Monday, July 27, 2009

Breaking Down the Badger's Schedule

Time for a little college football post. With the college football season just under 6 weeks away, I figured this would be a good time to get some Badger talk in by breaking down their 2009 schedule. When looking at the schedule, the question has come up in forums, can the Badgers win double digit games? I actually say no, but I do not have a ton of faith in Bielema, and feel the program is eroding. All of that can change with a good QB. In college football, a good QB can cover up a lot of flaws. We know the Badgers will be able to run the ball, but will there be any threat of the pass. I cannot believe they actually have missed John Stocco, but they really did last year. Onto the schedule.

Wisconsin Badgers: Schedule 2009
Date Opponent Result / Time
Sep. 5 vs. Northern Illinois 6:00 PM CT (BTN)
A few years ago this could have been a tough game, but Northern Ill has taken a step back from the team that beat Maryland, and gave other BCS teams a tough game. I imagine the Badgers will be favored by 20 and being the first game of the season, there should not be a let down. I give them the win and cover. 1-0

Sep. 12 vs. Fresno State 11:00 AM CT (ESPN)
This could have been a tough one, but the 11am start is brutal for west coast teams. At kickoff, the Fresno players will not be ready to play for at least another two hours. Vegas rarely seems to adjust their lines for these scenerios, but bettors should always be on the lookout for the early season Non-Conf game involing a west coast team at the early start. I really like Fresno's head coach Pat Hill. He is a branch off the Belicheck coaching tree, that plays a real physical style of football. He is the type of coach I wish Wisconsin had went after when Barry stepped down. My guess is the Badgers will be favored by around 13-14. If the line is closer to 10, they may cover, but I don't think they will. Fresno will get off to a bad start, but claw back. Wisconsin holds on for the win. 2-0

Sep. 19 vs. Wofford 11:00 AM CT (BTN)
This game is a joke. BCS teams should not be playing FCS schools anymore with the level of bowl game being determined by conference placement. Since the Badgers are unlikely to be true National Contenders in a year-in year-out basis, challenge yourself and play someone the fans would like to see. I know I have read that they will lose money if they gave up this home game for a road game every-other year, but come on, Wofford? Wofford is usually a 16 seed in the Mens Basketball tourney that is getting blasted by a 1 seed by 30 at the half. Do better Wisconsin. Was Sarah Lawrence College for Women tied up in a scheduling conflict? 3-0, I will not watch a single play of this game, and Vegas will not even have a line for this fiasco.

Sep. 26 vs. 24 Michigan State TBA ()
This is why I despise scheduling teams like Wofford. The Badgers will go from playing athletes that have no business being on the same field as them, then play a team with the same level of talent. I think this is the game that can define their season. With a road game at Minny, then Ohio State, then Iowa, they need this win. My guess is Michigan State is favored by a touchdown. I am going with my heart and not my head as I feel MSU is going in the right direction with their HC, and Wisconsin is going in the wrong direction. A lot may depend on what is given as a start time, if this game is played at 2:30 or a night game, Wisconsin wins a squeeker. 4-0

Oct. 3 at Minnesota TBA ()
At this point Wisconsin will probably be ranked if they actually are 4-0 and all they would have done is win 4 games at home, and none against a really top-flight program, although beating Mighigan State would be a nice win. I am calling it now, the Badgers lose to Minnesota. Now that the Gophers have an actual stadium on campus, there will not only be a much better atmosphere, it will be much more unlikely to be a bi-partison crowd. Also, with this game being at the beginning of October, it could be their home-coming. My guess is Wisconsin will be favored by 4 and lose by more than a touchdown. The Badgers have responded worse and worse under Bielema as time as went on once they are given respect. This could be the first game of the year they are ranked, and it will be the first road game, against a rival. Minnesota wins, and don't be shocked if it isn't that competitive. 4-1

Oct. 10 at 9 Ohio State TBA ()
This will be ugly. Terrell Pryor will be much better in his 2nd season. OSU could be favored by 17 or more. Wisconsin gets blown out. OSU comes into this game after a blowout against Indiana, and the week after the Badgers, they play a down Purdue team. This will be the game they will be up for as between Sept 12 against USC and Nov 7 against Penn State, Wisconsin is the best team they play. This could be a woodshed. Ohio State wins by 20. 4-2

Oct. 17 vs. 20 Iowa 11:00 AM CT
Iowa will likely be favored by 10 or more. The advantage that Wisconsin gets against Fresno with the 11am start is taken away here. An 11am start for a conference game takes away the crowd until the 3rd quarter in my mind. That hurts Wisconsin. Again, if this was a night game, I may like Wisconsin, but not with the early start. Iowa is always well coached and will start out well in this game. Iowa blew out Wisconsin last year, and the year before, when Wisconsin had a much better team, Iowa almost beat Wisconsin, at night, at Camp Randall. Wisconsin loses but covers by losing a tough game by a field goal. 4-3

Oct. 31 vs. Purdue TBA ()
This game will come after the bye, and Wisconsin will blow them out. Bielema teams have a history of blowing out teams they are better than, losing tough ones to teams they are equal to, and getting blown out by really good teams. Wisconsin will be favored by a touchdown and win by 20. 5-3

Nov. 7 at Indiana TBA ()
Another blowout, Indiana has completely regressed since they made a bowl two seasons ago. That is one school that just may never get over the hump and be a consistent winner. The Badgers will be favored by 20 and cover. Snoozefest. 6-3

Nov. 14 vs. Michigan TBA ()
This will be an important game for Wisconsin. RR will turn it around at Michigan, but not quite this year. I think they will become one of the power three with OSU and PSU, but RR needs another recruiting class or two to get the athletes he needs on offense. This game could be a Pickem. Rodriguez is an unpopular coach with the other team's fan bases'. Successful, ambitious guys usually are. Do you think Urban Meyer has many friend in the SEC? Wisconsin wins a tight battle, could be overtime or last second FG. It helps Wisconsin that Michigan plays OSU the following week, it can never be overstated how teams can look ahead to their rivals. 7-3

Nov. 21 at Northwestern TBA ()
This is a tough one. This will be Northwestern's last game of the year. I think Fitzgerald is a better coach than Bielema, and he will not want to send off seniors with a loss in their last home game. The problem is Wisconsin has a better team and will be favored by a touchdown. I really am unsure of this game, it will likely be the difference between a New Year's day game or a lesser bowl. Something tells me Northwestern finds a way. 7-4

Dec. 5 at Hawaii TBA ()
This is a game for the alumni. They love to travel to these games in Hawaii or Vegas. I am so happy that Wisconsin is more interested in pleasing alumni that will go to the game no matter where it is, than becoming an actual top 12 football program and schedule tough games that can help attract recruits. If you are sensing a little sarcasm, that's good, cause I'm laying it on pretty thick. Hawaii is a shell of a program that made it through an undefeated season with Colt Brennan and June Jones a couple of years ago. Wisconsin will be favored by two touchdowns, win and cover. 8-4.

So, in my opinion, Wisconsin will not get to double digit wins. I hope they do, but with the stretch in October of home vs Michigan State, @ Minnesota, @ OSU, and home vs Iowa. I think they get three losses from that stretch that will prevent a regular season double digit win total. The Badgers will fall just short of a New Year's bowl game with the loss to Northwestern.

For some Basketball reading check out someBrandon Jennings stats that support my theory that he will be the best rookie and best rookie PG.

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