College football fans and media members (particularly those with Big Ten leanings) were largely shocked Tuesday when Bret Bielema left Wisconsin after seven years to become the head coach at Arkansas.
Not only had Bielema's name been out of the rumor mill, but there was no obvious personal reason or financial motivation for him to be a candidate anywhere much less at Arkansas.
So why would Bielema, who compiled a 68-24 record at Wisconsin, abandon one of the better jobs in the Big Ten for a middle-of-the-pack job in the SEC? Why would a native of Illinois who played at Iowa and lived his entire life in the Midwest leave his comfort zone for more rugged football territory? And why would he do it now, after clinching Wisconsin's third straight Rose Bowl berth last Saturday night?