So Wisconsin fans are kind of spoiled. Our team perpetually overachieves to the point that double digit win seasons don't even really move the needle. Well that's definitely not going to be the case this year. If we win 10 games you better believe I'm going to be dancing around OTE HQ like a drunken mad man.
I. Case History and Opening Statement
A. Case History
So Wisconsin went 10-3 last year despite being bad at running the football (especially by Wisconsin standards) and Joel Stave generally being Joel Stave. The defense was phenomenal, but Dave Aranda is now making all of the dollars attempting to teach a complicated scheme at an SEC school. I wish the best of luck. He's going to need it, seeing as his boss likes to eat grass.
Anyway, Wisconsin completely lacked a quality win (although actually scoring against Bama is something, right MSU fans?) until beating USC in the Holiday Bowl. Interestingly, the last defensive coordinator we played against is replacing the defensive coordinator Wisconsin faces in its first game. Defensivecoordinatorception is real folks, Beating Minnesota is always nice, but everybody better than a mid level MAC team did that last year. (Insert semi regular reminder that Facebook hadn't even been invented the last time Minnesota beat Wisconsin). When that's best win of the year, naturally the season is going to feel a little underwhelming, especially since Jazz Peavy caught it. On to 2016...
To be honest, I'm not sure how to write one of these without making an impassioned defense of Joel Stave. Like, do I say something about the fact Corey Clement looks huge? Or that the offensive line looks ready to maul people after a disappointing year? That the defense seems to not be missing a beat under Justin Wilcox? I'M SO CONFUSED.
In all honesty, the quarterback battle, while interesting, will probably be more of the same this year. Both Houston and Hornibrook have had flashes both during spring and fall camp, but the wide receivers are a huge wild card after Rob Wheelwright (Wisconsin with a bunch of unproven receivers? NO WAY), and even Wheelwright has to prove he's able to stay on the field. The wide receiver situation is probably going to hold whoever is under center back, even if they are both more talented players than he was.
The biggest thing going for the Wisconsin offense is that typical Wisconsin manball will return in full force. There's actually a player recruited as a running back at the top of the depth chart, and Dare Ugunbowale has developed into the perfect 3rd down back. Additionally, and contrary to my the thoughts of many OTE "writers" Wisconsin's offensive line will be significantly better than last year. Four starters return, and despite losing Tyler Marz, rumor in Madison is Ryan Ramczyk is actually better than Marz and would've started if he had been eligible last year.
The defense returns everyone in the front seven two deep except Arthur Goldberg (who you have no idea who that is unless you're a Wisconsin fan anyway) and some guy named Joe Schobert. Schobert was kinda decent and they gave him some All-American recognition or something. The good news is that means more Jack Cichy. He's kinda decent too.
The only question marks are in the secondary, and even that's not all doom and gloom. Sojourn Shelton returns for his 8th year of eligibility. He's only 3 dropped inceptions away from breaking Dezmen Southward's school record of 10,563. Truth be told, he's a good corner, but he's not good at catching footballs. Derrick Tindal looks to have locked up the corner spot. The real fun is at safety. Leo Musso was starting at safety before Tanner McEvoy took over, which is no shame on Musso, he's just not 6'6 and running 4.4 40s. Lubern Figaro was starting as a true freshman in 2014, but he was ineffective to say the least. D'Cota Dixon and Joe Ferguson both played a ton as well last season. The wild card may be Arrington Farrar. He's the biggest and most athletic of the safeties, and has had an impressive offseason.
A. What was Written About Wisconsin
B. What Can We Learn From Pop Culture?
I agree with my Minnesota colleague on this one. I don't get this section. I'm not even old either.
III. Emotional Plea
I don't do emotions. Feelings get you killed. On that note, eat your hearts out Iowa fans.
On The Schedule...
|9/3||LSU (Lambeau Field)|
|11-19||@ERROR NOT FOUND|
|12/3||Big Ten Championship Game (Lucas Oil Stadium|
|12/31||College Football Playoff (Location TBD)|
This schedule contains pain. Lots and lots of pain.
|Aaron Yorke||7-5 (5-4)|
|Andrew Kraszewski||6-6 (4-5)|
|Brian Gillis||7-5 (5-4)|
|Creighton M||7-5 (5-4)|
|Candystripes For Breakfast||8-4 (6-3)|
|DJ Carver||6-6 (4-5)|
|Graham Filler||7-5 (5-4)|
|Jesse Collins||7-5 (5-4)|
|Thomas Speth||8-4 (6-3)|