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Brett Bielema at Illinois

wcbsas

All Big 10
15 Year Member

Bielema compiled a 68-24 record in seven seasons at UW, winning a share of the league title in 2010 and then winning the title outright in 2011 and 2012.
Adversity? Arkansas went 11-29 in SEC play and 29-34 overall in Bielema’s five seasons.

“I think as a man you learn more through adversity than you do in moments of success,” he said.

Three seasons in the National Football League, two under Belichick at New England and last season under Joe Judge with the New York Giants, followed Bielema’s departure from Arkansas.
He insisted Thursday that the circuitous path was necessary. “I wouldn’t be where I am today, in the position I’m in,” he said, “if I hadn’t done it.”

I always thought BB was full of himself when he was at UW ... kind of proved that to me when he left for Arkansas. His 3 years in the NFL including 2 under Belichick scare me. If he builds a Wisconsin-esque run-first program at Illinois he could be a handful in 3 to 5 years!
 

BigRedAvenger

Poster of Substance
5 Year Member



I always thought BB was full of himself when he was at UW ... kind of proved that to me when he left for Arkansas. His 3 years in the NFL including 2 under Belichick scare me. If he builds a Wisconsin-esque run-first program at Illinois he could be a handful in 3 to 5 years!

Illinois "should" be one of the best teams in the B1G. They have the best population base from which to recruit.
 

DuckTownHusker

Blackshirt Sith Lord
10 Year Member
Illinois "should" be one of the best teams in the B1G. They have the best population base from which to recruit.

Reminds me of Tom Osborne talking about Missouri being a sleeping giant. Columbia, MO, is dead center between two massive recruiting bases in KC and STL. It's actually kind of amazing that Mizzou was only ever good in flashes here and there. If you had someone like an Urban Meyer coaching there, they really could have made them a bigger power in the Big 8/12.
 
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wcbsas

All Big 10
15 Year Member
Illinois "should" be one of the best teams in the B1G. They have the best population base from which to recruit.
Agreed.

500 mile radius within Champaign is St. Louis (161 miles), Kansas City (374 miles), Indianapolis (168 miles). Chicago (88 miles), Pittsburgh (528 miles), Detroit (389 miles). Essentially includes all of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, most of Michigan, most of Iowa, good parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Missouri.

BB would not have to board a plane to recruit if he wanted.
 
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wcbsas

All Big 10
15 Year Member
It my opinion that Bielema‘s success at UW was Barry Alvarez driven and when standing alone he is a 50/50 coach. This is till proven different. Might be wrong but we are about to find out.
Alvarez was very involved with BB making sure that he maintained the "Wisconsin" blue-print. They during the season daily each morning took an hour walk where they discussed what BB would do as head coach. These walks began the year BB was appointed coach in waiting and lasted for 2 years after he was appointed. He (Bielema) left in part because he was not going to escape BA's shadow and involvement.

But Wisconsin did not become O-Line U until BB took over.
 
Illinois "should" be one of the best teams in the B1G. They have the best population base from which to recruit.
Not even close to OSU from a power 5 population base all to itself.

Rutgers is a sleeping giant population wise, still not quite OSU though.

Problem with Illinois is Northwestern and Noter Dame are heavy competition for the Chicago area.

But to be fair, you’re right Illinois should be near the top of the league based on population.
 
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Oldgrappler

Recruit
Alvarez was very involved with BB making sure that he maintained the "Wisconsin" blue-print. They during the season daily each morning took an hour walk where they discussed what BB would do as head coach. These walks began the year BB was appointed coach in waiting and lasted for 2 years after he was appointed. He (Bielema) left in part because he was not going to escape BA's shadow and involvement.

But Wisconsin did not become O-Line U until BB took over.
Great post. But the fact remains take BA out of the equation he is 50/50 till proving different
 

wcbsas

All Big 10
15 Year Member
Problem with your Illinois theory is Northwestern and Noter Dame are heavy competition for the Chicago area.
First there is more than enough talent in the Chicago region alone to satisfy all 3 teams.

Second Illinois is the only public school, of the three, and that offers opportunity for a deeper and enhanced walk-on program.

Third the academic requirements at NW and ND are going to limit access to some recruits giving Illinois an advantage.

Fourth NW success is tied to Pat Fitzgerald ... if/when he leaves they're going to fall back to their rightful role of bottom dweller.

Fifth Illinois has a much larger enrollment thus a much larger alumni, fan base, donor base and ultimately much more resources to draw upon.
 
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HuskerIDoc

Recruit
5 Year Member
Illinois "should" be one of the best teams in the B1G. They have the best population base from which to recruit.
I agree with you but, even though I don't think of them this way, they have so entrance requirements that pretty high and makes them have to be more selective in who they recruit from an academic standpoint.
 
First there is more than enough talent in the Chicago region alone to satisfy all 3 teams.

Second Illinois is the only public school, of the three, and that offers opportunity for a deeper and enhanced walk-on program.

Third the academic requirements at NW and ND are going to limit access to some recruits giving Illinois an advantage.

Fourth NW success is tied to Pat Fitzgerald ... if/when he leaves they're going to fall back to their rightful role of bottom dweller.

Fifth Illinois has a much larger enrollment thus a much larger alumni, fan base, donor base and ultimately much more resources to draw upon.
Fair points all things equal if population was all that mattered Illinois and NW should be the 3rd and 4th best in the league.

Nebraska and Iowa should be last.
 

Uncle Buck

All American
20 Year Member
Agreed.

500 mile radius within Bloomington is St. Louis (161 miles), Kansas City (374 miles), Indianapolis (168 miles). Chicago (88 miles), Pittsburgh (528 miles), Detroit (389 miles). Essentially includes all of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, most of Michigan, most of Iowa, good parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Missouri.

BB would not have to board a plane to recruit if he wanted.
Champaign Urbana
 

HuskerInTexas

Red Shirt
5 Year Member
My hope is that he starts tapping in to his old Wiscy recruiting spots for the occasional guy and pulling that depth away from Wisconsin. I’m not sure I’d ever be worried about Illinois on a year to year basis but they could certainly be a problem occasional seasons. If he can start plucking away from what Wisconsin has been doing, that’s a big win for us in my book.
 
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