College Football is getting closer and closer by the day. The Wisconsin Badgers begin their season September 2 at home against Buffalo. Everyone knows by now there is a new head coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, and plenty of other new faces. The Badgers also have an easier schedule than most years. Early predictions from a lot of other writers say Wisconsin can win at least 10 games this year. I believe they can and here’s why.
Upgrade At Positions That Have Recently Under-performed
I want to start out by saying Joe Rudolph was not a bad offensive coordinator. Graham Mertz was also not a bad quarterback. However, offensive production was the achilles heel of this program for the last three seasons. There was not enough consistency. The defense under Jim Leonhard had to carry a lot of the load. In today’s college football, you have to be able to score points if you want to win.
This year, Wisconsin brings in Phil Longo as the new offensive coordinator and Tanner Mordecai from SMU as their new starting quarterback. Longo has had success at North Carolina and is looked at as one of the better coordinators in the country. Mordecai will be playing his sixth year of college football and has thrown for 72 touchdowns over the last two seasons. It’s pretty obvious this is a upgrade.
Good Mixture Of Youth And Experience
Some position groups are young on this team and some have a ton of experience. On the offensive side, Wisconsin returns likely eight or nine offensive starters. We could see a change on the offensive line and wide receiver. Besides that and quarterback, it’s an experienced group that has played a lot of snaps together. With a new head coach and new offensive scheme, this should help while they work out the growing pains early in the season.
Players like Nick Herbig and Keeanu Benton are tough to replace and they don’t just grow on trees. There’s no doubt Wisconsin has to find ways to replace their production. However, there’s still a lot of returning talent on the front seven. The Badgers are always loaded at outside linebacker and return their starting inside linebackers. New defensive coordinator Mike Tressel will have to develop the youth behind but it’s a good start nonetheless.
Wisconsin has a favorable schedule this season and there’s no doubt about it. They should be favored in 12 of their 12 regular season games. The only one I expect them to be underdogs is against Ohio State.
There’s two date to remember on the schedule. October 14 and October 28. The 14th Iowa comes to Madison while Ohio State comes October 28. The good news? These games are both at home. It should be two awesome crowds and two good games. Wisconsin and Iowa are arguably the two most improved teams on the offensive side. Ohio State is Ohio State and I’ll leave it at that.
Besides those games, there’s a trap game here and there but the schedule sets up nicely for Wisconsin this season.
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