Bielema on Alabama Comments: "Chill Out ... Quotes Were A Joke"


FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas coach Bret Bielema has an April Fool's Day message for everyone on his Twitter feed on "things to chill out about today."

First: "I'm only driving my car today," Bielema said via Twitter. Second: "Alabama quotes were a joke to a question from a fan at pep rally. #wow"

What does it all mean? Well, the first appears to be a snarky reference to the day - April 1 - being the one-year anniversary of Bobby Petrino's infamous motorcycle accident. It was an event that soon led to Petrino's dismissal and Bielema's arrival in December.

The second? Bielema was responding to the recent stir created by comments he made during the Saline County Razorback Club meting last Wednesday. Bielema was asked about the challenge of competing with Alabama and coach Nick Saban in the Southeastern Conference's Western Division, according to Hootens.com:

"The reason the SEC is talked about all the time is one team, because of their dominance," Bielema said, according to Hootens.com. "But I didn't come here to play Alabama. I came here to beat Alabama. You can take Saban's record when he was at Michigan State and when he was a coach in the Big Ten and put it against mine, and he can't compare."

It's no surprise the comments have made the rounds in Alabama, the Southeastern Conference and college football. Here's a story on Bielema's comments from Al.com this morning. And another from USA Today. And on. And on.

It's also not the first time an SEC coach has created a stir with comments about Saban. Vanderbilt coach James Franklin referred to Saban as "Nicky Satan" during a speaking engagement earlier this year. Franklin called the comment a joke and later apologized, according to multiple reports.

— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau