|Little did they know at the time.... (US Presswire)|
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.