As with every sports team, there are those who love the team and those who hate the team. While some teams such as the New York Yankees in the MLB, the New England Patriots in the NFL, and whatever team Lebron James is on in the NBA, hold certain precedent in the love/hate relationship. For fans of college football, or specifically the Big Ten, the Badgers are for the most part highly loved and respected. Usually, Ohio State holds the brunt of controversy. It can be observed, however, how two sides can be present in the Wisconsin Badgers camp. It starts with a couple where the girl is a UW alumnus and is, of course, a big Badgers fan. The other side of the relationship is the guy who over the years has come to see the Badgers as a borderline annoying football program and atmosphere. Here is how the dialogue plays out.
From the Badger fan:
The Badgers have been a competitive team for the past decade. They have appeared in three Rose Bowls which is tied with Stanford for most in the past decade.
From the Badgers Hater:
Yes, while they appeared in three Rose Bowls, they have been beaten in every single one! Nobody remembers the losers.
While they lost, they were all close games. In every single game, they were within a touchdown of forcing a tie or winning.
They will never be considered as one of the top teams in the nation if they don’t recruit a top quarterback. The Badgers have had weak quarterbacks for decades with the exception of Russell Wilson, and he was only a Badger for one season. The top teams like Oklahoma, Ohio State, Clemson, and Georgia have all produced great quarterbacks. Hornibrook was a 3-star recruit and showed no progression in his time with Wisconsin. It was an absolute joke to think Wisconsin would contend for a playoff spot. Finally this season they have some quarterback talent.
Russell Wilson was listed on the roster and led the team to a Rose Bowl. He is now consistently one of the top QBs in the NFL. The Badgers never needed a good QB to be a top program. They play to their strength, which is giving the ball to a truck of a running back and letting the big offensive linemen go to work. The Badgers are consistently among the top programs in the country in producing NFL linemen and do so with in-state recruiting. There is not much of QB talent in the state of Wisconsin, however, the line talent is stacked and the Badgers take advantage of it. Meanwhile, running backs like James White and Melvin Gordon are top NFL talent at the running back position.
Wilson is such a fake. There are many reports out there saying how he isn’t “one of the guys” on the team (Seahawks) and how he keeps to himself, he ALWAYS needs a camera on him if he’s giving to charity or doing an event, and he is just too damn lucky and people overrate him as a QB. Remember this play:
or this one:
These are just two of many cases. This isn’t even good quarterbacking. This should have easily been intercepted if the defender didn’t just fall over. And do not even say he was a Badger. It is so suspicious that he would go to a team that runs 75% of their plays to get noticed for being a QB. BS on that one. The Badgers were hiding something there.
So what? He came to a school that wins to get noticed. His scramble plays take a lot of skill and ability to have the quickness and agility to evade defenders. As far as some of his throws, yes they might be risky throws. Brett Favre made a living off of risky throws and he’s considered one of the best QBs of all time.
They still can never win the big game against the big opponents. They play in an easy conference where most of their games are gimmes. The one elite team, Ohio State, is conveniently the one they can never win. Why? Because they lack a quarterback to put up points against that team. You cannot expect to run the ball 70% of the time against them and expect to win in a shootout. Without a QB you can’t beat the elites. Since 2013 following the three straight Rose Bowl losses, they played in-conference teams with a record of 206-261 or a .441 win % without counting Ohio State. The Badgers did what they were supposed to do against the cupcakes of the division, but against conference teams who had finished seasons with double-digit wins (the elites), they went 2-4 again without Ohio State being factored in! Now we will get to Ohio State. Since 2013 there was one season they did not play each other, but all other seasons, the Badgers have gone 0-4 including an embarrassing 59-10 loss in the 2014 Big Ten Championship. A classic example of playing an actual elite team and getting shell shocked. Wisconsin fans, if you’re going to hype up the team as being one of the elites, they first have to beat the elites.
Again, the Badgers play their game, and that is to run the ball and utilize the big men up front. Yes, they have struggled against OSU, but they have also beaten Auburn, Miami (twice), and USC in the previous four bowl games and beat LSU to open up 2016. If you’re talking about weak schedule look at your “top programs” Alabama, Clemson, and Georgia and tell me those aren’t weak. They schedule cupcakes for out of conference games and ALWAYS schedule a cupcake before one of their two premier matchups against a fellow top team. The Badgers schedule is usually tougher than those of the SEC or ACC.
The Badgers are boring to watch and a lot of the fans are homers. They run the ball even when the box is stacked. It’ll be 3rd and 14 and they will dial up a run play. Many of the Badger fans do not even see the difference between them and Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Georgia. Yes, I’ll admit they do have cupcake schedules too, but the talent is overall much better, and the games are much more enjoyable to watch. This season the coaching staff is making a big mistake. Instead of putting Graham Mertz, the top QB prospect in the country, in as the starting QB, they are going to throw Jack Coan out there who won a couple of games at the end of last season but has nowhere near the talent of Mertz.
The Badgers are who they are. They in-state recruit and have built a winning program playing Wisconsin style football. I don’t expect a playoff season for them this season, but they will continue to be competitive and give teams a run for their money. I guess we will have to agree to disagree.