Thursday, August 5, 2010
Big Ten 2010-Wisconsin Badgers
2009 Record: 10-3 (5-3)
Head Coach: Bret Bielema (38-14, 5th season)
Offensive Coordinator: Paul Chryst (6th season)
Defensive Coordinator: Dave Doeren (3rd season)
2009 Bowl Game: Champs Sports Bowl, defeated Miami 20-14
Offense: Scott Tolzien has quietly become one of the finest QBs in the Big 10. He will not wow you, but he is smart and doesn't make the stupid mistakes that can plague a team. He is very solid. John Clay is a tremendous talent at RB. He may compete with Terelle Pryor for Big 10 MVP and for the Heisman trophy. There is tremendous depth at WR, including Nick Toon, son of Al Toon, one of the best ever at Wisconsin. Nick is a chip off of the old block. He is joined by an amazing group including David Gilbreath, Isaac Anderson, and Kyle Jefferson. The O-line returns every single starter from last season, so the gaudy numbers of 32 PPG and 417 YPG could actually go up in 2010.
Defense: Here is where the Badgers get seperated from Ohio State. There are big holes to fill. 3 of 4 D-linemen are new. DE JJ watt is the lone returnee on the line. All three LBs return, though, so that will be good for a young line trying to gel to know that someone has their back. The problem at LB is health, as both Mike Taylor and and Chris Borland are coming off of serious surgeries. Jay Valai is the unquestioned leader in the secondary, but he'll have to be even better this year, as two new starters will roam the secondary.
Special Teams: Philip Welch (PK) and Brad Nortman (P) both return after solid seasons. They will probably be more important than a year ago, especially NOrtman with the defense not being quite as strong out the gate.
Wins: 9/4 @ UNLV, 9/11 San Jose State, 9/18 Arizona State, 9/25 Austin Peay, 10/2 @ Michigan State, 10/9 Minnesota, 11/6 @ Purdue, 11/13 Indiana, 11/20 @ Michigan, 11/27 Northwestern
Toss Up Games:10/16 Ohio State, 10/23 @ Iowa
The non conference schedule is a joke outside the Arizona State game A team of Wisconsin's stature should never be playing Austin Peay. As I have said before, the winner of the Ohio State game will win the Big 10. The road trip to Iowa (against a very good team) could be a trap on the heels of the OSU game.
Outlook: If the defense gets right, than the Badgers challenge Ohio State for the Big 10 and a national championship opportunity. If the defense falls from last season's standards, than Wisconsin still wins 10 games. This is going to be a fun season in Madison, so buckle up.