Yahoo! Sports's Pat Forde is reporting that Jeff Long has hired Bret Bielema to take over as the new Arkansas Razorbacks head football coach:
In a stunning coup, Arkansas will hire Wisconsin's Bret Bielema as its next football coach, Yahoo! Sports has learned. ...
An announcement will come today, sources told Y! Sports, but Bielema is not expected to be introduced until Wednesday.
This certainly came out of nowhere. Bielema has not appeared even on the message board level of reporting until just a couple of hours ago today, and it's certainly a shock given that his Badgers are headed to the Rose Bowl. He was Barry Alvarez's hand-picked successor at Wisconsin. According to the USA Today database, Bielema makes $2.6 million per year at Wisconsin.
We'll see if this one pans out, but Forde is solid as a reporter. Bielema is 68-24 in seven seasons in Madison, and his teams have earned three consecutive Rose Bowl berths. He's known for a power rushing game and running up the score whenever possible.
Missed it by that much, Mark. Just a couple minutes after Forde's report came this:
Filed to #ESPN: Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema agrees to deal w/ #Hogs but wants to coach #Badgers in Rose Bowl— Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) December 4, 2012