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Bret Bielema is Obsessed With Auburn and Gus Malzahn

By on April 15th, 2014 in Football 15 Comments »

                                                                                                                                   (photo:Julie Bennett,
For some strange reason, Arkansas coach, Bret Bielema seems to have a problem with Auburn or is it with Gus Malzahn? Shortly after coming to Fayetteville, he fired off a verbal attack on the Hurry- Up-No-Huddle Offense in the SEC’s spring meeting.

He followed up that barrage in June by submitting a proposal to the NCAA to change the rules to give the defense 15-second substitution periods after each first down – even if the offense didn’t substitute.

When the press asked  Malzahn for his reaction to the proposal the next month at SEC Media Days, Gus said, “To tell you the truth, when I first heard about it, I thought it was a joke.” Later, Bielema fired back in his usual pugnacious way, “I’m not a comedian.” Of course the press fanned the sparks of that “comedian” comment into a fire that engulfed the national media.

During the week before the 2013 Auburn -Arkansas game, Bret made more charges against Auburn when he implied to the press that Auburn was trying to be unethical when he received game tapes that left off a special goal line play of a two point conversion alignment.

His ostensible complaint really was of no significance since the play in question had been used in every Auburn game during the season. It was just another Bielema brouhaha. In fact it was Bielema who actually was guilty of breaking SEC rules in going public with his charges. The league rules say that if coaches question the validity of game film provided by opponents, they must report their issues to the SEC and “must not” share them with the public. But it appears the man who had been on the NCAA rules committee had no problem breaking rules.

Then the biggest controversy was created last month when he and Nick Saban took it upon themselves to get on a plane and fly to Indianapolis to address the NCAA Rules Committee in a clandestine and polemic move to get the NCAA to pass a rule slowing down the HUNH offense.

Now comes this week, when Bret told the media that his team is using the Razorback’s spring practice (again) to prepare for their game next fall with Auburn. Of course as the Hog’s head man, he has every right to use spring practice any way he chooses. But it just goes to further underscore his obsession with Auburn and Gus Malzahn.

While controversy seems to follow him (including publically leveling charges against Ohio State when he was in the Big 10), his obsession with defeating Gus has been taken to another level.

It appears that Bieliema is so intimidated by Malzahn, that defeating Gus is his number one obsession. Webster defines obsession as, “The pursuit of a favorite project or idea relentlessly and unceasingly; to be obsessed with a single person, notion, or scheme.”

Yes Bielema is obsessed, he has made it abundantly clear that handicapping Malzahn’s offense with a rule change or defeating Auburn has been a top priority since he joined the SEC. He has chosen to measure himself by slowing down or defeating Malzahn, as his yardstick for success.

Some coaches measure themselves a different way. Some want to have a winning record, some want to go to a bowl game, some want to compete for championships and then there are some, like Bielema, who want to outdo one coach. That folks, is an obsession.


  1. audude audude says:

    If you can’t beat’m, join’m…, if you can’t beat’m change the rules…no? OK, if you can’t beat’m then use every minute of the day to obsess over that SOB on the plains and his devious schemes. se spring practice, after spring practice (cause rules don’t apply here) until you get it. What, it didn’t help to bend the rules in your favor? What if we break them in your favor? Still to no avail….sorry for your luck Dick!


  2. ATL_AU_FAN ATL_AU_FAN says:

    Oh Bert, how it must feel.

  3. DothanTiger DothanTiger says:

    Your right ATM, Bielema keeps making it clear that he’s driven to be better than Malzahn. I personally like the way that Gus has stayed above it all. He didn’t make any comment for over week about the 10 second Saban rule that Bert and Nick had got pass the first committee, then when he did speak, he just basically said. “lets postpone it for a year and gather data to see if it’s really what is needed before we make a game changing rule.” – class.

  4. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    I’m not making millions of dollars coaching, but it seems to be that a better use of Spring Ball is to practice the fundamentals and get mentally strong. Focusing on a handful of opponents seems like a poor use of time.

    My dislike for Bert is quickly superseding my dislike for Mark Richt. Mark Richt has lost control of my disdain.

  5. sparkey sparkey says:

    This game worries me. We have a history of struggling with Arkansas. For that matter, we didn’t look great against them either. The game will be really close. Auburn so often has to deal with a coach deciding to circle the wagons and put the season on the line. How many times is Auburn going to face that this next season? I have a feeling we’re going to struggle this game. We have a hard time with opening games too. The offense we run depends on good timing. For our timing to be the most effective, we have to have many repetitions running this offense with this particular set of players. That will take a couple of games to get it going and I hope we are able to fight against the Arkansas rally against us for the first game of the season. I’m telling you guys, this game is dangerous.

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      Auburn has a killer schedule, opening with Arkansas and then having to play UGA and Alabama on the road, and having to pick up SEC East power South Carolina. The SEC West and tough overall schedules is one reason why you’ll never see me complaining about any cupcakes.

    • tigertracker says:

      Put me on record saying that the opening game BBQ will be sweet. Gus has these guys minds right! We may not stripe them like we did last year, but it wouldn’t surprise me either. I believe we win by 3TD or more assuming no wacky injuries or suspensions between now and then. Bert you go on and focus on containing that read option. Sammie, D-Will and Nick (Gus’ first returning QB at college level) are gonna blow your minds.

    • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

      I agree that it is foolish to overlook any SEC team (even Kentucky). BUT, we have to be honest about the difference between a Petrino coached Hog team and a Bert coached Hog team. Innovative football v RealAmericanFootball(Tm).

      I don’t like the fact that we have to open the season and normally, I dread the Arky game because they’ve totally had our number in the series for quite some time. The fact that John L. Smith was able to beat us in 2012–well, that still stings. BUT. and this is a big BUT (maybe not as big as Bert’s butt, but I digress), Malzahn will have this team ready. These Tigers are hungry. And as long as nobody does something stupid and serves hog on a spit or bbq hog at their tailgate (seriously, Tigertracker don’t even think about it), we will be fine. Repeat after me Sparkey: We Will Be Fine.

  6. AuburnMisfit AuburnMisfit says:

    Bret apparently feeds off the inane comments he makes, to what end is unclear. I don’t know how Arkansas fans feel, but Bielema is an embarrassment to the SEC.

    • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

      Apparently most Wisconsin grads and fans were very happy to see him leave. I don’t think things will end up much differently for him in Fayetteville.

  7. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    We just got Kerryon Johnson from Madison Academy. 4 star RB and a great kid. No discispline issues with him

  8. spanky says:

    I wonder if it could be that the fan base is angry that they didn’t get Malzahn since he is an arkansas native, and bert is taking out his frustration by focusing soley on Gus.

  9. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    Great write up.

    If i may offer a suggestion… at the end of next season when the season ticket holders of foggy bottom figure out that Bert isn’t for real and the folks in Madison breath another sigh of relief… perhaps Nick Saban will be there to augment his coaching staff with another failed coach on the bama staff?

    We can only hope.

    My only advice to Gus is “swing away!”


  10. willieB1984 says:

    Haha, you sir, ARE a comedian! Great article. It kind of reads like one of those old National Socialist Party propaganda articles from the ’30’s and ’40’s. ‘Obsession,’ allusion to hidden agendas and the humor that Bielema’s spring practice is dedicated solely to defeating Gus Malzahn, because, as you make so clear, that is his only true aspiration! Haha, when can Arkansans expect you to fly the plane over Fayetteville and drop this publication on the football fans? Someone needs to let them know that you are a genius! Brilliant!