Bielema pegged as top head coaching hire

ESPN's Travis Haney has ranked the coaching hires in college football this season, and at the top of his list is Arkansas prying away Bret Bielema from Wisconsin.

Haney writes of the Bielema hire: "His coaching style will be a departure from Bobby Petrino, for sure. It's more of the Nick Saban pattern. Bielema's teams have been in the top 25 in rushing each of the past six seasons and in defense the past four seasons. That type of ball plays in the SEC, doesn't it? Bielema's tough, too, but he'll have to adapt to the way of life on the recruiting trail. If he didn't care for Urban Meyer's aggressiveness, Saban's will be eye-opening."

The No. 2 hire on Haney's list might be a bit surprising to some. It's Mark Stoops at Kentucky. Of the four SEC schools hiring coaches, Stoops was the only one hired who wasn't previously a head coach.

Haney ranks Auburn's hiring of Gus Malzahn No. 4 on his list and Tennessee's hiring of Butch Jones No. 9.

Interestingly enough, one spot ahead of Jones is Tommy Tuberville at Cincinnati.

Also, Haney ranks Western Kentucky's hiring of former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino No. 3 overall.