Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, December 22, 2011

Wisconsin suffered a big blow with offensive coordinator Paul Chryst taking the Pitt job. In eight seasons at Wisconsin, Chryst built some of the nation?s top offenses while at Wisconsin, helping lead the Badgers to consecutive Rose Bowl appearances the past two seasons.

His Wisconsin offense is averaging 44.6 points and 466.9 yards per game entering the Rose Bowl with Oregon on Jan. 2 for a program that has gone 60-18 the past six seasons. Over the past three seasons, the Badgers have the Big Ten?s best record (32-7). And Chryst's offense has averaged 39.3 points during that span.

Paul Chryst

Chryst had come close to landing jobs in recent years, interviewing at Pitt last year. He also interviewed at Purdue and Oregon State when those jobs came open. He also almost was hired by the Dallas Cowboys as quarterbacks coach.

It isn?t known who Bielema will hire to replace Chryst, but he could promote from within. Run-game coordinator/offensive line coach Bob Bostad, running backs coach Thomas Hammock and tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator Joe Rudolph may be considered.

This is the second year in a row Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema has lost a coordinator, as defensive coordinator Dave Doeren took the Northern Illinois job after last season.

Tom Dienhart is a senior writer for Find all of his work at, follow Dienhart on Twitter at @BTNTomDienhart, send a question to his weekly mailbag here, and click here to subscribe to his RSS feed.