For those people who think that Barry Alvarez still has tight control over "his" football program, today's expected announcement should put that talk to rest.
Everyone has been waiting with baited breath to learn more about the quarterback situation, and the answer has leaked out. Curt Phillips is your new starter. But that's not all. One of the last vestiges of the Big Ten's three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust reputation is going by the wayside. After a hush-hush meeting with the coaching staff, we've learned that Paul Chryst is stepping down as offensive coordinator to pursue other options outside of the program. The new offensive coordinator appears to be Nevada's Chris Klenakis, who Bielema is bringing in to institute his version of the spread option, the Pistol offense that Nevada has used to light up the scoreboard for the last few years.
Although there isn't yet an official announcement, it is expected soon. The spread option, especially one that makes use of running back dives the way the Pistol does, looks like a solid move for the Badgers. Phillips came in a touted "athletic" quarterback who can make plays with his legs. Lining up behind him with Clay turns the Pistol into a Colt .45, as it were. Likewise, the spread may make better use of Gilreath's speed and compensate some for his shorter stature, and with high caliber tight ends, Phillips could have some great options to work with. With less experience than year's past on the offensive line, and a little less weight, this appears to be the perfect opportunity to bring in the new system, taking advantage of Moffitt's athleticism at center, and effectively playing with three tackles (Oglesby, Bscherer, and Carimi).
Presumably message boards the Badger nation round will rejoice at the news: a highly touted quarterback recruit running an exciting new offense? The "Colt .45" -- a spread packing a serious kick (Clay and the Big Uglies) -- could give the Badgers the most potent offense Madison has seen since Ron Vanderkellen roamed the backfield with Pat Richter at "split end."
And yes . . . April Fool's.
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