CAMPUS CHECK-IN: Bret Bielema meets the Badgers for the first time at Illinois

WGN News Now

CHAMPAIGN – It was one of the more stunning moves in recent Big Ten memory when he made the decision to leave Madison for Arkansas after winning the 2021 Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis.

Bret Bielema’s move to the SEC from Wisconsin was a surprise for many and remained a talking point for quite a while after that.

Nine years later, now at Illinois, the coach faces the Badgers for the first time since that move that caused some hurt feelings for the opponents for the Illini’s homecoming on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Bielema wasn’t talking much about the significance of the match-up this week, but he wasn’t going to deny his deep connection that still remains at Wisconsin, including that with head coach Paul Chryst.

“Paul and I were together six of my seven years there. There are some comparisons but there are also a lot of differences,” said Bielema. “The basic core value of run-play action is very similar to where we were but there are also a lot of unique, new things that pop out when we watch them on tape.”

That storyline is part of this week’s “Campus Check-In” on WGN News Now for Week 6 of the 2021 season. Larry Hawley has more on the Illini, Notre Dame looking to bounce back against Virginia Tech, and NIU’s first road MAC game of 2021 in the video above.

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