Poll: Grade the Bielema hire

What grade do you give the Bielema hire?

  • A

    Votes: 128 45.9%
  • B

    Votes: 123 44.1%
  • C

    Votes: 21 7.5%
  • D

    Votes: 6 2.2%
  • F

    Votes: 1 0.4%

  • Total voters
    279
  • Poll closed .
#26      
What grade do you give the Bielema hire?
A. Incredible success at Wisconsin. Two bad years at arkansas. NFL experience. Only 50, so not over the hill yet and can give us 10-15 years. Says all the right things but seems sincere about it. As far as his off the field question marks. A little failure and kids can change a man for the better. He can return us to respectability and keep us there.
 
#27      
A voted B. It almost got to an A when he fired Richard Simmons, the fraud strength coach. That move there will net wins in the future. I love a 3-4 as it gives us options on defending the RPO plus blitzing options. I like the idea of fast dependable LBs.
 
#28      
Chevy Chase, Maryland
The best we could do, IMO, and it's pretty good. Haven't felt this optimistic since Guenther hired Turner. 24 years ago. Wow. That's depressing. OTOH, those are sunk costs. Nothing but upside in the future.

Proof= f(Pudding)
 
#29      
Normal, Illinois
For someone who's too young to remember him at Wisconsin and simply didn't pay attention to Bret at Arkansas, what are some examples of this "immaturity" and "need for growth" everyone is talking about?

As far as I can recall, his general demeanor was that of an arrogant, frat boy d-bag who would run up the score in blowouts, and he wasn't liked by his coaching peers in the conference. He infamously said that he didn't want the B1G to become like the SEC when Meyer was hired at Ohio State (a comment made over Meyer poaching an Ohio recruit who had committed to Wisconsin), and then criticized Ohio State's strength of schedule before the 2015 season. I've also seen alleged stories of him going to college bars on the weekends during his time in Wisconsin.
 
#30      
Chevy Chase, Maryland
I'd like to get back to this (from, respectively, '60s, '80s, '90s/early '00s.) Ain't no reason why BB can't deliver it.

(BTW, in case it matters to the moderators, credits all to the U of I archives for these.)
 

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#31      
Chevy Chase, Maryland
As far as I can recall, his general demeanor was that of an arrogant, frat boy d-bag who would run up the score in blowouts, and he wasn't liked by his coaching peers in the conference. He infamously said that he didn't want the B1G to become like the SEC when Meyer was hired at Ohio State (a comment made over Meyer poaching an Ohio recruit who had committed to Wisconsin), and then criticized Ohio State's strength of schedule before the 2015 season. I've also seen alleged stories of him going to college bars on the weekends during his time in Wisconsin.
True enough. Perhaps, however, he's retained the swagger, confidence, competence, and "it ain't braggin' if it's true" components of D-baggery while jettisoning the rest. If so, then yikes, 'cause he's going to be fearsome. This is a guy who has scaled the heights, then walked through the Valley of Career Death, and emerged with some crisp NFL chops.

Dream large. There will be plenty of time to cry in our beers later on if this turns out to be the Hindenburg docking in NJ. And, really, how much worse can it get at this point? I mean, there's Moeller worse but that's like a hundred-year flood type of thing.

As Mr. Rourke extolled his employees in the opening credits of each Fantasy Island episode : "Smiles, everyone, smiles!!"
 
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#35      
AS many have stated on here already, I think this hire is about the best we could expect for us at this point in time. Besides prior success, he just looks like a FB coach is supposed to look like, FWIW. Seems old-school, but with a modern approach to an ever changing game. Saying the 3-4 defense isn't "set in stone" shows he can be adaptable to whatever the situation is at the time, to achieve the desired results. Id there's one thing I do like when a coaching change occurs, it's the anticipation in seeing who the new coach brings in as assistants. I think this program has nowhere to go but up from here. It's only a matter of how high can he get us? Go Illini!
 
#36      
Tennessee
I give BB a B.

I would have given LS an A when he was hired.

That said, I like everything that has happened so far. Coach knows that he won't get a fourth chance to be a P5 head coach unless he does so well at ILL that historically better programs will come calling. So I don't think that opposing coaches will outwork him.
 
#37      
Winged Warrior
Purely from a coaching standpoint, in the beginning I would have said B. After the press intro and reading more about him and his background I voted solid A.

I think this guy is gonna get it done.
 
#38      
He infamously said that he didn't want the B1G to become like the SEC when Meyer was hired at Ohio State (a comment made over Meyer poaching an Ohio recruit who had committed to Wisconsin),
I forgot about that. I remember thinking what a d-bag comment. If I recall, Meyer wanted the rest of the conference to pick it up in terms of recruiting.

I graded strictly on the hire, not how he has performed since. I can't ignore the drop in performance in almost every metric at Arkansas. I gave the hire a C but would give him an A for effort in his very brief tenure at Illinois.
 
#39      
I graded BB a B. Seeing what Arizona might end up getting doesn't make me feel worse. As far as the Meyer comment what did the other coaches in the conference have to say at the time? I'm really glad he's here because my recruiting will pick up now since he's arrived? Especially if he just lost a recruit to him? I mean really they all had to fearful of that. TOSU seems to have almost unlimited resources compared to at least half of the conference. Doesn't BB have a little bit of something coming from living in state? Maybe not but opposed to the other coaches we might have got it could help.
 
#40      
As far as the Meyer comment what did the other coaches in the conference have to say at the time? I'm really glad he's here because my recruiting will pick up now since he's arrived? Especially if he just lost a recruit to him? I mean really they all had to fearful of that. TOSU seems to have almost unlimited resources compared to at least half of the conference.
BB's comment came across as sour grapes. I don't remember any other coach publicly backing him. Meyer's reply was essentially that they would continue recruiting until a player signed. I don't think any coach thought their own recruiting would pick up because Meyer was in the conference.
 
#41      
Seems like back in the day there was a " gentleman's agreement" between coaches in the conference to leave a recruit alone after he verbaled to a school. I know that's not the case now. It was sour grape's for BB to say that no argument here but I would bet other coaches didn't verbally say it. As others have said really won't know for 4 years how it works out. I never was behind the Beckman hire, Lovie lukewarm and BB ok until we play some games.
 
#42      
Seems like back in the day there was a " gentleman's agreement" between coaches in the conference to leave a recruit alone after he verbaled to a school. I know that's not the case now. It was sour grape's for BB to say that no argument here but I would bet other coaches didn't verbally say it. As others have said really won't know for 4 years how it works out. I never was behind the Beckman hire, Lovie lukewarm and BB ok until we play some games.
That was never nearly as much the case in football as it was in basketball.

But the Big Ten did used to be a more gentlemanly recruiting situation than the SEC and especially the old SWC.

Alas, everything is nationalized now, so it's kill or be killed.
 
#43      
I wasn't too positive about BB during the search phase, but somehow I can't vote anything lower than an A at the moment. I would have graded the Lovie hire at a B, back in the day. It felt like a pretty good step to grab a former SB coach, given the horrid situation we were in at the time.

Someone else mentioned that BB's resume is the best of any coach we've hired, and I'm having a tough time disagreeing with that. I did wonder about his personality/interpersonal skills, but he's been great in the interviews so far. Maybe I was wrong about that, we'll learn more when the real stress hits. But for now, I gotta give him an A.

It would be an interesting exercise to view Beckman's first interview, then watch BB's first interview once more. Whew, what a contrast.
 
#44      
Tennessee
I wasn't too positive about BB during the search phase, but somehow I can't vote anything lower than an A at the moment. I would have graded the Lovie hire at a B, back in the day. It felt like a pretty good step to grab a former SB coach, given the horrid situation we were in at the time.

Someone else mentioned that BB's resume is the best of any coach we've hired, and I'm having a tough time disagreeing with that. I did wonder about his personality/interpersonal skills, but he's been great in the interviews so far. Maybe I was wrong about that, we'll learn more when the real stress hits. But for now, I gotta give him an A.

It would be an interesting exercise to view Beckman's first interview, then watch BB's first interview once more. Whew, what a contrast.
I agree but that is sort of a low bar - many intelligent junior high schoolers could have interviewed better than TB.
 
#46      
For someone who's too young to remember him at Wisconsin and simply didn't pay attention to Bret at Arkansas, what are some examples of this "immaturity" and "need for growth" everyone is talking about?
As a 30-something, single man in WI, there were stories of immature interactions with distaff students.
People in Arkansas said he liked to bend the elbow and was not a pleasant person to be around.
He says he has matured. Married, seems to be devoted to his children and is 50. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, and like I said before, I'm sure JW grilled Bielema about personal character questions to the point where he was satisfied to offer him the job.
 
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#47      
I'm gonna own up to the fact that I've been in Milwaukee since 2011 and his ditching the B1G for the SEC, combined with some eh "personal anecdotes" I've heard made me really, really not want to see him hired.

But I'm coming around. He's said the right things in his first few interviews and is making a concerted effort in the state of Illinois. He's the best realistic option that was available.

I just am tired of getting my hopes up. I put a C because in all honesty a C caliber coach should be able to get us to bowl games most years. I thought Lovie was an A. I thought Beckman was a B. Might as well aim low.
I thought LS was a D
I think BB is a C-
At Arkansas BB was
1-14 against Alabama, Auburn, and A&M.
If you receive millions in salary, you must WIN !

...
 
#48      
Someone else mentioned that BB's resume is the best of any coach we've hired, and I'm having a tough time disagreeing with that.
That question flows from the same place as everyone's opinions of Bielema in general: how do you judge what happened at Arkansas?

If he's a guy who was just minding the store at a system program that has been exactly as good before him and after him, and then he got found out as soon as he had to do it himself at a program that cares immensely about football and gave him enormous resources, and now he's tumbled into the first gig dumb and desperate enough to give him another payday, the resume doesn't look so good.

If you look at him as one of the strongest Big Ten coaches of this century who remains in his prime age years and who also held his own in an impossible job fighting an uphill battle week after week with the very best programs in the country, and now he's back where he belongs personally and football-wise, in a situation where his resources are well-scaled to his competition, the resume looks pretty great.

And like, there's some truth to both of those. And neither guarantees what the outcome here will be. We haven't solved The Illinois Football Problem until the actual wins arrive, but at least we're on the front foot attacking for the first time in years.