Bielema Hired By Illinois

goldengopher72

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Position coach in the NFL. Failed in his last D1 coaching job. No one lining up to offer him a HC job. And here's comes Illinois at $4M a year. What luck!
 

hello-world

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If I've learned anything from watching the Kevin Sumlin, Herm Edwards, Scott Frost, Mac Brown, and Tom Herman hires, it's that I cannot predict who is going to be successful and who is not, so I fully expect this to be a home run, even though it seems like an awful idea.
 

MplsGopher

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Position coach in the NFL. Failed in his last D1 coaching job. No one lining up to offer him a HC job. And here's comes Illinois at $4M a year. What luck!
This is a great point.

He definitely did not take Wisconsin to two straight Rose Bowls in 2010 and 2011. That would have nothing to do with it, of course.
 

hungan1

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Somehow after Lovie was fired, Bielema was dancing in my head.

My biggest worry is if he steals our OL recruits like he did with Frank Ragnow. The battle for OLs from Illinois just got more crowded too.

Let's hope we get a couple of our OLs drafted soon.
 

Some guy

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Interesting that he has already said his offense will be a bit more spread than the past
 

MplsGopher

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Interesting that he has already said his offense will be a bit more spread than the past
Must be burned from Arkansas. Couldn't get the OL he needed to run Wisc's offense. Maybe he thinks he still can't.

That's a mistake, IMO. I'd run exactly the same schemes as he did in Madison.
 

TAW

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According to [someone's] source in C-U, beyond the on field struggles, the AD tired of Lovie's distant attitude toward his PR responsibilities. Reluctant to interact with locals, barely participated in weekly radio show produced at a local watering hole, with no Q/A or other interaction with attendees, frigid relationship with reporters, High /school coaches and the "final straw" was his no show on a recent virtual group recruiting interaction with Illinois State High School coaches that WAS attended by Indiana, and Purdue coaches. Not good.
 

2nd Degree Gopher

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According to [someone's] source in C-U, beyond the on field struggles, the AD tired of Lovie's distant attitude toward his PR responsibilities. Reluctant to interact with locals, barely participated in weekly radio show produced at a local watering hole, with no Q/A or other interaction with attendees, frigid relationship with reporters, High /school coaches and the "final straw" was his no show on a recent virtual group recruiting interaction with Illinois State High School coaches that WAS attended by Indiana, and Purdue coaches. Not good.
I think I read that Fleck attended as well.
 

PMWinSTP

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This is a great point.

He definitely did not take Wisconsin to two straight Rose Bowls in 2010 and 2011. That would have nothing to do with it, of course.
Or that he had only one sub .500 year in conference play...
 

MaxyJR1

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Must be burned from Arkansas. Couldn't get the OL he needed to run Wisc's offense. Maybe he thinks he still can't.

That's a mistake, IMO. I'd run exactly the same schemes as he did in Madison.
Wisconsin is more spread than Iowa is these days.
 

MplsGopher

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Wisconsin is more spread than Iowa is these days.
Uh ... no. They use a full back and TE in the same formation, they snap the ball from under center, and they run up the middle. Nothing about that is spread.

They hand the ball off to the fullback, from time to time. I'm surprised the F'ing guy even had a facemask on his helmet.
 

Great Plains Gopher

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A long shot, but Illinois is prime recruiting ground - SOMEBODY should be able to win there again.
 

Spaulding!No!

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Wi has abused that state for recruits similar to how wi has abused mn. It’d be nice for Il to close that border.
 
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Hopefully he’s past his dry dock days. Wisconsin would let him out for fundraising events for almost a year. He fights those demons.
 

tjgopher

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A long shot, but Illinois is prime recruiting ground - SOMEBODY should be able to win there again.
I actually think Illinois is a little over rated as a recruiting hotbed. It is indeed nicely located in the middle of Chicago, Indianapolis, and St. Louis. But, not close enough to any of them to be considered a "home town" school. And, when they go into those places they are fighting like everyone else to beat out Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State and others for high end recruits in those three cities. And, they are on mostly equal footing with Purdue, Indiana, Northwestern, Iowa, Wisconsin, MSU, Missouri, etc. for the rest of the recruits in those three markets. In fact they are not the closest Power 5 program to any of those three cities, so it isn't a huge advantage for Illinois. And, Champaign-Urbana is not all that urban. Might be the most "rural" campus in the Big Ten. Doesn't mean Bielema won't get guys, he will. And, he might win. But, I don't think he will win because he awakens a sleeping giant recruiting wise. I think he will win with a formula and a strategy like other schools have in the Big Ten.
 

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MplsGopher

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Which isn’t a lot considering they have a higher population that Ohio and Georgia.
Yes but of course may not necessarily translate one-to-one with football participation. Particularly inner/urban Chicago.

Would be interesting to see where high school football participation by state ranks IL compared to MN and OH, GA, etc.
 

btowngopher

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Yes but of course may not necessarily translate one-to-one with football participation. Particularly inner/urban Chicago.

Would be interesting to see where high school football participation by state ranks IL compared to MN and OH, GA, etc.
The point is the talent isn’t as abundant there as one might expect.
 

MplsGopher

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The point is the talent isn’t as abundant there as one might expect.
You're not wrong, I'm only saying that it might not make sense to have that expectation if most of the state population doesn't really have the same access to football as upper middle-class suburban kids.
 

Some guy

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I actually think Illinois is a little over rated as a recruiting hotbed. It is indeed nicely located in the middle of Chicago, Indianapolis, and St. Louis. But, not close enough to any of them to be considered a "home town" school. And, when they go into those places they are fighting like everyone else to beat out Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State and others for high end recruits in those three cities. And, they are on mostly equal footing with Purdue, Indiana, Northwestern, Iowa, Wisconsin, MSU, Missouri, etc. for the rest of the recruits in those three markets. In fact they are not the closest Power 5 program to any of those three cities, so it isn't a huge advantage for Illinois. And, Champaign-Urbana is not all that urban. Might be the most "rural" campus in the Big Ten. Doesn't mean Bielema won't get guys, he will. And, he might win. But, I don't think he will win because he awakens a sleeping giant recruiting wise. I think he will win with a formula and a strategy like other schools have in the Big Ten.
Yeah.

I think the winning Illinois strategy is to become a factor in a lot of places:
St Louis
Kansas City
Chicago (obviously)
Cincinnati
Louisville
Indianapolis
Memphis


if you can pull 2-3 solid guys out of each of those metros for Illinois that’s a heck of a class


they can’t just close the borders. Illinois doesn’t function like the western Midwest states in that way
 

tjgopher

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Yeah.

I think the winning Illinois strategy is to become a factor in a lot of places:
St Louis
Kansas City
Chicago (obviously)
Cincinnati
Louisville
Indianapolis
Memphis


if you can pull 2-3 solid guys out of each of those metros for Illinois that’s a heck of a class


they can’t just close the borders. Illinois doesn’t function like the western Midwest states in that way
No doubt, and it is hard. They have no inherit advantage over their peers in any of the cities you mentioned and are likely behind before they start in several. That's why I think people overrate Illinois as a recruiting sleeping Giant.

Kansas City for instance, they are already behind Nebraska, Mizzou, Iowa, Iowa State, K-State, Kansas, and likely Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, too.

Memphis you get into SEC country with Arkansas, Mizzou, Tennessee, Vandy, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, etc. Cincinnati and Louisville, you are behind many.

I think you are dead on, that in some cases Illinois can do what Iowa does with Detroit, Indianapolis, Chicago and St. Louis and get the 2nd tier kids from there and develop them into good Big Ten players. Dip into Florida, Georgia and Texas, as well. Bielema's background at Iowa and K-State will help him at Illinois without a doubt, probably more than his experience at Wisconsin from a recruiting standpoint.
 

MplsGopher

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No doubt, and it is hard. They have no inherit advantage over their peers in any of the cities you mentioned and are likely behind before they start in several. That's why I think people overrate Illinois as a recruiting sleeping Giant.

Kansas City for instance, they are already behind Nebraska, Mizzou, Iowa, Iowa State, K-State, Kansas, and likely Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, too.

Memphis you get into SEC country with Arkansas, Mizzou, Tennessee, Vandy, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, etc. Cincinnati and Louisville, you are behind many.

I think you are dead on, that in some cases Illinois can do what Iowa does with Detroit, Indianapolis, Chicago and St. Louis and get the 2nd tier kids from there and develop them into good Big Ten players. Dip into Florida, Georgia and Texas, as well. Bielema's background at Iowa and K-State will help him at Illinois without a doubt, probably more than his experience at Wisconsin from a recruiting standpoint.
Bolded doesn't make sense. You don't think the Badgers staff under Bielema recruited those cities? Or, why are you saying that?
 

tjgopher

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Bolded doesn't make sense. You don't think the Badgers staff under Bielema recruited those cities? Or, why are you saying that?
I'm saying exactly what I posted. His current experience at Illinois is likely closer to what he faced at Iowa and K-State, not what he had at Wisconsin.

He stepped into a situation at Wisconsin that was already fully implemented as an established program with lots of recruiting wins and successes. That wasn't the case at Iowa, where he was the lead recruiter during a rebuild and rankings were quite low. He helped bring in kids to develop that were lowly-rated, but part of Kirk Ferentz's first Big Ten title team. At K-State they recruited a bit differently, as well, in a place that was rural, much like Illinois.

He is taking over a program at Illinois that has not recruited at a high level for awhile. He will likely need to find similar kids to what he did at Iowa and K-State early on and develop them.

He has always been a rock solid recruiter, so he will get kids to go to Champaign. But, he won't get the reaction on the trail like he did when he was at Wisconsin, at least not right away. It will be more like when he was at Iowa after a 4-19 record in Ferentz's first 2 years. Or, at K-State where you are trying to talk kids into going to a school in the middle of cornfields (or wheat fields).
 

MplsGopher

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I'm saying exactly what I posted. His current experience at Illinois is likely closer to what he faced at Iowa and K-State, not what he had at Wisconsin.

He stepped into a situation at Wisconsin that was already fully implemented as an established program with lots of recruiting wins and successes. That wasn't the case at Iowa, where he was the lead recruiter during a rebuild and rankings were quite low. He helped bring in kids to develop that were lowly-rated, but part of Kirk Ferentz's first Big Ten title team. At K-State they recruited a bit differently, as well, in a place that was rural, much like Illinois.

He is taking over a program at Illinois that has not recruited at a high level for awhile. He will likely need to find similar kids to what he did at Iowa and K-State early on and develop them.

He has always been a rock solid recruiter, so he will get kids to go to Champaign. But, he won't get the reaction on the trail like he did when he was at Wisconsin, at least not right away. It will be more like when he was at Iowa after a 4-19 record in Ferentz's first 2 years. Or, at K-State where you are trying to talk kids into going to a school in the middle of cornfields (or wheat fields).
Thanks for elaborating. That makes a lot of sense, actually.

You're right that the Badgers are kings in Wisc and probably have a great relationship with almost every high school coach. Iowa and Kansas probably are much more split states. Illinois is a fairly large state, and obviously quite a bit of diversity top to bottom.

Wisc is very white. Even the team seems whiter than the P5 average. Bret is obviously as white as it comes. Not sure how that will play with black recruits and their families from down by STL, or in urban Indy, or of course in urban Chicago. But obviously Lovie didn't get it done either.
 

Arnold Babar

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I think it is a great hire for the Big Ten. When was the last time you looked forward to playing Illini for any other reason than you expected an easy win?
Illinois may not win championships, but they won't be a nothing game on the schedule. The Bielema effect will mean that 3 fan bases will hate him enough to circle that game on the schedule and hope to beat his ass.
 

GopherNuts

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Old friend Bart Miller will be coaching the OL at Illinois.

We’ll see how the Gophers handle the #RoadGraders that no doubt will be headed to Champaign
 
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hungan1

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I am still miffed at him for "stealing" Frank Ragnow at the very last moment.
 
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