It’s hard to believe but the Badgers are only a few months away from fall camp. They will open their 2022 season September 3 against Illinois State. If the Badgers want to play in the Big Ten title game, these are the three games that are the toughest on their schedule.
November 12- At Iowa
Wisconsin has had success at Iowa over the last decade. It’s never easy to win at Kinnick Stadium, however. Kinnick is one of the toughest places to place in college football and it won’t be easy for the Badgers. I believe if Wisconsin wants to win the west division, they have to win at Iowa.
At the same time, I like the Badgers in this game. The biggest reason? Quarterback. Not necessarily Graham Mertz but Iowa has two quarterbacks that are very similar and haven’t shown yet to be game changers. I have no idea if it’ll be Spencer Petras or Alex Padilla under center. I don’t know if Iowa knows either. However, no matter who it is, the atmosphere will be great in Iowa City. Iowa will also want the Heartland trophy back so the motivation will be there.
October 15- At Michigan State
I could make the argument Michigan State was one of the surprise teams in the Big Ten last season. Kenneth Walker came out of nowhere and became a finalist for the Heisman. He departs and is now replaced by former Badgers running back Jalen Berger. The motivation will be there for Berger.
Quarterback Payton Thorne wasn’t brilliant last season but he was solid and kept the Spartans in every game. He comes in with a year of experience and that should only help him. Michigan State also has a ton of transfers and veterans particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Mel Tucker has East Lansing believing and I think this is much tougher road game than most people may think.
September 24- At Ohio State
I don’t want to be that fan but I almost see no way the Badgers go into Columbus and beat Ohio State. The Buckeyes are in a league of their own and return two of the best players in college football from last season. That would be quarterback C.J. Stroud and wide receiver Jaxson Smith-Njigba. These will both be top ten picks in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Ohio State can start slow at times but I think the Badgers have to play a perfect game on both sides of the ball and dominate time off possession. The longer the Ohio State offense stays on the sidelines, the better off Wisconsin will be.
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