Bret Bielema will have to get used to a lot of changes in his first season with the Arkansas Razorbacks after seven years in Wisconsin. New school, new fans, new region, new conference. There will be new changes to his offense as well. Bielema's Badgers teams only threw the ball about one-third of the time, even when they had Russell Wilson at quarterback. Now, though, he has hired Jim Chaney as offensive coordinator. Chaney is the former OC at Tennessee, and his Volunteer teams usually passed the ball more than half the time.
"It'll be a marriage," Bielema said. "The word we're using is balance. If we could average over 200 yards both rushing and passing, that would be a great goal for us to hit. Once that happens, the chance to win football games significantly spikes."
There's more than a little common sense in that statement (teams with 400 yards of offense won 70 percent of the time in 2012, and teams that pulled off the 200-200 split won 85 percent of the time), but more importantly, ESPN Insider Brent Sobleski says that commitment to a balanced attack should help the Razorbacks in recruiting:
"An increase in passing under Bielema could help lure recruits who are hypnotized by the prolific spread offenses around the country and even pacify Bobby Petrino loyalists who enjoyed watching the former Arkansas coach's pass-heavy offenses. But the style of play itself, more of a pro-style approach and not that of a spread system, could pay dividends on the recruiting trail as well."