If you didn’t know better, you’d think Bret Bielema had some sort of job security.
His press conference Monday was another one of those gatherings where you would not have been surprised if the cheerleaders and band paraded through near the end.
Does that sound like the same team safety Santos Ramirez complained about after Saturday’s 33-10 loss to LSU?
“I’m not in every guy’s head, but I got kind of worried at halftime when I saw some guys laughing,” Ramirez said. “I saw that focus leave us a little bit.”
After last week’s 39-38 win over Coastal Carolina, the players were whooping it up and celebrating coming off the field, talking about partying after the game.
Most championship coaches I’ve seen in over 45 years of doing this at almost every level would have.
There are some that believe Bielema might have led the charge to Dickson Street, an area of town where some say he is intimately familiar with.
No, for whatever reason it’s become painfully obvious that what many thought Arkansas was getting back in December 2012 was actually what I feared — a smoke and mirrors act.
When Bielema had Barry Alvarez looking over his shoulder and all he had to do was maintain something already built, he did okay. His three straight Big 10 titles included a couple of back-in’s helped by the NCAA against Ohio State and Penn State.
There is nothing he has shown in five years at Arkansas to give anyone confidence that he can build a team to be even semi-competitive on a regular basis in the SEC West.
Some of it is a lack of knowledge before he took the job. Some of it is just being plain stubborn about adapting his beliefs or having the experience necessary to hire (and keep) competent assistants.
He started off confused and went downhill from there.
Nothing is Bielema’s fault … ever.
Saturday when asked about a lack of playing time (again) for running back T.J. Hammonds, he promptly threw running backs coach Reggie Mitchell under the bus, saying he recommended going with the “older guys.”
Apparently Bret forgot that he has veto power over that.
But don’t worry, Hog fans.
The end of the Bielema Era is drawing to a close.