Friday, September 2, 2016

A Down Year

The Wisconsin Badgers kick off their 2016 season this weekend at Lambeau Field--and I'm not filled with as much optimism for this year as I have been in the past.  A killer schedule combined with the first real effects of the poor recruiting from the Gary Anderson years have the Cardinal and White looking at a down year.  Let's get to the annual predictions:

Week 1 vs LSU at Lambeau--Wisconsin doesn't have the best of records against SEC opponents in recent years--and Tigers running back Leonard Fornette is a beast.  If the Badgers can contain him--and force LSU's shaky quarterback to throw a lot, they can keep it close.  Wisconsin loses 24-20.

Week 2 vs Akron.  The Zips are not that good.  Badgers roll 37-17.

Week 3 vs Georgia State.  This will be one of those games that has fans at Camp Randall antsy well in to the 4th quarter--as the Badgers get caught looking ahead to the start of the Big Ten schedule the next week.  Bucky edges out the Panthers 34-30.

Week 4 at Michigan State.  The Spartans will also be down this year with a new quarterback at the helm--but Wisconsin seems to have no mojo in East Lansing.  Costly turnovers will sink the Badgers in this one 21-13.

Week 5 at Michigan.  Back to back road games and coming off a loss, Wisconsin doesn't look much sharper at the Big House and lose to the Wolverines (who will win the Big Ten this year, by the way) 38-27.

Week 6 vs Ohio State.  Who put together this Big Ten schedule?  Badgers fans go into full panic mode following a painfully close loss to the Buckeyes at Camp Randall 34-31.

Week 7 at Iowa.  With the media wondering if Wisconsin will even make a bowl game this year, the Badgers somehow find a way to be an Iowa team that I think will be down this year, 24-20.

Week 8 vs Nebraska.  Feeling good coming off the road win at Iowa City, Wisconsin uses the friendly confines of Camp Randall to roll over Nebraska 30-10.

Week 9 at Northwestern.  Ryan Field has become a house of horrors for the Badgers the past two decades, as shootouts have never seemed to go their way.  The same thing happens again as Bucky gets outgunned 48-44.

Week 10 vs Illinois.  Finally, one of the crappy teams in the conference! Badgers beat the Illini 38-7.

Week 11 at Purdue. In front of what will likely be a nearly empty stadium in West Lafayette, Wisconsin wins 23-10.

Week 12 vs Minnesota.  Now is the time that I like to remind everyone that Wisconsin has retained Paul Bunyan's Axe for TWELVE CONESECUTIVE YEARS--AND 19 OF THE LAST 21 YEARS!!!  And there is no way Goldy is coming into Camp Randall on Senior Day and taking it this year.  13 YEARS IN A ROW!!!!!  Wisconsin 70, Minnesota 0

With a 7-5 record, Wisconsin makes its first trip to the Quick Lane Bowl in beautiful downtown Detroit, the ultimate December destination.  In a game that draws about 8 fans at Ford Field, Wisconsin outmuscles Central Michigan for a 37-27 victory.

Let's hope I'm wrong about that early Big Ten schedule--but I doubt I will be.

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