The 2019 Wisconsin Badgers did not have the season ending that they had hoped for. They lost two straight games, their Big 10 Conference game and the Rose Bowl. However, they won 10 games and made the Rose Bowl for the first time in seven seasons. Will they be able to build on this success? Here, we give you our predictions for how good the 2020 Badgers football team can be.
Prediction #1- There Will Be Growing Pains
The Wisconsin Badgers, unlike other high-profile programs, open their season against pretty competitive opponents. Indiana finished fourth in the Big 10 East and Appalachian State went 13-1 last year, winning the Sun Belt Conference. Wisconsin will be favored to win these games, but both teams may expose potential weaknesses.
Jonathan Taylor and Quintez Cephus were both drafted, as was offensive line anchor Tyler Biadasz. Many starters are returning, but the big play-makers are gone. The returners certainly have the potential to step up and contribute in a huge way. However, whether or not they will remains to be seen.
Prediction #2- Chryst Will Use Two Quarterbacks
Last season, Jack Coan completed nearly 70% of his passes and threw for 18 touchdowns against five interceptions. The last two quarterbacks to achieve these numbers were Scott Tolzien and Russell Wilson. That is pretty good company, and certainly indicates that the starter’s job is Coan’s to lose.
However, Graham Mertz might be the best quarterback prospect the Badgers have had since Wilson. In fact, as OTHW writer Mitch Schuess reported, ESPN has dubbed Mertz as the next Russell Wilson. While Coan is projected as the starter entering 2020, it is likely that Mertz will get a fair number of snaps as well, especially if the Badgers are up big late in games.
Prediction #3- The Badgers Will Not Make the Rose Bowl in 2020
The Wisconsin Badgers have won at least 10 games in four of Paul Chryst’s five seasons. The only season they did not was 2018, after many of their play-makers left. 11 former Badgers were either drafted, signed as undrafted free agents, or given tryouts by NFL clubs. The 2020 Badgers will be without some major contributors from 2019.
As always, the success of the the Badgers will depend on the play of their offensive line. Most of the starters are juniors or seniors, making experience a non-issue. The blocking and holes will be there for the run game and quarterbacks. It is up to them on if they take advantage of it.
The Badgers will win between eight and ten games this year and play in a Bowl game, but likely not one of the New Years Six. They will come back in 2021 with a better chance at a playoff push.
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