It was just what Hog fans needed. In one 40 minute press event, the new Head Hog, Bret Bielema, was able to convince Hog fans (94 percent approval rate in one KATV poll) that order had been restored in the Hog program.
Chasing a Dream
Twenty minutes into the press conference, Bielema was referring to his new team as "we." He didn't make any wild promises but he did share his dream for the Hogs. Bielema, who made program history at Wisconsin by taking the Badgers to three straight Rose Bowls, has plans on leading his Hogs to their first SEC Championship. He made a point to remind fans of the Hogs' SEC title game history.
"It's never been done; never won an SEC title. Been in the game three times. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that if you win the SEC title you might be playing in the big one, especially after 2014. That to me is what it's all about."
The Bielema Way
Remember that fence Houston Nutt talked about building around the state to keep all the talented prospects home? Bret Bielema says it's a must that his staff make sure that fence is built strong enough to get the job done.
"If anyone in this state can play at a championship level, we need them here at the University of Arkansas. That is very, very important. I've learned that during my coaching tenure at every state university, if you can't solidify things here in-state and they are going to play in another state then you're not going to be as good as you can be."
His goal is to find uncommon men, players who are held to higher standards. He doesn't want people to be normal: he wants them to be uncommon.
The Hogs' new head coach knows how to do two things: pig farm and coach football. And he credits those years growing up on a farm with making him the coach he is today.
"I'm glad I was raised that way. If there is one thing I learned in this life, it's that every job I've had, every goal that I've taken, every responsibility that I've gotten - it truly is up to you to put in the work and the time to do it right the first time so you won't have to go back and do it again."
He says this isn't the old, run it 60 times a game, Big 10 offense. His goal and his best teams at Wisconsin did this - average 200 yards a game rushing and 200 yards a game passing. Bobby Petrino talked about making the big play; Brett Bielema is more concerned about not making the big mistake.
"That's an important aspect. Everybody wants to talk about how many games are won on Saturday. There are a lot of games that are lost on Saturday - people that fumble the football, people that throw interceptions, people that break down defensively, people that can't execute on special teams. It's important for us to learn how not to lose the game before we learn how to win the game and offensive philosophy will be a big part of that."
A Good Fit
Following one of the most chaotic times in Razorback football history, Bret Bieliema seems like a good fit. An honest leader who treasures the blue collar approach to work.
"There's nothing that I love better than seeing a guy that's got maybe a blue collar job, a guy that goes about his job the same way every day. Maybe he has to go to work at six and he's done at three, but he's passionate about what he does. That's what I love. I love people that love what they're doing."
I don't know if Bielema was the first, second, third or fourth choice, and I don't care. He appears to be the right guy for this time in Razorback history.
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