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 .
#51      
For the life of me I still can't believe TB was hired here to Coach. He must have thought he hit the lottery. I can't bring myself to watch that introduction. No way!
 
#52      
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.
It's crazy how different all of our modern hires have been:

Blackman - 16 years of outstanding success in the Ivy League
Moeller - Right hand man of the Michigan dynasty
White - Fairly successful at Cal then fired for recruiting violations
Mackovic - Fairly impressive rebuild at Wake Forest, then jumped to an NFL HC job briefly with mixed results
Tepper - Internal promotion of Mackovic's DC
Turner - NFL offensive coordinator after a West Coast college background
Zook - Hired immediately after being fired by Florida
Beckman - Brief, successful MAC tenure
Lovie - Long, successful NFL career
Bielema - Big success at Wisconsin then failure at Arkansas, followed by an NFL sojourn

Arguably Bielema is just a luxury Zook. And I guess Beckman and Blackman are both sort of "mid major up and comer" hires, though their backgrounds could hardly be more different.

We've gone in just about every different direction you can go. Go back further and Pete Elliott was poached directly from another major conference school (he's a contender for best resume) and Robert Zuppke was a high school coach.
 
#53      
NW Suburbs
It's crazy how different all of our modern hires have been:

Blackman - 16 years of outstanding success in the Ivy League
Moeller - Right hand man of the Michigan dynasty
White - Fairly successful at Cal then fired for recruiting violations
Mackovic - Fairly impressive rebuild at Wake Forest, then jumped to an NFL HC job briefly with mixed results
Tepper - Internal promotion of Mackovic's DC
Turner - NFL offensive coordinator after a West Coast college background
Zook - Hired immediately after being fired by Florida
Beckman - Brief, successful MAC tenure
Lovie - Long, successful NFL career
Bielema - Big success at Wisconsin then failure at Arkansas, followed by an NFL sojourn

Arguably Bielema is just a luxury Zook. And I guess Beckman and Blackman are both sort of "mid major up and comer" hires, though their backgrounds could hardly be more different.

We've gone in just about every different direction you can go. Go back further and Pete Elliott was poached directly from another major conference school (he's a contender for best resume) and Robert Zuppke was a high school coach.
You can find good coaches and bad coaches anywhere. We, unfortunately, have tended to find the bad ones.
 
#54      
It's crazy how different all of our modern hires have been:

Blackman - 16 years of outstanding success in the Ivy League
Moeller - Right hand man of the Michigan dynasty
White - Fairly successful at Cal then fired for recruiting violations
Mackovic - Fairly impressive rebuild at Wake Forest, then jumped to an NFL HC job briefly with mixed results
Tepper - Internal promotion of Mackovic's DC
Turner - NFL offensive coordinator after a West Coast college background
Zook - Hired immediately after being fired by Florida
Beckman - Brief, successful MAC tenure
Lovie - Long, successful NFL career
Bielema - Big success at Wisconsin then failure at Arkansas, followed by an NFL sojourn

Arguably Bielema is just a luxury Zook. And I guess Beckman and Blackman are both sort of "mid major up and comer" hires, though their backgrounds could hardly be more different.

We've gone in just about every different direction you can go. Go back further and Pete Elliott was poached directly from another major conference school (he's a contender for best resume) and Robert Zuppke was a high school coach.
Failure at Arkansas is going to 3 bowls in 5 years? We should only hope he fails like that here.

I don’t understand even thinking his Arkansas tenure was a failure. Who else should be expected to beat Alabama, LSU, Auburn and also Ole Miss/MsState who were also top 5 teams in the country at that time. That’s literally the strongest era of football ever for a conference. SEC West during Bielema’s tenure.

Calling him a luxury Zook is ridiculous. Zook crashed a program Spurrier built. Bielema kept everything smoothly churning at Wisconsin
 
#55      
Failure at Arkansas is going to 3 bowls in 5 years? We should only hope he fails like that here.

I don’t understand even thinking his Arkansas tenure was a failure. Who else should be expected to beat Alabama, LSU, Auburn and also Ole Miss/MsState who were also top 5 teams in the country at that time. That’s literally the strongest era of football ever for a conference. SEC West during Bielema’s tenure.

Calling him a luxury Zook is ridiculous. Zook crashed a program Spurrier built. Bielema kept everything smoothly churning at Wisconsin
Agree - he inherited a dumpster fire at Arkansas and had them bowling in year 2. BB's resume is far more impressive than Elliott's, as was Blackman's, White's and Mackovic's.
 
#56      
It's crazy how different all of our modern hires have been:

Blackman - 16 years of outstanding success in the Ivy League
Moeller - Right hand man of the Michigan dynasty
White - Fairly successful at Cal then fired for recruiting violations
Mackovic - Fairly impressive rebuild at Wake Forest, then jumped to an NFL HC job briefly with mixed results
Tepper - Internal promotion of Mackovic's DC
Turner - NFL offensive coordinator after a West Coast college background
Zook - Hired immediately after being fired by Florida
Beckman - Brief, successful MAC tenure
Lovie - Long, successful NFL career
Bielema - Big success at Wisconsin then failure at Arkansas, followed by an NFL sojourn

Arguably Bielema is just a luxury Zook. And I guess Beckman and Blackman are both sort of "mid major up and comer" hires, though their backgrounds could hardly be more different.

We've gone in just about every different direction you can go. Go back further and Pete Elliott was poached directly from another major conference school (he's a contender for best resume) and Robert Zuppke was a high school coach.
Great summary. I'm pretty sure there is no way to prove (or disprove) this, but I'm thinking that a successful coach is typically not one that is easy to ridicule.

Mackovic - shirt and tie formal guy. Enthusiastic, but always serious.
Tepper - he was essentially the goofy youth pastor from your local Baptist church. Really nice guy. Everyone knew he was a goof and in way over his head.
Turner - A-hole. Serious. Managed to assemble one of our best teams we've ever had. Not a recruiter, which finally did him in.
Zook - Best recruiter we've had. Players loved him. But just wasn't smart enough to be a head coach. This was obvious from the first Illinoissse interview.
Beckman - pretty much the worst of all worlds. A big goof, plus a closet jerk. Lasagna and tripping on the sideline. Just embarrassing in every possible way.
Lovie - pretty much what we should have expected. Quiet, aloof, professional, good man. Not embarrassing. Did some good things, but lacked enthusiasm.
Bielema - Seems intelligent, and enthusiastic. Opposing coaches won't laugh at him. Players will respect him. He knows football. Will he be an enthusiastic recruiter over many years? I think that's my main question. But I like what I'm seeing so far. A bit of serious Turner-ness, but with more enthusiasm. He looks like a football coach; he isn't going to be bumbling around on the sideline, tripping over wires. He's not going to mispronounce the name of the state. He's not going to make his wife cook lasagna. Hell, I'm guessing she's never cooked a meal in her life. And that's why we're gonna win some football games.
 
#57      
Haven't read the thread and probably should to get more perspective. That said, my fast take was to give this an incomplete for obvious reasons :p Since that's not an option, I would generously give it a 'C'. It's not that I think he's likely to be a bad coach, but I don't get why you would throw such a large contract at a guy with his recent history. If other posts were correct, you're trying to poach a guy making roughly $400-$500k, and without guarantees and the longer term benefits of college coaching. Is there some rule of Illinois coaching hires that you have to throw $20 extra million at a guy before he'll come here? Is he going to get you $X mil more in wins, positive PR, and fan experience than the guy that doesn't have as much experience, but has hints that he could step up and make it? And believe me, if we got a cheap hire that grew into the job, I'd be all-in on rewarding and retaining.

No one knows, and Whitman seems to think he's worth that kind of contract, so we'll see. Hope he's hungry up to the task --I think a program that's been near the bottom for an extended period makes it a little bit harder, although not worlds harder. While I may have my skepticism, I'm really excited for him to get his team in place and see if he can do it. "It" meaning getting Illinois to a consistent bowl level. Beyond that would be a huge over-achievement as far as I'm concerned.

If we're stuck near the bottom, I hope he can at least recruit some horses. Zook had some fun teams with fantastic individual talent even though his coaching was perplexing. I'd take that over the last several years.
 
#58      
It's crazy how different all of our modern hires have been:

Blackman - 16 years of outstanding success in the Ivy League
Moeller - Right hand man of the Michigan dynasty
White - Fairly successful at Cal then fired for recruiting violations
Mackovic - Fairly impressive rebuild at Wake Forest, then jumped to an NFL HC job briefly with mixed results
Tepper - Internal promotion of Mackovic's DC
Turner - NFL offensive coordinator after a West Coast college background
Zook - Hired immediately after being fired by Florida
Beckman - Brief, successful MAC tenure
Lovie - Long, successful NFL career
Bielema - Big success at Wisconsin then failure at Arkansas, followed by an NFL sojourn

Arguably Bielema is just a luxury Zook. And I guess Beckman and Blackman are both sort of "mid major up and comer" hires, though their backgrounds could hardly be more different.

We've gone in just about every different direction you can go. Go back further and Pete Elliott was poached directly from another major conference school (he's a contender for best resume) and Robert Zuppke was a high school coach.
Yes, we've tried just about everything.....and with very little success. In recent history, the Toledo hire may have been our best idea. We just chose the wrong Toledo coach. THE ULTIMATE DREAM, OF COURSE: We need to get to a level with our program where we can hire "guarantees" --- like Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, Brian Kelly or Bob Stoops ---- otherwise it's a crapshoot, as even USC, Nebraska, Miami, Texas, Michigan and Florida State are finding out.
 
#59      
Failure at Arkansas is going to 3 bowls in 5 years? We should only hope he fails like that here.

I don’t understand even thinking his Arkansas tenure was a failure. Who else should be expected to beat Alabama, LSU, Auburn and also Ole Miss/MsState who were also top 5 teams in the country at that time. That’s literally the strongest era of football ever for a conference. SEC West during Bielema’s tenure.

Calling him a luxury Zook is ridiculous. Zook crashed a program Spurrier built. Bielema kept everything smoothly churning at Wisconsin
Honestly I think Arkansas fans got a little spoiled with Houston Nutt who went to 8 bowls in 10 years and won the SEC West twice, and Petrino who went 10-3 and 11-2 his last two years. John L. Smith had the one bad year as the interim but I think fans still had the 11-2 mindset and I’m sure Bielema didn’t think it would be quite the rebuilding job as it was just viewing from the outside or he might not have left Wisconsin in the first place.

The three years since and the Chad Morris era have gotten Arkansas fans to look at Bielema’s time in Fayetteville a bit more favorably.
 
#60      
Failure at Arkansas is going to 3 bowls in 5 years? We should only hope he fails like that here.

I don’t understand even thinking his Arkansas tenure was a failure. Who else should be expected to beat Alabama, LSU, Auburn and also Ole Miss/MsState who were also top 5 teams in the country at that time. That’s literally the strongest era of football ever for a conference. SEC West during Bielema’s tenure.

Calling him a luxury Zook is ridiculous. Zook crashed a program Spurrier built. Bielema kept everything smoothly churning at Wisconsin
As a Badger fan I can tell you that Bielema did far more than keep things running smoothly. The Alvarez legend is well deserved in Madison but from 2000-2005 Barry's teams were 24-24 in the Big Ten. Bielema returned the program to what Alvarez had going in the late 90's. I think this is an excellent hire for Illinois.