Sully Says: It went downhill fast
There was one play midway through the fourth quarter of Saturday's loss at LSU that sums up the rapid decline of Bielema ball.
The Hogs were trailing 26-10 and facing a 4th and a long yard from their 22-yard line. Coach B decided to go for it. The call was a quarterback sneak, right behind backup center Zach Rogers. The play was a disaster. Rogers got no push, and the Hogs 6 foot 6 inch, 271-pound quarterback got stuffed.
It had some wondering " Who called that play? "
The Hogs were trying to do something that they have failed to do over the past two seasons. They were trying to impose their will. It's the foundation of Bielema ball.
How do you go from a team that physically abused LSU on the Tiger's home turf late in 2015 to a team that gets manhandled by all the programs that matter in the SEC? It's a question that has to haunt Coach B.
It's a lot more fun to follow a team when you like the Coach, and I'm a big fan of the way Coach Bielema runs his team.
I like that he goes onto the field to check on every injured Hog, and after the game, he waits for all his players to exit before he leaves.
I think he checks all the boxes when it comes to caring about his players. He's also great with the media and good in the community.
He's done everything but win, and that's the only thing that matters in the big business that is college football.
A coach is only as good as the product he puts out on the field, and this season has not been anywhere near acceptable for even the most casual Hog fan. Most Saturdays have been tough to stomach.
I don't question the effort of this team. I couldn't have more respect for the captains, and I don't think giving up is an option for this team.
I think the biggest problem is simple. This isn't a very talented team.
The 2017 Hogs can't get a push on either side of the ball.
They struggle running the ball, receivers have issues getting open, and the defense gives up way too many big plays. Outside of Frank Ragnow and possibly De'Vion Warren, I don't see any other Hog receiving any postseason award love from the SEC.
Quality depth must also be a big issue because we see the same lineups on both sides of the ball every week.
Entering the season, I didn't think there was any way that Coach Bielema would be in danger of losing his job.
Now, ten games into the season, I have a hard time seeing him returning as Coach of the Hogs next season.
It's gone downhill fast, very fast.