Bielema fires back at criticism from Texas Tech's Kingsbury
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) Arkansas coach Bret Bielema fired back at Kliff Kingsbury on Monday, suggesting the Texas Tech coach had done something ''very, very weird'' by bringing up old comments following the Red Raiders' win over the Razorbacks.
Texas Tech beat Arkansas 35-24 on Saturday night in a matchup of former Southwest Conference rivals, after which Kingsbury delivered a sharp rebuke to what he said was Bielema's criticism of spread offenses during a Texas high school coaches' convention over the summer.
The Red Raiders coach and former quarterback, a believer in his school's ''Air Raid'' offensive system, noted Arkansas' losses to Toledo and Texas Tech by saying Bielema ''just got his (butt) kicked twice in a row and probably next week by (Texas) A&M as well.''
On Monday, Bielema said he was ''shocked'' by the tongue-lashing. The third-year Arkansas coach also said he hadn't spoken with Kingsbury following their ''quick'' postgame handshake.
''No, we weren't talking before and probably won't talk now,'' Bielema said.
He said he never directly called out Texas Tech's offense at the summer clinic, and only intended to state his belief in a pro-style system when facing off against spread teams.
''If we start digging into what people say at coaches' clinics, and trying to use that as motivation, it's going to be a very, very weird world,'' Bielema said.
Kingsbury turned the indirect conversation between two of college football's most outgoing and outspoken personalities into a personal one on Saturday by following his original criticism with, ''(Bielema is) a prideful guy, and he says what's on his mind, but it just hasn't worked out for him (at Arkansas).''
Kingsbury turned down a chance to discuss the incident during Monday's Big 12 coaches' call.
The Razorbacks are 11-17 in their third season under Bielema, who arrived from Wisconsin following the 2012 season. Their 1-2 start to this season comes after a summer of lofty expectations following three of four wins to end last season, including a dominating 31-7 win over Texas in the Texas Bowl.
One of those eleven wins was a 49-28 romp at Texas Tech a year ago, a point Bielema mentioned on Monday.
''If (Saturday) was (a butt)-kicking, I'd love to see what last year was,'' Bielema said.
He then tried to steer the conversation ahead to Arkansas' Southeastern Conference opener against Texas A&M this week, but not before one final parting shot at Kingsbury, who is 15-13 in his three seasons with the Red Raiders.
''I'm happy he got to vent and feels a lot better,'' Bielema said. ''You know, as a coach who's been in it for 10 years, I know better than to worry about somebody that's been (around) for a couple that are .500.''