Report: Wisconsin to hire Gary Andersen

By Tom Fornelli | Staff Writer
Little did they know at the time.... (US Presswire)

Wisconsin has found its new head coach, and it's Utah State 's Gary Andersen.

Reports first surfaced on Tuesday evening that the Utah State coach had interviewed for the position and had emerged as a favorite, and now reports say Andersen is no longer the favorite. He's the choice.

The Wisconsin State Journal is reporting that Andersen is a done deal and will succeed Bret Bielema at Wisconsin. The paper also reports that Wisconsin cannot name Andersen head coach until Thursday thanks to a state-mandated two-week waiting period in job posting.

Bielema caught Wisconsin and just about everybody in the college football world off-guard earlier this month when he left to take the Arkansas job.

Utah State finished its season with a win over Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Saturday. That win improved the Aggies to 11-2 on the season and the Aggies are currently ranked 18 in the AP Poll. One of those losses came against Wisconsin in September, as the Badgers needed to comeback from a 14-3 deficit and for Utah State to miss a late field goal to emerge with the 16-14 win.

Barry Alvarez must have been impressed with what he saw.

Considering that Wisconsin was somewhat late to the game thanks to Bielema's sudden departure, this is a solid hire by the Badgers. Andersen took over a Utah State program that hadn't accomplished much in the past and after only four seasons he not only led the Aggies to that 11-2 record and first conference title since it won the Big West in 1997, but into both the AP and Coaches polls.

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