Badger Bits: Good Luck, Bret

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama just KO'd a Notre Dame team entering the national championship game with arguably the best defense in college football. The task of rebuilding an Arkansas program in the SEC West is becoming progressively tougher for Bret Bielema.

Most knew it would be difficult for the Fighting Irish to dethrone Alabama in last night's championship matchup, but my goodness, nobody could've foreseen the walloping the Crimson Tide delivered.

Remember that stout Notre Dame defense we'd seen throughout the course of the season? Well, it gave up 529 yards and 42 points to Alabama. It was a massacre that was awful TV for those looking forward to finally seeing a contested national championship game.

First, props are due again for Nick Saban. I, like many others, am not exactly a big fan of the guy, but you have to respect his work as a football coach. He's resurrected the Alabama program in a hurry, winning three of the last four national championships.

I can bet you Bret Bielema spent the last couple weeks praying for Saban to try another stint in the NFL, but Alabama made sure he wouldn't leave, extending his contract through 2019 and making him the highest paid head coach at a public university (starting with just over $5.3 million in 2012).

We knew it'd already be difficult for Bielema entering the SEC West -- the nation's toughest division -- but it only continues to appear like more of an uphill battle after last night's game. Alabama and LSU first come to mind, but don't forget about Texas A&M (now with Johnny Manziel) and even Mississippi State and Ole Miss had winning records this year as well.

It's difficult enough to even compete with these SEC powers, but Bielema has first rebuild an Arkansas program coming off a 4-8 season.

During last night's game a UW fan took to Twitter, stating his opinion of Bielema's move to Arkansas -- to which Bret replied:

Good luck, Bret.

Tuesday's Links:

One last power rankings of the 2012 season from our ESPN.com Big Ten bloggers.

The Wall Street Journal published a study aimed at calculating the value of every FBS college football program. Here's how the Big Ten programs stack up.

Adam Rittenberg says only time will tell if the Badgers made a mistake by letting offensive line coach Bart Miller go.

It appears the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl will serve as the first national semifinal games when the playoff system begins in the 2014 season. This means if a Big Ten team fails to crack the top four that season, it won't have a representative in the Rose Bowl.

UW reveals the throwback jerseys the men's hockey team will wear for the OfficeMax Hockey City Classic in Chicago on February 17 against Minnesota.

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