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To think that Bret Bielema coached his last football game at Wisconsin and it was probably his best coaching job at the school when he knew he was leaving is a real stunner. We don't know what to say at this point, as many a national analyst pointed out it sure seams like an odd move that sort of points towards a money play. But in the end we sort of feel like Bielema just couldn't take it any longer at Wisconsin, otherwise why leave now.
You could argue that Bielema wanted to prove himself in the SEC after proving all he could in the Big Ten but that certainly isn't the case. Bielema backed into this last conference championship and the fact is hadn't yet won a Rose Bowl and didn't pick up a National Title game invite last year when it seemed there for the taking. Bielema has often pointed out that it is the 2013 team for the Badgers that should be the big contender in the national picture so why not wait one more year to see if that team could bring it all home, your star freshman and building block just carried the ball 9 times for 200 yards in a conference championship game. Bielema still had work to do at Wisconsin, no if ands or buts and didn't need a new SEC challenge especially considering a revitalized Ohio State was in the division.
Back to the money question, we know Arkansas is backing up the money truck but Wisconsin after a third consecutive title clearly would have listened to a bit of a pay raise with the knowledge that revenue is escalating with the Big Ten Network. He might not have gotten all he wanted but the fact is Bielema at Wisconsin had a secure job at Wisconsin if he wanted probably for the next 10 years win loose or draw just like Ferentz at Iowa, Bielema might not have majored in business at Iowa but it isn't hard to figure out the value of job security to the bank account.
There are some thoughts that it isn't about paying assisstant coaches enough, but frankly the Badgers did pony up for Chryst until the point the money couldn't keep him. There is also talk about it being about facilities but that is pretty hard to fathom considering the first thing Barry did when he got to Wisconsin was taking a sledge hammer to his office to upgrade any facility he could as soon as possible, we doubt he has forgotten the reason why.
Of course the other possibility is really to hard to think about and better not come to light and that this could be about known NCAA sanctions coming, however given the walk and talk Bielema presented during his tenure we don't think this it.
So what is it Bret Bielema leaving has to be about something more, it certainly isn't fan support of the program the team is supported like no other even if he always wasn't. No this has to be about feeling a level of disrespect either from Barry, the fans, the community, the Big Ten it has to be about this. The fact is if you don't have respect you don't have anything, Bielema had are respect but unfortunately not enough of the people who counted.