For years, the University of Wisconsin began its football season unceremoniously, beating up on an overmatched opponent that barely drew a blip on the national radar. That changes in a big way at the end of August.
With 2014 debuting the four-team college football playoff, with strength of schedule being one of the indicators determining the four teams in the field, Wisconsin is looking to make a splash in the season's opening week when it faces out with perennial SEC West contender LSU in the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff in Houston.
LSU head coach Les Miles was at the Sound Mind Sound Body camp in Detroit this past month watching his son, senior quarterback Manny Miles compete, but also talked about the opening matchup against Wisconsin on August 30.
"Just looking at their film, they are a big, physical team and have a real quality defense," Miles told BadgerNation. "They are very disciplined and it is going to be a very significant and competitive contest. They are very talented and capable."
Many experts say that SEC speed far exceeds what the Big Ten brings to the gridiron, an opinion validated by the Big Ten's 4-9 record against the SEC in bowl games on or after Jan.1 the last four seasons. But after watching some film on the Badgers, Miles feels quite the opposite.
"They always seem to make plays to me," said Miles. "When I am watching their film, they are very, very talented. If you play position, if you play leverage, if you play your spot with technique, then you can play faster than your forty yard dash time. This team here plays with real discipline and they are seldom out of place. I think they are tremendously competitive. They have an instinctive want to compete. I can see the improvement."
The first of two meetings between the teams in the next three seasons (they'll face off at Lambeau Field in Green Bay in 2016), Miles is excited for an opportunity to play in the fertile Texas recruiting territory against a top level opponent in Wisconsin.
"We can't wait to be honest with you," said Miles. "That temperature will be just what we are used to."