football-fbs flag

John Zenor | The Associated Press | July 17, 2014

Bielema: Uptempo dangers fact not fiction

HOOVER, Ala. -- Bret Bielema didn't bite this time. Not really.

For the second consecutive year, the Arkansas coach had to respond at Southeastern Conference media days to another coach's skepticism about his contention that fast-paced offenses are hazardous to defensive players.

A year ago, Auburn's Gus Malzahn said he initially thought that was a joke and Bielema fired back that he's no comedian.

FOOTBALL MEDIA DAYS SCHEDULE

DATE EVENT
July 14-17 SEC Media Days
July 20-21 ACC Media Days
July 21-22 Big 12 Media Days
July 22 Sun Belt Media Day
July 22-23 Mountain West Media Days
July 23 C-USA Media Day
July 23 MAC Media Day
July 23-24 Pac-12 Media Days
July 28-29 Big Ten Media Days
July 28-29 American Athletic Media Days
On Wednesday, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said the contention that uptempo offenses lead to any more injuries is "fiction."

"I don't buy the health issue in any way," Pinkel said. "No one has ever come to me all those years and said, 'Gosh, I'm really concerned about the health of our teams playing these fast-paced offenses.' "

Bielema's response a few hours later was calm and good-humored, but he's no less convinced of his stance either.

"Not to carry from last year but I'm probably more of a reality-based movie guy more than fiction," said Bielema, who lobbied for a 10-second minimum between plays. "I deal more in what I know, what I see, what I believe. Have I softened in my view of fast-paced offenses? If you ask me in that tense, you're asking me have I softened my view on player safety. The answer would be no."

The differing views help make the season-opener with defending SEC champion Auburn a little more intriguing. Bielema and Malzahn certainly are polar opposites in their preferred offensive styles. The Arkansas coach said maybe he's not going to break bread with Malzahn but he's also not going to start "throwing bread at him and rocks and everything else."

Mainly, the Razorbacks view the Aug. 30 opener as a chance to make quite a statement that they've come a long way since going winless in league games during Bielema's debut season. He said it's been a motivator for his team since the schedule was announced.

Bielema is hardly guaranteeing a dramatic turnaround in Year 2, but said positives he's seen in areas like academics, off-the-field behavior should translate into more success on the field.

"When that thing comes full-circle, we're going to start to win," Bielema said. "When we win, it's going to be able to maintain a winning style than this other thing that we've been living through."

Another positive from the offseason, Bielema said, has been what he's seen from quarterback Brandon Allen, who struggled at times last season for the league's worst pass offense.

Bielema said Allen had "probably one of the best offseasons that I've ever seen a positional player have, let alone a quarterback."

"He's gotten stronger, he's gotten better mentally," the coach said. "He understands expectations he needs to fulfill as a quarterback."

Related:
SEC Media Days schedule
College football tickets

 

College baseball rankings: Arkansas emerges as No. 1 for first time in poll history

For the second week in a row, there’s a new team from the SEC West atop the D1Baseball Top 25 poll. Arkansas ascended to No. 1 for the first time in the seven-year history of the D1Baseball rankings.
READ MORE

2021 SEC softball preview: LSU headlines star-powered conference

LSU softball is the headliner in the SEC, while Florida, Alabama and others are hot on their heels.
READ MORE

Women's college basketball: Arkansas is named NCAA.com's Team of the Week

Arkansas has been named the NCAA.com Team of the Week for women's basketball. The Razorbacks took down No. 3 UConn and Auburn in an impressive week in women's hoops.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners