Bielema doesn't consider 2013 a 'rebuilding' year

© Arkansas News Bureau

BELLA VISTA (Arkansas News Bureau) -- Preseason prognosticators have predominantly pronounced Arkansas as a program rebuilding under new coach Bret Bielema in 2013.

The reasons are clear: Arkansas went 4-8 last season and are moving on without 2013 NFL Draft picks Tyler Wilson, Knile Davis, Cobi Hamilton and Chris Gragg. They're transitioning to a new style of play, trading in a pass-happy attack for a rough and rugged run-oriented approach. And then there's the challenging schedule.

So Bielema understands getting less-than-impressive predictions. But he also said Friday they make him think back to his first season at Wisconsin.

"I had some similar comments, thought it would be tough for Wisconsin to transition into my leadership," Bielema said about 2007, when he took over for Barry Alvarez.

"We went 12-1 and played pretty well. Again, I don't worry too much at all about what other people say about us. I worry more about what our players talk about, what I talk about. And that's the part I hold dear to my heart."

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