Wisconsin Badger Football is just around the corner! Fall camps will open up in early August and teams will begin their march towards the College Football Playoff. The Wisconsin Badgers schedule possesses some games they should win comfortably. However, the schedule also includes some really tough opponents. Let’s look at who I think are the Badgers toughest opponents in 2021.
November 27- At Minnesota
A team’s rivalry game will usually be one of the toughest games on the schedule. After dominating the Paul Bunyan’s Ax game, Minnesota has had some better rosters and better players as of late. In 2020, the Badgers defeated Minnesota 20-17 in overtime in Madison. This game almost didn’t happen as Minnesota ran into issues with COVID 19 at that time of the season. Thanks to a Collin Larsh 30 yard field goal, the Ax is in Madison.
While Minnesota does lose Rashod Bateman, who was selected in the first round of the NFL draft, quarterback Tanner Morgan and running back Mohamed Ibrahim do return and can take over a game. Head coach P.J. Fleck has always had his squad fired up and prepared for this game. The last time Wisconsin came into Minnesota, they defeated the Golden Gophers in a battle for the Big Ten West title. Minnesota will be looking for revenge. If Wisconsin can have the West wrapped up by then, the emphasis of this game would be a little less.
September 4- Penn State
September 4 is the day fans will finally return to Camp Randall Stadium. I have no doubt that the fans will be fired up and emotional for 3.5 hours. It should be an amazing atmosphere for the best college city in America.
Penn State is coming of a down year last year after ending 4-5. They lost their first 5 games but won their last 4. Sean Clifford will be a 3 year starter and has played in big college games and atmospheres in his career. Because of the emotional situation and that it’s the FOX game of the week, it’s going to be a really tough game I think for the Badgers. While I do think they win, they will have to contain their emotions and feed off the crowd early and often.
September 25- Notre Dame in Chicago
I think is the obvious choice for toughest game of the year. Badger and Irish fans have had this game circled on the calendar for 2+ years now. Since last year’s game between these clubs at Lambeau Field was cancelled, the emotions and excitement for this game will be even greater. I am so excited for the atmosphere this game will bring for both schools and for college football fans. A blue-blood on the Badgers schedule not named Ohio State is a great look and could look good in the eyes of the playoff committee.
What is even more intriguing is that former Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan could be under center for Notre Dame in this game. Coan does have to win the starting job first. After breaking his foot in fall camp for the Badgers last season, Coan never got a chance to encore his solid 2019 season as the starter. Once Graham Mertz took over, he never let it go.
Both teams are expected to be top 20 programs in the country by the time this game happens. Between revenge and top football programs, this game has the potential to be a classic.
Honorable Mention- October 30- Iowa
There is a good chance this game in Madison could determine who represents the West in the Big Ten Championship. This is never an easy game on the Badgers schedule. The winner of this game should have the inside track to Indianapolis.
I believe Wisconsin is the better team and this game could come down to the arm of Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras. I would except a low-scoring game and physical game. In other words, any other Iowa-Wisconsin game.
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