Wisconsin Badgers College Football Preview 2021: What Will Happen, Season Prediction
Just how much was the 2020 season an outlier and how much was an indication of where the program is at going forward?
Wisconsin might be known for its brutish consistency with its style, running game, and defense that led the way to year after year after year of success over the last three decades.
However, the Big Ten Championship wins have stopped, there haven’t been any trips to the College Football Playoff – it’s the best Power Five program in the CFP era to not yet be in the CFP – and there appeared to be a hard-ceiling on just how good it could be.
There had to be a tweak of some sort, and that’s where QB Graham Mertz and the passing game come in.
The defense can still be the defense – and it was really, really good last year – and the running game can still be effective, but to take that big step forward, the explosion and the production from under center has to be far better.
Or, Mertz is just okay and the running game lost its mojo.
Set The Wisconsin Badgers Regular Season Win Total At … 9.5
It might be a little bit of all the above.
The Badgers will get back to blasting away, the defense should be among the best in the nation statistically, and now that he’s healthy again and has his receivers back, Mertz might really be that one missing piece.
It’s Wisconsin, so it should be good enough to win at least three of the four massive games against Penn State, Michigan, Iowa and Notre Dame – the first three are at home and the last is in Chicago.
At Illinois, at Purdue, at Rutgers, at Minnesota. That’s about as soft a road run as any big-time program could ask for, but it’s Wisconsin – it’ll blow it in one of those, and be very, very, very afraid of that date with Army.
Wisconsin has no excuses. Along with Iowa coming to Camp Randall, Northwestern and Nebraska are home games, too. There’s no Ohio State, around 16 starters are back, the kicking game might be the best in the Big Ten, and then …
It’ll probably run into the Buckeyes in the Big Ten Championship.