Only thing I had a chance to look at (or really wanted to look at, for that matter) was Bo Mattingly’s piece in the back. He had a really interesting statistic that I only knew half of:
I knew already that Auburn was the 46th game BB has coached at Arkansas and that it was the 23rd opponent ranked in the top 25 among those 46 games.
What I did not know is that BB coached a total of 92 games at Wisky, twice as many as his UA career to date. The number of ranked opponents in those 92 games? Also 23. I looked at the Wisky schedules during his tenure and counted ranked teams, and that number is correct.
Which means his schedule has been twice as brutal as what he faced in the Big Ten.
Winning your conference is impressive no matter what.* But he didn’t have to run the gauntlet there like he has here. Then again, nobody outside the SWC West, with the possible exception of Notre Dame, has to run that kind of gauntlet.
Bielema’s record against ranked teams:
At Wisky, 10-13 (including their bowl win against us in Orlando). Best year was 3-2, their Rose Bowl team in 2011. That was also his toughest schedule (five ranked teams)
At Arkansas, 6-17, after starting out 0-10. Best record, 2-2 last year (2-3 this year with probably two remaining). We played EIGHT ranked teams in 2014, winning two.
You are correct that they didn’t win a Rose. He wasn’t there for the third Rose game (Alvarez coached that one as you recall, and lost), but lost to TCU and Oregon the two previous years.
With the caveat that 2011 was the year Ohio State slumped to 6-6 after the Vest got fired, and 2012 was the year OSU went 12-0 under Urban Blight but was under a bowl ban due to the Vest; and Michigan was also down during that period. Michigan State, however, was surging; the 2011 team played MSU twice, losing the regular season game on a Hail Mary but winning the BTCG.