E-mailbag: Mark Stoops vs. Bret Bielema

A friend sent me this e-mail this morning:

Your column today stating you would take Mark Stoops over Gus Malzahn or Bret Bielema tells me that you’ve been drinking the Big Blue Kool-Aide too long. I wish Stoops success, but take off the big blue glasses, they are clouding your thinking.

Two coaches with head coach success. One a young “up and comer” as you note. The other a major conference champion.

You’ve got to stop hanging around Matt Jones. All things are not blue.

I responded that the Matt Jones line was a low blow.

But I admit I did not do a good job of explaining myself. I don’t think Mark Stoops is a better coach than someone who has won three Big Ten titles. What I meant to say was that given who you thought the schools could have gotten as head coaches, I think Stoops is as good a fit if not a better fit than the coaches Arkansas and Auburn hired.

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  1. operationruse says:

    With the expectations Arkansas set for itself, they definitely did not make a better hire than UK, relatively speaking. There is no question that Bielema can coach and it is still a solid hire because you stole the head coach from what is arguably the 3rd to 5th best team in teh Big Ten, but his success at Wisconsin may not necessarily translate to the SEC.

  2. operationruse says:

    Malzahn will probably do fine at Auburn now that he has hired Ellis Johnson to be his DC. With that being said, I certainly did not want him to be hired as UK’s head coach before Stoops was tabbed, and I highly doubt he could have brought in Ellis Johnson if he had been hired here. Moreover, Malzahn suffers from the same problem as Chizik in that his greatest success is directly tied to Cam Newton. Wasn’t Auburn rather medicore the year after Newton left when Malzahn was still OC?

    If you threw the three names in a hat and asked knowledgable football fans to pick any of the three they want for head coach, it probably would have been (1) Bielema, (2) Stoops, (3) Malzahn.

  3. GW says:

    I think your assessment was correct. I have not been impressed with Bielema….it is the Big 10 and it is not the Big 10 of old. Wisconsin really did not win the conference this year.