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BadgerNotes Staff Predicts the Wisconsin Football Program’s 2023 Record



Wisconsin football; Badgers head coach Luke Fickell
Wisconsin Badgers head coach Luke Fickell runs through a drill during fall training camp at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023.

It’s game week, folks. The Wisconsin football program’s 2023 season is just around the corner.

A new era is upon us. Excitement is at an all-time high with Luke Fickell at the helm, Phil Longo‘s air raid scheme implemented, and Mike Tressel‘s reimagined defense in the fold. After one of the most exciting — and longest — off-seasons in program history, the Badgers will finally take the field in just a few days. 

Ahead of the highly-anticipated 2023 season, the Badger Notes staff compiled their predictions of the team’s final record. It’s safe to say the new era has brought in some real optimism. 

Before we get started, I just want to take a moment to thank you. Myself and the rest of the staff are thankful that you give a small part of your day to read our analysis and opinions on the Badgers. This is going to be a special season, and we are excited to finally bring in the new era and keep providing you all with content.

Now, let’s dive in.

BadgerNotes Staff Predicts the Wisconsin Football Program’s 2023 Record

Jake Maier: I go back and forth on my prediction for the season, but I’ll lock in my prediction at 10-2. Wisconsin has a very favorable schedule for the first year under a new regime. In fact, UW has the easiest strength of schedule in the entire Big Ten. It should come as no surprise that I’m penciling in the matchup vs. Ohio State as a loss, although I do think that game will be closer than some may think. The other loss I’ll pencil in will be to Illinois. I go back and forth on that game, but even with the guys the Fighting Illini lost from last year, I still think that will be a very close loss. If UW does finish 10-2, that may be just enough to get Wisconsin to the Big Ten Championship in year one under Luke Fickell.

Dylan Buboltz: I think Wisconsin goes 10-2. The Iowa-Illinois-OSU stretch will be really tough. I think UW beats Iowa, and that ends up being the deciding factor that gets Wisconsin into the Big Ten championship.

Drew Hamm: Look, when going through the schedule and looking at each matchup individually…the only game Wisconsin should be favored to lose is against Ohio State. While the Buckeyes are soft up front (on both sides of the ball) and will be breaking in a new QB, they simply have too much overall talent to lose to the Badgers. 11-1 is a completely unreasonable record to predict for UW, however, as they’ve only won 10 games once in the past five years. More likely? Wisconsin wins nine regular season games, wins the West, and gets to 10 by winning their bowl game. Ask me tomorrow, and I’ll probably predict an undefeated national title run, though.

Ryan Eilers: 10-2. I believe that Coach Fickell is the right man at the right time to lead the Wisconsin Badgers into the new college football era. After seeing TCU last season make a playoff run under first-year head coach Sonny Dykes, I have a feeling that Coach Fickell and these Wisconsin Badgers can make a real run at the College Football Playoff.

The Wisconsin football program has revamped the coaching, recruiting department, strength and conditioning, and the players — both homegrown and those from the transfer portal — have given this program an energy injection of the highest degree. The Big Ten conference schedule is not daunting, but all opponents on the Big Ten slate are formidable foes. You can get beat if you do not show up with your best. My heart is saying 15-0, but my brain is saying 10-2, a Big Ten West division title and a New Year’s Six bowl game appearance.

Trent Tetzlaff: I have Wisconsin going 11-1 this year and reaching the Big Ten title game. One loss will come to Ohio State and won’t be rather close as the Buckeyes will dominate in the explosive play department as they have the past few years. The game against Iowa will come down to the final possession, but home-field advantage will be huge. The defense will stand out this year, and more offensive weapons will allow Braelon Allen to feast in the backfield.

Lucas Valind: My record prediction will be 10-2. I think they could match up well with every team they play and have a legitimate chance of going 11-1 if all goes well, but I don’t think they’re ready to beat Ohio State yet. I’ll give them a loss against OSU, and they’ll fall to one other opponent in a West division that’s getting tougher and more competitive with great coaching hires over the last few years.

Gard Your Fickell: 11-1 (Big Ten Championship Appearance). Luke Fickell bringing on Phil Longo as OC might have been the most monumental assistant coach hire for Wisconsin football since Dave Aranda. And the 3-4 defense he brought is akin to the air raid principles & Longo’s ability to mentor QBs. This should help Mordecai hit the ground running. Plus, a great receiving core with Dike/Bell/Lewis teaming up with transfers Green/Pauling/Williams. And those light boxes they create will have Braelon Allen & Chez Mellusi running WILD all year. A true, pick-your-poison dilemma for defenses: Stop this passing attack or stop the run game. Mike Tressel inherits a highly talented group from Jim Leonhard, although, in year one, we may not see his scheme in full force.

Nevertheless, he will “mesh the elite,” so expect a big year from Hunter Wohler as a do-it-all player for him in that Dollar Package!! The early season stretch, Iowa, Illinois, and Ohio St. are the only games I can see losses coming for this squad. My pick is a tough loss at home to Ohio St., with a vengeance coming in the Big Ten Title Game?!?

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Jake Maier is the managing editor and publisher at He has provided coaching and editorial support to numerous writers in his role, contributing significantly to the platform's growth. His expertise extends to Wisconsin Badgers football, basketball, and recruiting coverage. Jake's previous bylines can be found at Fansided and Wisconsin Sports Heroics.