For the 2nd time since being named Badgers' Head Coach Bret Bielema is a finalist for the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year Award. He was also named a finalist in 2006, his first season at the helm of the program.
Bielema has led the Badgers to three straight seasons of double digit wins, a first in the history of Wisconsin football. Right now the Badgers sit at 11-2 and have a chance to set a program record for most wins in a season should they win the Rose Bowl on January 2nd, 2012.
The other 9 finalists for the award are: Art Briles (Baylor), Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State), Brady Hoke (Michigan), Les Miles (LSU), Nick Saban (Alabama), David Shaw (Stanford), Bill Snyder (Kansas State), Kevin Sumlin (Houston), and Dabo Swinney (Clemson).
We won't know who wins this award until it's announced as part of the Paul "Bear" Bryant Awards ceremony on January 19th in Houston, TX.
This is a loaded list of candidates, that's for sure. Realistically I don't see Bielema winning this award with guys like Art Briles, Mike Gundy, Bill Snyder, and Les Miles up for this award as well. If LSU wins the BCS Title I see him getting this award. However, I personally would vote for Art Briles. When was the last time you heard of Baylor being relevant in the college football world? But again, that's just my opinion. Let us know who you think will win the award by leaving your comment below. There could be something in it for the 1st person to correctly pick the winner!!