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Gary Andersen surprisingly leaves Wisconsin to take Oregon State coaching job

The college football coaching carousel keeps on spinning and the latest move is a pretty big surprise. Wisconsin’s Gary Andersen has left the Badgers to fill the vacancy at Oregon State after Mike Riley left the Beavers for Nebraska.

Wisconsin announced Coach Andersen’s departure this afternoon and will begin the coaching search immediately. AD Barry Alvarez held a press conference this afternoon and said it’s possible that he would coach the Badgers in their bowl game — like he did after Bret Bielema left for Arkansas.

Alvarez also said in his press conference today that he wanted a coach with previous head coaching experience, making it unlikely that an assistant is promoted into that position from the current staff. He also didn’t seem too concerned about finding viable candidates.

The news came as a shock to everyone, including star RB Melvin Gordon.

For my money, it would be hard for Wisconsin to find a better replacement than Bo Pelini — who is currently the odd man out in the strange game of musical chairs being played by Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Oregon State. Pelini knows the Big Ten landscape for recruiting and just a general knowledge of the competition. The Badgers won’t really be competing for coaching candidates along with Michigan, because the Wolverines seem set on waiting until Jim Harbough and/or Les Miles give them an official “no” before they move on to other candidates.

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