The Wisconsin Badgers are in the midst of a new era in Madison. Luke Fickell and company have come in and brought a new brand of football. However, the start of the season hasn’t exactly gone the way many had hoped. A brutal loss against Washington State and a less-than-convincing win against Georgia Southern have dampened excitement. Now there are reports that the Badgers could lose one of their top coaches.
If you haven’t heard, Michigan State’s football program is an absolute disaster. Mel Tucker has been suspended without pay. It seems inevitable that both sides will part ways following a sexual assault allegation. One current (and one former) Badgers coach is a betting favorite to land the job.
Wisconsin Badgers DC Mike Tressel A Favorite To Land The Michigan State Head Coaching Gig
Dillon Gaff of Badgers Notes went into detail about this:
My first observation is that current Wisconsin football defensive coordinator Mike Tressel has the second-best odds (+600) to land the gig at 14.3%, which is somewhat surprising.
Tressel has strong ties to Michigan State, having coached there for 14 years in various roles ranging from special teams coordinator to defensive coordinator before following Luke Fickell to Cincinnati.
In Tressel’s two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Cincinnati, the Bearcats ranked No. 2 nationally in passing yards, No. 3 in passer rating, No. 11 in scoring defense, No. 13 in sacks, and No. 14 in total defense en route to AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year honors in 2022.
His stock is clearly on the rise across the college football landscape.
Jim Leonhard, a Wisconsin football legend on and off the field, makes a lot of sense — but is much further down the list — having +1500 odds at 6.2%.
Leonhard became the Badgers’ new defensive coordinator in February 2017, replacing Justin Wilcox, who became California’s head coach. Late in November 2017, Leonhard was named a finalist for the Broyles Award, which recognizes college football’s top assistant coach.
Leonhard would go on to have six extremely successful seasons as the Badgers’ defensive coordinator (2017-2022). Currently, Leonhard is a senior football analyst at the University of Illinois. Jim Leonhard took an interview with the Philadelphia Eagles for the defensive coordinator position back in February of this year, but he decided to stay in college.
It will be interesting to see if either former Badger goes on to coach at Michigan State following this season.
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