The Badgers blew out the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday, but the laughing didn’t last long. A few days after securing their third trip to the Rose Bowl in as many years, head coach Bret Bielema bolted to take a job in the SEC as the new head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Bielema was without a doubt one of the most successful coaches in Badgers history, but he’s far from the legend his predecessor was. Barry Alvarez coached the Badgers from 1990 until 2005 and he piled up 118 wins over that time including all three of his trips to the Rose Bowl.
Much to the pleasure of wounded Badgers fans, Alvarez is looking to make this year’s Rose Bowl his fourth.
The Hall of Fame coach announced today that he will be filling in for Bielema on the sidelines during the Rose Bowl, serving as the Badgers head coach for the first time in over 7 years. According to the Wall Street Journal, captains on the Badgers team urged Alvarez to coach their Rose Bowl game against Stanford.
Alvarez, who is currently serving as Wisconsin’s athletic director, happily accpeted.
Bielema has yet to win a Rose Bowl game despite appearing in the last two. When notified of the news on Wednesday, Bielema took a shot at himself, exclaiming that with Alvarez as head coach “maybe they’ll win one.”
The bigger question is does this mean Alvarez, one of the most well-respected coaches in college and Big Ten football history, making a coaching comeback for good?