4 Myths Dispelled About Bret Bielema's Departure from Wisconsin to Arkansas
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By now, college football pundits and fans have speculated about why Wisconsin Badgers head football coach Bret Bielema has stepped down and headed to the University of Arkansas.
Many of the reasons heard on talk radio and published on various sites ranging from lack of money expenditures and better chances at success are incorrect and uneducated.
Here's why they are wrong.
Wisconsin Football Doesn't Spend Money on Football Facilities
Wisconsin's Camp Randall Stadium
Camp Randall Stadium's seating capacity is over 81,000.
Arkansas's Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium is 72,000, with an option to expand to 80,000 with temporary seating. No advantage there.
Wisconsin just spent $76.8 million on its new athletic village to update the strength and conditioning center, study rooms, locker rooms and meeting rooms.
Arkansas was ranked seventh in its own conference in facility expenditure, according to ESPN.
No doubt it helps to have deep pocketbooks and large expenditures on facilities, but it doesn't guarantee success. Michigan and Nebraska are both mentioned often as schools with top football facilities. Yeah, that Michigan team that finished with an 8-4 record behind Nebraska. Yeah, that Nebraska team that just gave up 70 points in a crushing loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game.
I guess it's just a miracle how the Badgers could trounce them with such lackluster facilities. Or, money expenditures aren't the as important of a factor as some would have you believe.
Wisconsin Assistant Coaches Leave Because They Are Not Paid Well
Pittsburgh Head Coach Paul Chryst
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When Paul Chryst was the offensive coordinator for the University of Wisconsin from 2005-2011, he was one of the highest paid assistants in college football at $405,000/year.
Chryst didn't leave in 2011 because he was underpaid. He left because he had the opportunity to be the head coach at the University of Pittsburgh.
The previous year, defensive coordinator Dan Doeren left because he accepted the head coaching job at Northern Illinois University. Fresh off a BCS bowl invite, Doeren just accepted the head coaching job at North Carolina State University.
In the last two years, offensive line coach Bob Bostad and running backs coach John Settle left for NFL assistant coaching positions.
Many former Wisconsin assistant coaches left to pursue opportunities to be head coaches or to be in the NFL. Their salaries were not the factor.
Arkansas Has a Better Shot at the National Championship
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Despite the money the desperate, sullied Razorbacks football program is throwing at Bielema and the facility upgrade attempts, they are in no better position to win a national title than the Badgers football program.
The University of Arkansas Razorback football team's record this past season was 4-8, 2-6 in the West SEC division. They were not invited to any of the 35 bowl games this postseason.
The University of Wisconsin Badgers football team record was 8-5 with a Big Ten Championship win and are headed to the 2013 Rose Bowl for the third year in a row.
Starting from Bielema's first season at Wisconsin in 2006, where the Badgers beat the Razorbacks in the 2007 Florida Citrus Bowl, Wisconsin's record is 60-19. During that same period, Arkansas's record is 53-26.
Not to mention that save for two Hail Mary one-pass losses in 2011, the Russell Wilson-led Badgers would have played for the national title just last season.
The University of Arkansas football team does not have a better shot at a national title than the University of Wisconsin football team.
Arkansas Football Attracts Better Football Players
Former Badger, Houston Texan emerging star J.J. Watt
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According to espn.com, the Arkansas football program has 16 players on NFL rosters this season. The Wisconsin football program has 25 players on NFL rosters this season. That's nine more former Badgers in the NFL than Razorbacks.
So how is it they have better football players?
Sounds like theories of better players at Arkansas is a lot of...Hog-wash.