Bielema said, "We at the Big Ten don't want to be like the SEC — in any way, shape or form."
Something changed his mind.
As expected by many, former Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn returned to be the War Eagle's head coach after a one year stint as HC at Arkansas State. He was the Auburn OC from 2009 through 2011 when the team averaged 33.3, 41.2, and 25.7 points per game respectively while winning the 2010 BCS National Championship. The Tigers averaged just 18.7 points per game this season. Malzahn won the Sun Belt Championship with the Red Wolves while finishing with a 9-3 record and 36.4 points per game.
Former Florida International coach Mario Cristobal went from a hot commodity to out the door after a disappointing season. FIU was picked by the Sun Belt coaches and many media members as the preseason conference favorite, but only finished with a 3-9 record.
Just in, former Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones has accepted an offer from Colorado. The carousel keeps going round and round. ***Update Dec 5 Wednesday 6:50 PM ET Butch Jones denies deal is done with Colorado according to SI.com.***
***Update Dec 6 Thursday 4:55 PM ET*** Head coach Sonny Dykes leaves Louisiana Tech for California. Also, Cincinnati coach Butch Jones declines offer from Colorado.
2012 Coaching Carousel
Arkansas, John L. Smith Reassigned
Arkansas State, Gus Malzahn New School
Auburn, Gene Chizik Fired
Boston College, Frank Spaziani Fired
California, Jeff Tedford Fired
Colorado, Jon Embree Fired
FIU, Mario Cristobal Fired
Georgia State, Bill Curry Retired
Idaho, Robb Akey Fired
Kentucky, Joker Phillips Fired
Louisiana Tech, Sonny Dykes New School
North Carolina State, Tom O'Brien Fired
Northern Illinois, Dave Doeren New School
Purdue, Danny Hope Fired
South Florida, Skip Holtz Fired
Southern Mississippi, Ellis Johnson Fired
Temple, Steve Addazio New School
Tennessee, Derek Dooley Fired
UTEP, Mike Price Retired
Western Michigan, Bill Cubit Fired
Wisconsin, Bret Bielema New School
Bielema Strange Hire for Arkansas
Gus Malzahn to Coach Auburn
Cristobal at Sun Belt Media Day
Malzahn at Sun Belt Media Day