom. Plus he had Pittman so he at least had the O line figured out.

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  5. Stoopnagle

    I’d be interested in hearing why he thought he needed to leave a good job at Wisconsin?

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  6. Walt

    I think it’s Clinton’s fault.

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  7. The Church Lady (aka W Cobb Dawg)

    It’s good to do some reflection on past mistakes, as long as he doesn’t dwell on it. And it was nice of arky to give him some severance pay to allow him time to get things together. Let’s all hope Bert lands on his feet.

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  8. Got Cowdog

    “But Bielema admits he didn’t initially realize how deep a team needed to be on both lines of scrimmage to succeed in the SEC West.”
    No shit? Does he not watch football at all?

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  9. Jt (the other one)

    Bert…had the last laugh…all the way to the bank!

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  10. 69Dawg

    Well I think it was the loss of Pittman that lead to Bert’s great wealth. Arky’s offensive line disappeared when Pittman left. To lose a coach that can recruit and train lineman like Pittman can is a total train wreck. It’s no wonder he was so pissed we got him.

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