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Wisconsin National Championship Game Odds
The 2019 season was a tremendous bounce back for the Wisconsin Badgers after the disappointing 8-5 2018 campaign in which they were touted as College Football Playoff material. With the spotlight off of them the Badgers are always at their best and they finished 10-4 straight up, 8-6 against the spread, and champions of the Big Ten West Division in 2019. Wisconsin was a 16.5-point dog to Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game and led 21-7 at the half before being overwhelmed by the deeper and faster Buckeyes in a 34-21 loss. What was most disappointing was a 28-27 Rose Bowl game loss to Oregon in which the Badgers dominated the stats but were a decisive minus-four in turnovers. Overall, nationally Wisconsin finished 37th for total offense, 21st for scoring offense, eighth for total defense, and 10th for points allowed.
2020 Wisconsin Badgers at a Glance
National Championship Odds: +5000
Madison, Wisconsin native and UW alum Paul Chryst has proven to be the perfect coaching fit for the program that Barry Alvarez built out of ruins. In five seasons Chryst has gone 52-16 at Wisconsin with three West Division titles and national finishes of 11th last year, sixth in 2017 and ninth in 2016. Chryst was a former Badgers offensive coordinator from 2005-2011 before a three-year stint as Pitt head coach. He knows the Alvarez way and UW culture inside and out. Chryst leads the best developmental program in the country that lives off of lower rated recruits that are coached up into stars. Wisconsin plays an old school power running type of offense with a massive line that is always rated among the best in the country. This has made them a favorite of fans that like a traditional brand of football. Although not on the level of Ohio State the Wisconsin program has seen strong recruiting strides under Chryst.
2020 Wisconsin Badgers Schedule
Week 1: Friday, September 4, Indiana Hoosiers
Week 2: Saturday, September 12, Southern Illinois Salukis
Week 3: Saturday, September 19, Appalachian State Mountaineers
Week 4: Saturday, September 26, at Michigan Wolverines
Week 5: Saturday, October 3, Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Green Bay, WI)
Week 6: Saturday, October 10, Minnesota Golden Gophers
Week 7: Bye Week
Week 8: Saturday, October 24, at Maryland Terrapins
Week 9: Saturday, October 31, Illinois Fighting Illini
Week 10: Saturday, November 7, at Northwestern Wildcats
Week 11: Saturday, November 14, at Purdue Boilermakers
Week 12: Saturday, November 21, Nebraska Cornhuskers
Week 13: Saturday, November 28, at Iowa Hawkeyes
2020 Wisconsin Badgers Regular Season Preview
Wisconsin must replace their five best players from the 2019 season but this is where development and depth through the years should show dividends. Still, Chryst is downplaying expectations which another part of the Wisconsin tradition.
Three-year superstar running back Jonathan Taylor is off to the NFL and for the present the Badgers will sort out the number one back by starting off with a committee of candidates. Four-star recruit Jalen Berger could be a man to keep an eye on. Taylor himself broke out of a strong group in 2017 after also being recruited out of New Jersey.
The quarterback position continues to fascinate all observers. Last year’s starter Jack Coan eliminated so many of the mistakes of previous starter Alex Hornibrook. Coan threw for a 69.6 completion rate good for 2727 yards and 18 touchdown passes with just five interceptions. However backup Graham Mertz is a five-star recruit that played behind Coan as a freshman last year and is considered to be the most talented player on the roster. Coan may end up behind Mertz should he falter but his strong showing impressed all, especially teammates, last year.
The linebacking tandem of Chris Orr and Zack Baun will leave a huge void at the start of 2020. But defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard has proven to have the ability to keep the unit strong and resilient. Overall, the defense is still talented, especially in the secondary.
Chryst has four double digit win seasons in his five years at the helm and Wisconsin has a strong shot at maintaining that trend.
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