Now that Arkansas has a new head coach in Bret Bielema, it is time for Razorbacks’ fans to do one thing.
Take a breath.
Everyone has been in a frenzy since the day after Thanksgiving. More than a dozen coaches were going to be the Hogs next coach, at least if you paid attention to Twitter or publications across the state.
What exactly do we know about Bielema? His resume speaks for itself but it was also in the Big 10. Three straight trips to the Rose Bowl and three straight Big 10 titles are rather impressive, no matter what you think of the conference.
But the style of play that Bielema will bring with him is going to be far different than what Arkansas fans have become accustomed to since Bobby Petrino took the job.
Wisconsin, and now Arkansas, will be known for playing physical football. No surprise, that is what first comes to mind when talking about the SEC. After all, Les Miles and Nick Saban both have Big 10 backgrounds.
It will, however, take a few years for Bielema to get the offensive lineman that he needs to run the football as much as he did with the Badgers. Just like it took Petrino several seasons to get the pass blocking lineman to protect a quarterback dropping back 30+ times a game.
Bielema will put the Hogs in position to compete on a national level, but it will take time. Dennis Johnson, Knile Davis and Ronnie Wingo are all gone now. Can the backs start to funnel in like he had at Wisconsin? Montee Ball just broke the all-time rushing touchdowns record at 76 during his time in Madison.
Bielema wasn’t the name everyone was expecting to hear. He probably wasn’t even on the top of Jeff Long’s list either.
Needless to say, the next few years should be interesting.