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What they're saying ...

Arkansas’ hiring of Bret Bielema took the college football world by surprise Tuesday, but many members of the media seemed to have given it a big thumbs up.

Here’s a sampling of what’s been written:

“Bielema should be a great fit for the Razorbacks. He brings a tackle football mentality to a tackle football conference. … (Wentzville’s Montee Ball bulldozed for 82 touchdowns on his watch. That is some serious old man football.) … Arkansas is currently building an 80,000-square-foot football operations center. The school is also pondering an expansion of the 72,000-seat Razorback Stadium. … Mizzou fans should take note of all this. The Razorbacks are their closest SEC rival in many respects. Arkansas will continue to work the St. Louis market hard, just as Wisconsin has.” – Jeff Gordon, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Now he gets to leave on his own terms, with a fat raise on the $2.5 million he was drawing at Wisconsin and the chance to coach in what is by far the best conference in the country. … He leaves behind a 68-24 record and three consecutive Rose Bowl appearances. … Actually, make that 69 victories. Going to Arkansas is a huge W for Bielema.” – Michael Hunt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Bielema's philosophy figures to fit in well in the SEC. If he follows his Wisconsin ways, Arkansas can look forward to a crushing ground game to go along with a solid defense. Sounds a lot like a certain defending national champion.” – Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com

“For sure, he will call on North Little Rock running back Altee Tenpenny, who has committed to Alabama, and ask if he has ever heard of a Wisconsin running back named Montee Ball.” – Harry King, Arkansas News Bureau

“No, Bielema's offenses won't be confused with Petrino's offenses. But his defenses won't be confused with Petrino's defenses, either. Bielema succeeded at Wisconsin by finding and developing tough, grinding players who might have been overlooked by the Ohio States and Michigans of the world. That's exactly the approach he'll have to use at Arkansas.” – Geoff Calkins, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis

“Bielema can succeed at Arkansas. If he can keep the future Darren McFaddens and Tyler Wilsons in state and then pluck the rest of his roster from Texas, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida – bringing along current Wisconsin assistant Charlie Partridge would do wonders in the Sunshine State – the Razorbacks can be competitive in college football's toughest division.” – Andy Staples, SI.com

“This is a program that apparently grows money, and thus will be able to pay Bielema’s assistant coaches top dollar. That will leave him in a much stronger position to keep his top assistants together and never have to replace six coaches as he did this past offseason. … This is a better job. It’s better because it will soon have the facilities in place to help draw the kind of talent that can compete for a national championship in the best conference in America.” – Mike Woods, Appleton (Wis.) Post-Crescent

“Bielema at Arkansas is a strange sight, though it will seem remarkably normal when he stands on the same field that Les Miles is eating.”– Michael Rosenberg, SI.com

“The SEC West, already one of the most competitive and entertaining divisions in all of college football, just got even better.” – Tom Fornelli, CBSSports.com

“While Wisconsin football is regarded as the House That Barry Alvarez Built, and may be for decades to come, show me another Big Ten school where they wouldn’t welcome three consecutive conference crowns and three straight trips to Pasadena. … Besides Ohio State and Michigan, find me a Big Ten fan base that wouldn’t be thrilled to be assured records of 68-24 overall and 37-19 in league play over the next seven seasons. Those were Bielema’s Wisconsin numbers.” – Mike Hlas, The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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