Arkansas coach Bret Bielema fires back at Kliff Kingsbury

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema couldn’t not respond to comments made by Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury following the Red Raiders’ 35-24 victory against the Razorbacks last weekend.

That wouldn’t be very Bielema-like.

Kingsbury opened his postgame press conference clearly upset about something Bielema had said during at the Texas High School Coaches Association annual convention and coaching school in July.

"That's a program that prides themselves on being physical," Kingsbury said. "And the Texas High School Coaches Convention this summer, he stood up and said if you don't play with a fullback we'll kick your ass and if you throw it 70 times a game we'll kick your ass and he just got his ass kicked twice in a row. And probably next week by A&M as well."

Bielema was taken aback by the comments, but had no trouble firing back.

"I'm happy he got to vent and hopefully he feels a lot better," Bielema said Monday. "As a coach who has been in it for 10 years, I know better than to worry about somebody that's been around for a couple and they're .500. So we'll just go forward.

"Was I shocked? Yeah, just because you know, in this profession, you handle certain things in a certain way. I've never really had that before."

Bielema’s crusade against up-tempo offenses has been irking coaches since the summer of 2014 when he tried to get the NCAA to slow them down. Apparently, he expressed a similar sentiment to the Texas High School Coaches Association, but Bielema didn’t seem to remember that message.

"I don't know what part he was referencing to," Bielema said of his comments to the convention. "I do remember talking about how, when we play on defense, if we can play against someone who was completely opposite of us, we've got to feel that's an advantage.

"I didn't reference Texas Tech. I don't know if he or someone was in the crowd. Obviously it struck a nerve. 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 has made himself the target of verbal jabs by many people in the past couple weeks after publicly questioning the strength of Ohio State’s schedule as compared to that of an SEC team. Bielema, who pointed out his team had to play eight ranked teams, lost to Toledo the following weekend. The Razorbacks fell out of the rankings and are now in the midst of a two-game losing streak heading into a neutral site game against Texas A&M this weekend.

"It's a perfect storm," Bielema said. "I realize we haven't won in two weeks and it's an opportunity to jump on and have some fun with it. If that was an ass-kicking, I'd love to see what last year was. Obviously it's all, 'What you've done for me lately?’”

Arkansas beat Texas Tech 49-28 in Lubbock during the 2014 season, but Bielema is 11-17 during his time at Arkansas and has won just two SEC games in his previous two seasons.

Kingsbury, who is 15-13 at Tech, might be the first coach to publically thrash Bielema, but he probably isn’t the first to think ill thoughts. Bielema has a long history of trolling, as chronicled in Grantland this week, and finally someone called him on it.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter!

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