COW Part 2: Time To Be Honest About Wisconsin

COW Part 2: Time To Be Honest About Wisconsin. Will Wisconsin ever win a big game away from home ever again?

December 8th
- Part 1 The playoff aftermath
- Part 3 The Tony Levine Firing

 Going into the offseason, I'll be doing a bunch of shorter, daily rants on the world, like this one. To find out when they go up, follow me at @PeteFiutak. Please.

” In heaven there is no beer/ That's why we drink it here (Right Here!)/ When we're gone from here,/ all our friends will be drinking all our beer!” …
Again, cool with Ohio State being in. I’m not arguing against it, and I’m glad it’s Ohio State vs. Alabama. But maybe, just maybe, Wisconsin was ripe to get blasted because the program has hit a hard-ceiling.

Getting to a third Big Ten championship game in four years is impressive, but it also speaks to the Big Ten’s biggest problem. If Wisconsin continues to be one of your superpowers, you have an issue.

Kansas State might be close, but there has been no bigger bumslayer of a big-time college football program – a beater of the mediocre and sad - since Barry Alvarez created the system that turned around one of the most woeful programs in the country into a powerhouse over 20 years ago, and now, it’s time Wisconsin takes a hard look at how the bratwurst is being made.

Let 59-0 be the wake-up call that LSU’s win at the beginning of the season should’ve been. Yeah, it’s great to blow away the Bowling Greens and Purdues of the world, and when the ground game is rolling, it’s easy to fall into a false sense of security when there’s a blasting of a Nebraska and the running backs – who have done a fat load of jack squat upon entering the NFL – pile up a bazillion yards, but Ohio State won 59-0 because it could. Ohio State’s third-string quarterback is better than Wisconsin’s starter, and when the pressure and heat were on, the four-and-five-star talents rocked the recruit-to-a-type guys, just like LSU did in the fourth quarter of its win.

At home, yeah, Wisconsin is phenomenal, and the Camp Randall advantage helped in the two really, really amazing wins over the last two decades – giving Ohio State its only loss in 2010, and beating the defending national champ Buckeyes in 2003. But even those two Badger teams blew it, gagging away the 2011 Rose Bowl to TCU by forgetting to run the ball, and losing five of its last six in 2003.

In non-conference games against Power 5-level programs away from Madison, how has Wisconsin done lately?

2014 vs. LSU, 28-24 loss. 2014 Capital One Bowl vs. South Carolina, 34-24 loss. 2013 at Arizona State, not fair, but 32-30 loss. 2013 Rose Bowl vs. Stanford, 20-14 loss. 2012 at Oregon State, 10-7 loss. 2012 Rose Bowl vs. Oregon, 45-38 loss. 2011 Rose Bowl vs. TCU (we’ll count this as a Power 5-level game), 21-19 loss. 2009 Champs Sports Bowl vs. Miami, 20-14 win. 2008 Champs Sports Bowl vs. Florida State, 42-13 loss. 2008 Outback Bowl vs. Tennessee 21-17 loss.

Of course, beating Michigan State in the 2011 Big Ten championship matters, as does the 70-31 blasting of Nebraska in the 2012 Big Ten championship. Of course, most programs would kill for the overall success Wisconsin has enjoyed, but at some point there has to be step taken forward.

Let 59-0 be your 2014 wake-up call, Wisconsin. It’s time to figure out how to get the bigger, better recruits, and it’s time to really and truly plunge right through that line.

 


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