New Arkansas coach Bret Bielema sat down with ESPN for a quick chat before entering the main media room in Birmingham. Having moved from Wisconsin this past offseason, he was naturally asked to compare the Big Ten to the SEC.
“There are a set of teams who have won national championship after championship. They’re in the running. There’s probably four or five teams last year out of the SEC that could have argued they could have done just as well in that national championship game (against) Notre Dame.”
Bielema was also asked about the comment he made a year ago while coaching at Wisconsin that the Big Ten didn’t want to be anything like the SEC. The remark was made because Urban Meyer — new to Ohio State — was recruiting players who’d already committed to Big Ten schools… which was a violation of a Big Ten gentleman’s agreement.
Bielema quickly pointed out the differences between the two leagues and then he backtracked from his famous quote:
“A broader national exposure… the SEC label and what that means. The incident you’re referring to really it didn’t have anything to do with the truth of what was reported and I don’t think that guy (Meyer) has changed that league in anyway.”
Bielema will likely be asked about that comment a few more times this afternoon.