Capitalizing on his most marketable moment, Brett Bielema has stunned the University of Wisconsin by accepting the head coaching job at the University of Arkansas just days after leading the Badgers to a third straight Rose Bowl. The hand picked successor to Barry Alvarez, Bielema led Wisconsin to a 68-24 record with 6 overall bowl appearances. Alvarez, now the Athletic Director, admitted he was surprised by the decision in a statement released by the school. Bielema quickly worked out the lucrative deal at the school in the powerful Southeastern Conference over the weekend and informed the team of his decision in a meeting Tuesday night. Bielema is expected to earn anywhere from 3.2 to 4 million dollars annually. His salary in Madison this past season was around 2.7 million. While Bielema did win a lot of games with the program, he struggled against conference powers Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan over the years. Perhaps realizing Urban Meyer has Ohio State in a strong position to dominate the Big Ten's Leaders Division after going 12-0 in his first year in Columbus, the lure of coaching in college football's pre-eminent league and the fatter wallet was too much to resist. Alvarez indicated the search will begin immediately and Bielema almost certainly won't be on the sidelines in Pasadena when Wisconsin plays Stanford. Last year's offensive coordinator Paul Chryst is a prominent name on the list but after going 6-6 in his first year at Pittsburgh, Chryst issued a statement saying he's committed to the Panther program. On the link below, comments from Wisconsin players and some fans after Bielema delivered the stunning news to the team Tuesday night.
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