(this is a guest column from friend of the site Kuba of Kielbasa Kings Sports Extravaganza fame.... make sure you check out the awesome podcast and check out Kuba on Twitter)
Two weeks ago today, Arkansas Head Coach and Wisconsin's favorite pin cushion, Bret Bielema, left Madison to Ooohh...Pig..... *takes deep breath*.....SOOOOOOOOOOOOOEY Country, leaving Wisconsin Director of Athletics and Bielema's mentor for almost 9 years, Barry Alvarez high and dry. I'm sure Barry will not be sending Bret a Christmas card, or maybe he will, in a "gift" in the form of a hog's head in Bielema's bed, ala The Godfather.
In the two weeks since the team has lost its field general, rumors and "sources" have been interchangeable in verbiage about who the next coach of YOUR Wisconsin Badgers will be. First, Paul Chryst's name had floated around, until Barry, being that white knight of college football, said he would not pursue the Wisconsin native and alleged "perfect" fit due to the strings he pulled to help get the offensive guru his first head coaching gig at Pitt. Then, Boise State Head Coach Chris Petersen was supposed to be in for an interview last Monday, and that didn't happen. Miami Head Coach Al Golden? Nope. How about Mike Riley? Not a chance. Maybe Iowa State's Paul Rhoads? Guess not.
After those coaches either said no, or really, didn't get a single phone call from Alvarez, names have been shot up and down the message boards, internet sites, and yes, from my mother (no, Mom, Brett Favre can't come back to Wisconsin, yet.). From the Jaguars' Mel Tucker to Pitt's Joe Rudolph, to Oklahoma OC Jay Norvell and a couple of MAC coaches, no one knows who the next head coach is - so I'm throwing my two cents into the hat of "sources" (the voices in my head) - I think Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt will be the next leader of Wisconsin Football.
Am I off my rocker? Maybe. Am I crazy stupid? Well, I am Polish. But after all the supposedly fruitful rumors that have come out rotten the past two weeks, let's just throw his name into the "Pick-a-Coach" craze. He's a bona fide winner in college football, going 117-40 in his 12 seasons as the Bulldogs' coach, not to mention 2-1 in BCS Bowls(all Sugar Bowls, YA HEAR THAT BRET - HE'S WON SOME BCS GAMES - As I cry myself to sleep), and won SEC Championships in 2002 and 2005 with a 67-29 record overall in SEC play. According to research obtained by one Andy Coppens of MadTownBadgers.com, Richt is scheduled to make under $3 million this year, and does not have a buyout clause - so he'd be cheap picking for Alvarez and the Wisconsin boosters.