Wisconsin Badgers Football: Hot Take Central
The Wisconsin Badgers are 4-4 through 8 games of the 2022 season. Every week has been a rollercoaster experience. As fans, we have no idea which Wisconsin Badgers football team we will see from week to week.
The Jim Leonhard experiment has seen a throttling of (1-6, 1-3 Big Ten) Northwestern, followed by a back-and-forth overtime defeat to (3-4, 1-3 Big Ten) Michigan State. And most recently, and maybe surprisingly to some, a homecoming win against (5-3, 3-2 Big Ten) Purdue.
So as the new guy, I’m ready to make an extremely hot take that will showcase my probably extreme bias.
The Wisconsin Badgers will win their next FOUR football games to finish the regular season 8-4.
I know you may say, “How can you possibly think this five sentences after saying every week is a rollercoaster experience?” To that, I have two answers:
I’m ready to have my heart broken again
In three weeks with our beloved Jimmy at the helm, this team just seems different.
I don’t think we’re at the level yet where I want to speak about my previous heartbreak. But I will elaborate further on my second answer.
Since Bobby Engram has moved to the sideline, we have seen less predictability in the Badger’s play calling. The days of handing the ball off to Braelon Allen on every first down are a thing of the past.
Wisconsin’s offense is 16-36 (44%) on third down through the last three games, including two 4th down conversions against Michigan State. From the naked eye, it appears the offensive line is getting into more of a rhythm, and we are seeing flashes of the dominant O-line Badgers fans are accustomed to watching every fall Saturday.
Lastly, and probably most importantly, my optimism is driven by Jimmy Leonhards’ old reliable – the defense. Facing one of the Big Ten’s most potent passing attacks, the defensive unit turned over the Boilermakers three times – resulting in 14 points.
The Badgers are on Bye this week and then will take on Maryland at home, Iowa and Nebraska on the road, and finish the season playing for the Axe at home vs. Minnesota. I’m not here to claim Wisconsin is Big Ten Championship bound or even Big Ten West champs bound. But looking at those four games, I see them as very “win-able.”
Balanced attack, converting on third downs, and staying unpredictable on offense, paired with an opportunistic defense getting their swagger back with every series. Your 2022 Wisconsin Badgers will finish 8-4. #OnWisconsin
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