Bielema, who led Wisconsin to three straight Rose Bowl appearances, wasn't rumored to even be a possibility and his sudden hiring comes as a complete surprise.
Naturally, the nation took to Twitter to vent or celebrate.
Damon Shaw of Northwest Arkansas Weather gave his forecast of the move:
Raise your hand if you thought Bret Bielema was going to be the next Arkansas Head Coach..................................I didn't think so.— Damon Shaw (@NWAWeather) December 4, 2012
In an up-and-down season for the Big Ten, Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports tweeted:
Nice hire by Arkansas. Bielema is a good coach. B10's year just gets stranger by the day.— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) December 4, 2012
Given Bielema's well-documented criticism of the way the SEC does things, it was certainly a shock to see him join the conference.
Tom Lea of ESPNWisconsin.com tweeted:
This is the same Bret Bielema that continually took jabs at the SEC and the way they operated throughout his career at Wisconsin. #Crazy— Tom Lea (@ESPNTomLea) December 4, 2012
Andy Fenelon of NFL.com tweeted out a list of the possible candidates to replace Bielema at Wisconsin:
Leading candidates to replace Bielema at Wis: Todd Graham, Barry Alvarez, Darrell Bevell, Cam Cameron, Butch Jones, Jon Gruden— Dré (@Andy_Fenelon) December 4, 2012
The Badgers just finished trashing Nebraska in the Big Ten Championship Game, 70-31. They are set to face No. 6 Stanford in the Rose Bowl. It is not yet known whether Bielema will be making the trip to Pasadena on Jan. 1.
Bielema has been the head coach of Wisconsin ever since the 2006-07 campaign. He has led the Badgers to a combined 68-24 record over the past seven years, including a 39-19 record against Big Ten opponents.
This is, of course, great news for an Arkansas program that has not exactly had stability at the coaching position ever since the Bobby Petrino scandal.
The Razorbacks went 4-8 this season (2-6 SEC) and will not be going bowling.