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Fans vote Bielema as the best SEC coaching hire

Sports Nation polled fans earlier today to see what they thought about the four SEC head coaching hires this off-season. Arkansas’ hiring of Bret Bielema from Wisconsin was the overwhelming leader, while the other 3 hires were very close.

How would you rate the 4 hires?

Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

45 Comments for Fans vote Bielema as the best SEC coaching hire



  1. Ridge Runner
    6:39 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    I guess I’d go Bielema first, followed by Stoops and then Malzahn.

    Ya know where that leaves Jones in my book.



  2. Cats in the NBA
    6:48 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    This is probably about right. Our guy doesn’t even have HC experience, but I am excited to see what he and his staff can do.

    They should do another poll on which was the best SEC Coaching Fire.



  3. 9-asty
    6:49 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    If you look at which schools got which coach, Stoops would give Bielema a run for the best hire. Just looking at the best coach though, I think Bielema was definitely the best hire.



  4. Ridge Runner
    6:50 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    3…I know what you are saying though.



  5. Ricky Bobby
    6:54 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Put Ricky Bobby Petrino on that list and see what REALITY exists in the football world on ESPN (where 90% men are voting and few Nancy’s can mention how moms might feel when blah blah blah…).

    Rick Bobby Petrino, WKU – 63%
    Bret Bilema, Arkansas – 17%
    Mark Stoops, Kentucky – 12%
    Gus Malzahn, Auburn – 3%
    Butch Jones, Tennessee – 5%



  6. bosshogg24
    6:55 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Stoops was the best hire, Uk will show more improvement than any of the schools mentioned. Bielema is in the SEC now, he is no longer in the Big 10 which he will soon find out!



  7. blueneck
    7:02 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    It’s no brainer that BB would be first since he’s been to multiple bowls. It’s also obvious that Jones would be last since he was only a secondary choice anyway and didn’t improve Cincy at all over Kelly. The only question is who was better Stoops or Malzahn? I think Malzahn was a better hire for Auburn but Stoops was a better pick for UK.



  8. Louisville
    7:02 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Kentucky will realize they still suck lol!



  9. Ares
    7:02 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    I am really eager to see where this poll lands in four years.



  10. Ridge Runner
    7:05 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    6- thats the thing though. Right this very moment, we don’t know what improvement will be made if any for any school. Hell, we have no where to go but up and that alone gets Stoops, as you said, high.

    But, Stoops hasn’t been a HC as mentioned earlier and with that lack of a record –it drops him behind a guy who has been a successful HC albeit not my much at the time of this poll.



  11. bollocks
    7:08 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Bielema has to be the best hire because of his record. Long term I think Malzahn will be the best longest tenured hire.
    All you saying Stoops is the best hire. Bless you harts. Take the blue glasses off for a while and look. We hired a coach with zero game experience, hoping it works. Your crazy if you think this hire is a sure fire home run. I do think Stoops was a good hire for UK but damn people you think it was better then Jones at UT really? As the guy has done is won at the hardest job in America.
    Bielema, Malzan, Jones, then Stoops. If everybody would be honest Petrino would have topped the list if anyone of these schools would have taken the risk!



  12. UK FAN
    7:10 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    @6

    Only because Joker was so bad there is no other choice but improve. If you think Stoops is a better hire than Bielema your just a Homer. Call me when Stoops has the resume of Bielema because it will NEVER happen



  13. Joe
    7:15 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    topped the list if anyone of these schools would have taken the risk! Depends on his asking price. I don’t respect Petrino, BUT I do think that Petrino is a good hire for WKU, at the reported $800K (IIRC). For the price you get an unreliable, soon-to-flee HC, but he IS a very talented unreliable HC, and you only put out $800K.

    But anyone who would shell out MILLIONS, for Petrino is NOT making a good hire…Risk v. Reward…the risk is worth $800K.

    I think Stoops is a very good hire, not for Auburn, but really good for UK. If Auburn had hired Stoops, well that would have been like UT searching and searching and finally settling on their 3rd-4th pick…OH WAIT, they did! Stoops is a good hire for us, but yeah he’d be a bad hire for Auburn, because they should expect to get a more proven commodity.



  14. bollocks
    7:15 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    #7 You do know where Kelly had Cinnci don’t you. Kinda hard to improve them much. Jones took his name out of contention at UK, I’m not saying they would or wouldn’t have hired him. I’m just saying he wasn’t interested in the UK job. Don’t sleep on UT. The place they’re at now has more to do with hiring the wrong coach and letting Fulmer stay to long. UT has everything to compete with the big boys in this conference Jones very well could be what they need.



  15. bollocks
    7:19 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    #13 I get the risk with Petrino., but can you tell me any of those guys know football more then him. Petrino is one of the top football minds in the country. Off the field is different. If this poll is strictly on wins and losses Petrino is by far the best choice.



  16. Ridge Runner
    7:23 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    I hate to even mention this but…

    I do wonder that “some” of those who voted in this poll across the nation may have seen the name STOOPS and automatically associated him to his father or even brother…then voted.

    There are a small number of folks who do polls & who really don’t know that much about the poll or question. In other words…did Mark Stoops get his fathers or brothers vote -by less ncaa-intellectual folks?

    Again… a passing thought.



  17. Ares
    7:27 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Follow up question which of those will be at their respective schools the longest? And which is in the best shape day 1?



  18. Mark
    7:29 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    I think the poll is about right. Yes ridge runner I think that can and does happen.



  19. bung
    7:30 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    all I knows about football is that houston nutt sr played for rupp…



  20. bollocks
    7:33 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Best shape day one Malzahn! I’d feel safe in saying he will be the longest to stay as well. Just can’t see the big ten style being a hit at Arkansas. Again I do like the Stoops hire, but no way is he long term. He will either win and get a better job or lose and get fired. Screw UT



  21. Ridge Runner
    7:34 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    19, well there ya go bud. That is something I didn’t know. Good stuff.



  22. bollocks
    7:35 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    I think if Stoops last name was Jones most of the BBN would be ready to fire Barnhart.



  23. Joe
    7:39 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Bollocks name ONE program he has taken to a National Level…Not UoL, not Atlanta, not Arkansas….he’s made them better, but he always finds a way to sabotage himself…it’s always about the next new thing for him…be it Atlanta, or the co-ed.

    I think of him as Darryl Strawberry, sure both are or were greatly talented, but both tripped themselves up, and left a mess behind.

    That’s why he’s a good risk at 800K, but not for MILLIONS…and it’s why he’s at WKU, not Auburn or UT, because they weren’t willing to risk MILLIONS on a flighty character.

    I’d say everyone came out Ok in their coaching search, EXCEPT UT…Auburn and Arkansas got proven HC’s, UK got an up-and-comer, WKU got a talented, yet risky guy, on the cheap…UT went off on an Impossible Dream Quest, like UK when we hired Brooks, apparently they got turned down, a LOT…and it made them and their ultimate hire look diminished.



  24. Jonathan
    7:41 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Matt, any word on Darin Hinshaw or Bradley Dale Peveto yet?



  25. STEVE!
    7:43 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    I’m happy that Joker and his staff are gone because I think anybody would be an improvement, but Barnhart just hired a guy that has the less experience than the guy he just fired. Joker at least had SEC experience when he was hired. I think Mitch just took the easy way out by hiring the guy that called him and showed some interest. I hope this new staff can bring in some better players and coach up the ones we have.



  26. mudcreekmark
    7:43 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    16)Do you really think everyone across the nation is so in tune to high school football that they would know who Stoops father was?



  27. DublDownDrew
    9:06 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    All I know is that it’s almost time when I can actually watch SportsNation when it moves to L.A. and leaves Colin Cowcrap behind in Bristol. Looking forward to it.



  28. Amber
    9:13 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    26, Are you really that impaired not to know what he meant? Oh my goodness.

    I think Coach Stoops deserves the number 2 position and maybe even number 1.



  29. Dana
    9:18 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Stoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooops!



  30. BBB
    9:29 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Stoops will make UK football interesting again to the tune of 7-5 and we will sell out every home game. If he goes to 8-4 or 9-3 I will be impressed and he will have pulled off a MIRACLE. It is unbelievably hard to compete with recruiting in the SEC when our President thinks we have middle of the pac SEC facilities (fantasyland)..this has been going on for 60 years. Stoops will have to overcome 60 years of no commitment nonleadership from the top on down to be successful. We will have to dumb-down our expectations to give him a fair shot. What say ya’ll?….is 7-5 a success or just a lot better that usual? We will NEVER compete with the top until we have an attitude thats says 7-5 is NOT CUTTING IT! Would Spurrier at SC be satisfied with 7-5??? I think he throws his visor at 7-5.



  31. Rae
    9:42 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Arkansas made the better hire on paper. However, UK’s was a better achievement. Let’s say you have two kids, one who makes straight A’s and one who makes D’s. The A kid made an A on the final, per usual. The D kid ended up with a B. I would argue the latter is a greater achievement.

    Or let us look at the 2011 Final Four. VCU and UK both made the Final Four, but UK had been to the FF lots, while it was VCU’s first time. Though UK overachieved arguably given the season’s record, VCU was a true Cinderella story. VCU’s FF was a more significant achievement in their history.

    UK’s hire is more significant given our hiring history.



  32. Joe
    9:45 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    What say ya’ll?….is 7-5 a success or just a lot better that usual? We will NEVER compete with the top until we have an attitude thats says 7-5 is NOT CUTTING IT! Would Spurrier at SC be satisfied with 7-5??? I think he throws his visor at 7-5.

    That really depends on where in Stoops career we are…should he be 7-5 NEXT year, that’s not success, that’s MIRACLE.

    10 Years on, with an average record of 6.5 or even 7 wins per year…yeah, that’s SUCCESS. He’d be the first coach in 50 years to win more than he lost.

    As to your example, Spurrier, in his first years, MIGHT have been pleased with 7-5, knowing he could build from that.



  33. Trevor
    9:55 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Guys, lets give Stoops a chance. He has barely been in the job and we are talking doom and gloom. We are UK. As long as we look competitive and these kids are being coached up next year, I am happy. It was mention before, Spurrier would have gladly taken 7-5 in his first year at SC. BB has won, but he inherited a hell of a program from Barry Alvarez. Can he adapt his Big 10 philosophy to the SEC? We will see. Lets just be happy and let the first year work itself out.



  34. mashburnfan1
    10:21 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    I’d rather have Stoops over any of them. Seems to have a great plan and seems to be putting the right guys in place. This group has lots of energy and excitement and I think they will relate well with young players and get some real good talent to UK. I am excited about UK football and all that this new staff is going to bring to UK. Only time will really tell who was the best hire but I was for a young up and coming guy all along, only down side is no HC experience but he got an assistant that has that.



  35. Bollocks
    10:28 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    #23 really?? You don’t think UL or Arkansas was competing on a national level? Both schools where a late season loss from being in the national championship game. He had both top 5 in the final polls so yea I would say he had them competing at a high level!
    I will agree that I think everybody did ok. I’m more then satisfied with Stoops. I really don’t think Petrino was a viable option for UK because I think he was blackballed by the SEC as a whole. Don’t confuse that as if he wasn’t the best coach though. He is a offensive genius and WKU will be very happy with him.
    7-5 C’m on man. No way this team goes 7 and 5 with in the next 3 years. Let’s be realistic and give Stoops a fair chance. Just being competitive would be a upgrade. I know Jokers staff sucked but the players played not the coaches. If Stoops goes 6 and 6 with our schedule give him a raise and long extension.



  36. BrooksBrother
    10:52 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t think Gus Malzahn is a bad hire by any means, but come on, this time about 6 years ago he was a HIGH SCHOOL coach.



  37. Keep rock
    10:54 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Bet that high school had one heck of a offence.



  38. Jim
    11:01 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Petrino was blackballed by the SEC, simple as that. But he was the best hire out there no doubt. Kentuckys loss.



  39. Beatle Bum
    11:01 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    The link to this was posted in the comments a couple days back. Would have been nice if KSR had posted it for fans to vote.



  40. psy prof
    11:25 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    #1 Arkansas
    #2 Western Kentucky
    #3 UK
    #4 Tennessee
    #5 Auburn



  41. Keep rock
    11:40 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    #38 Anybody who questions that is a lair! They can spin it anyway they want but he was the best available. Hope Stoops does good and I do think he was a good hire if we couldn’t get Petrino.



  42. Keep rock
    11:42 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    1)WKU
    2)Auburn
    3)Arkansas
    4)UK
    5) UT
    Just my opinion. And it Definatly will change as time goes on.



  43. The Wildcats Nutt Sack!
    10:16 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    BUCK wku and petrino!!!!



  44. UKBlue1!
    10:17 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    1. Bobby Petrino, WKU 2. Bret Bilema, Arkansas 3.
    Mark Stoops 4. Sonny Dykes, Cal. 5 Texas Tech



  45. aaron
    11:58 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    I would go for uk first then arkansas and tenn and auburn tied for last