Because, of course.
Bret Bielema has already shocked the world once, leaving his job at Wisconsin for one at Arkansas. Could the head coach be ready to bolt the SEC, just as it appears he has the Razorbacks on the right track, and head back to the Big Ten?
According to FootballScoop.com, Nebraska has set its sights on Bielema to replace Bo Pelini. The words the coaching website uses in what’s merely a little blurb, though, seems to indicate that the interest is two-sided and very real:
Per sources, Nebraska is targeting Arkansas Bret Bielema and is in serious talks with him. More to come…
And that’s the extent of the report. So, what to make of it?
Nebraska’s athletic director, Shawn Eichorst, worked at the side of Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez from 2009-11, and is said to be a very big fan of Bielema’s. Also, the thinking is that Eichorst wants to make a big splash with this hire; pilfering from Bielema from an SEC school would certainly achieve that goal, especially when it’s a former coach of a current divisional rival.
Additionally, the buyout is not prohibitive. As it stands now, Bielema — or the hiring school — would owe $2.5 million; that drops to $2 million in January, and $500,000 every year thereafter.
Of course, then there’s this, from a conference call Wednesday, just a few hours ago, Bielema had with local beat reporters.
I took this opportunity without anybody knowing about it or hearing about it. … I’m not one of those coaches that gets my name involved or anything like that. When I started talking to Arkansas, I told them, ‘If my name comes out in a way other than my own release, then I’m going to be out of this conversation.’ It’s just how I’ve always operated. … I can’t tell you how excited I am for next year. Obviously, my commitment to Arkansas is long-term.
Then again, this could always be simply a ploy by Bielema’s agent (I see you working, NC) to get his client a “revamped” deal.
Either way, it’s fascinating theater.