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Wisconsin Football: Patience Needed Before Air Raid Takes Flight



Wisconsin football offensive coordinator Phil Longo
Wisconsin Badgers offensive Coordinator Phil Longo answers questions during Wisconsin Badgers football media day at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023.

In the heartland of college football, where traditions run deep and expectations are sky-high, change is often met with anticipation and trepidation. This season, the Wisconsin football program faithful find themselves navigating unfamiliar territory as the team transitions to a new offensive identity under the guidance of offensive coordinator Phil Longo and head coach Luke Fickell.

The Wisconsin Badgers decision to embrace the air raid offense represents a significant departure from their well-established run-heavy, smash-mouth style. It’s a change that has elicited mixed reactions from fans accustomed to seeing their team bulldoze its way through opponents on the ground.

However, fans must understand that shifting offensive identities is no small feat. It’s a process that requires time, patience, and, most importantly, a commitment to change. Wisconsin football moving to the air raid offense is not just a shift in tactics; it’s a strategic response to the evolving landscape of college football.

To compete at the highest level in college football, programs like Wisconsin need to attract high-caliber recruits, especially on the offensive side of the ball. The traditional style, while effective, may not always be the most enticing proposition for top-tier recruits who aspire to showcase their skills in a more dynamic and pass-oriented system.

This shift in offensive strategy is not about abandoning the Badgers’ hard-nosed football heritage but rather about evolving to remain competitive in a changing environment. It’s about giving recruits a reason to choose Wisconsin football over other programs, a reason that goes beyond just winning games.

Wisconsin Football Will Have Its Fair Share of Growing Pains…but It Will Be Worth It

What fans must realize is that this transition, like any significant change, comes with growing pains. It may take time for the Wisconsin football team to fire on all cylinders within the air raid system. 

Adjustments, both on and off the field, will be necessary. And yes, there may be moments of frustration and setbacks along the way. Personally, I think Luke Fickell and the Badgers coaching staff did an excellent job bringing in enough personnel through the portal to help bridge the gap. 

But patience is the key. 

Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor were most successful offensive transformations. It requires practice, learning, and a willingness to adapt. Coach Fickell understands the significance of this change, and he’s committed to building an offense that not only wins games but also attracts the talent needed to close the gap with college football’s elite.

So, Wisconsin football fans, embrace the journey of change. Trust in the process and the vision Coach Fickell and his staff have for the Badgers. 

Understand that transitioning to the air raid offense is a step towards a potentially brighter future where Wisconsin football can compete at the highest level and transform into an upper-echelon program. 

Ultimately, the Wisconsin Badgers pursuit of excellence might be more of an uphill climb than we initially anticipated. Still, with time, dedication, and patience, it’s a journey that could lead them to new heights and a more dynamic and competitive future. Here’s to hoping. 

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Trevor Lovec is a freelance sports writer, correspondent, and a diehard Northern Iowa fan. He covers Wisconsin football & basketball, plus a little Badgers recruiting for