Posted by Mike Wendt on December 4, 2012 Jump To Comments
Below is a conversation adpated from the greatest fantasy football website/messageboard
First, I’ll admit last year when Chryst left I wasn’t upset. I guess I view the step from OC to head coach as a huge advancement in one’s career, and therefore do not blame someone for making that career move.
Bielema’s move to Arkansas may be the exact same thing, but from a baised-Badger fan view it seems to have a more “middle finger to UW” vibe to it. I’ll explain.
At UW, Bielema had a culture of winning, competed for a National championship in 3 of 7 seasons, settled for a Rose Bowl in two of those seasons and an 11-1 Capital One Bowl birth in the other. Not to mention the Rose Bowl this year. So in 4 out of 7 years the Badgers have been in the national spotlight. Is Arkansas REALLY that much of a better program than what he has at UW? Now taking a step back and viewing it unbaised, Yes, it is. Football culture in the south/SEC is unlike any other and winning the SEC championship basically guarantees you a spot in the National Championship, college football’s ultimate goal. The Badger fan in me looks at Bielema’s recruitment past, which has not been good, especially when you see that his best player was the result of a transfer, and doesn’t believe he’s going to be able to pull recruits from Saban or Les Miles. I really believe he’s going to struggle in the SEC which leads me to wonder what he wants out of this move. If he truly believes he can out-recruit, out-coach Saban and Miles, not to mention teams like Texas A&M and Auburn then good for him. I just look at this and see a run of mediocrity coming, which to me, says “I’d rather be OK in the best conference than national relevance/Rose Bowl births in the B1G Ten and at Wisconsin”. Which, again as a Badger-biased person, has undertones of a middle finger.
Next, I think the move is kind of a result of Urban Meyer’s dominance this year at Ohio State. Sure, Meyer isn’t doing it all with his recruits, but 12-0 is very impressive, and he’s going to be able to grab kids from all over the midwest. As I said before, Bielema’s recruiting record wasn’t great, and it was only going to get tougher. Should you blame a guy for getting out before the going gets hot? Probably not, but I don’t need to credit him for leaving either.
Bielema was 2-4 in bowl games, with his 12-1 Capital Bowl win coming in his first year, with a handful of Barry’s recruits. He still had to guide the ship, but overall we have not had Bowl success under Bielema. My fantasy team has gone to the playoffs every year, but we haven’t done shit in the playoffs, so how successful have we really been?
I don’t think I need to like a coach to be “real fan”. I’ve heard plenty of stories about how he treats women and that he’s a prick in real life, which has always bugged me about him a little bit. I’ve never had first hand experience, and no matter how much of prick he is he’s got to be an upgrade over the slimeball John L. Smith, but Barry carried an aura of respect while Bielema seems to carry an sense of arrogance.
I know college coaches leave after the regular season but before the bowls all the time, but I don’t like it. I really don’t think a lot of recruitment gets done December 1-January 1 (I could be wrong) but these coaches preach togetherness, leadership, how nobody is above the team, then they leave them hanging. If Nick Saban left today and came to Wisconsin would I feel this way? I’d be happy we got Saban but still wouldn’t like that he left his team high and dry before a BCS game.
Now, that last part of that paragraph is ever-present in today’s society. When someone does/says/writes something contrary to their beliefs or that threatens something they believe in, they often have a hostile response. Wisconsin fans believe Bielema leaving puts us in a tougher spot to win the Rose Bowl. I agree. But I believe (I think) that if the the roles were reversed and we were getting a coach from a high profile college who left his BCS team hanging, I would still not like the decision to leave his former team high and dry.
Case and point. Sunday night Bob Costas came under a lot of fire for taking his pro-gun control stance at halftime of SNF. Fox News basically went crazy and even had a debate if Costas should get fired. Hardcore Democrats praised Costas. Now, if you are going to chastise Costas for taking a political stance on a forum basically designed to talk about football, then fine. You guys know how I feel about politics (I turned on Black Ops at half so I missed the actual segment) but I think there are rational arguments for both sides. The anti-political part of me says keep this political crap/amendment rights crap out of a spot designed to showcase the best football plays of the day. On the other hand, having a sensible discussion about a social issue that is becoming more rampant (see Chicago) is something that we all could benefit from. Should it have been done on SNF? No, Costas has Costas Live and other shows, but neither draw the audience that SNF does. My biggest problem with the furor over the Costas incident was that if he had taken the opposite stance, Fox News would have praised him and Democrats would have torn him to shreds. If you have a problem with where he said it, great. If you have a problem with what he said, you’re only mad that he took a stance contrary to yours. Can you be mad at Costas for both reasons? Absolutley. Just make sure all your anger isn’t because he was pro gun control (Bielema leaving hurts our Rosse Bowl chances)
Lastly, I went to the Capital One Bowl in 2007, have had football season tickets all four years in college 2007-2010, went to every Big Ten game except ones where I had other plans (aka monster party at Brando’s house where we still had the game on or if I had friends in town), have had Basketball season tickets for over 15 years, went to the school. I can’t remember a game I didn’t watch (Ok, I listened to the Oregon State game because I was watching Sarah run the Tough Mudder), but as stated above, I don’t think I need to like Bielema to be a true fan.
I’m sure the only thing people will take out of this is that my fantasy team hasn’t won a championship.