Wisconsin Badgers 2023 College Football Preview
July 24, 2023
Record – 7-6
ATS – 6-7
The Badgers had a difficult time of things and sputtered their way to a record of 7-6. The vast majority of their losses came vs quality opponents (Ohio St, Illinois, Minnesota, etc.) but there just wasn’t any magic. The QB was play was sketchy and the defense was down a notch compared to what we were used to seeing on Saturdays. Wisconsin ended the regular season with a tough loss to Minnesota, a 909 star MEGALOCKS DEATH BOOSTER-GIFTED BRAIN ANYURYSM SUPER LOCK loser (L 23-16), but finished on a good note by beating Cincinnati in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl. That made 21 (!) straight bowl games for CHEESE. Quite an impressive streak.
Ace HC Luke Fickell makes his way in from Cincinnati where he and the Bearcats have been dominating for a while. Let’s see how things look for the new man in charge!
Wisconsin Badgers 2023 Outlook
Graham “Train Wreck” Mertz has finally left the station (19-10 TD to INT LY) and the Badgers made one of the biggest QB scoops of this season’s transfer portal extravaganza by poaching Tanner Mordecai from SMU (career 76-23 TD to INT!), and that gives them THROW GAME credibility for the first time since <check notes> the Stone Age. Mordecai will be happy to know that the top-three WRs are back for duty including rising star Chimere Dike (689, 14.7, 8 TD LY) and they added a few additional weapons via the portal. Of course, it all starts with the rushing attack and ALL-MEGALOCKS team member RB Braelon Allen (1,242, 5.4, 11 TD) who can run thru you, around you, or thru you AND around you. We hope he can stay healthy for the entire season as big numbers are there for the taking. RB Chez Mellusi is a fine backup plan. The OL should will be solid as they retain four starters and feature close to 100 career starts. Yup, we expect a large increase in production this year.
It closely mirrors the predictability of the sun rising in the morning. Wisconsin allowed fewer than 100 yards rushing once again LY (99, #2 Big Ten) and allowed 20 PPG (#5). Eight starters are back on this side of the football and the first two levels of the defense are CHOCK FULL of difference-makers. The LB unit is one of the best in the Big Ten as they return the team’s top-two tacklers to the group including Maema Njongmeta who filled up the stat sheet in 2022 (95 tackles, 11.5 TFL, 5 QBH). They’re also scary-deep at the position. The DL will be fine as always and it doesn’t hurt to add a 1st Team AAC talent in Darian Varner who booked 7.5 sacks with the Owls LY. Two areas of concern are an inexperienced secondary that didn’t play up to par LY (#8 Big Ten pass efficiency) and the loss of their excellent DC Jim Leonhard.
The Badgers made a fine move in coaxing the Ohio Bobcats’ ROBOT PK Nathanial Vakos to come to town (22-27 FG LY). Losing Isaac Guerendo on KR is a bummer (23.9) and they need to find a new punter.
Overall – They’ve got a pair of soft home assignments in non-conference play (Buffalo, Ga Southern) but have to travel to the middle of nowhere to battle Washington St in week two. Recall that the Cougars SHOCKED the WORLD and won in Madison LY. The Big Ten docket is favorable as they miss Michigan and Penn St and get Ohio St at home. But wait, there’s more! The yuuuge game with Iowa is at home. GET CHO POPCONE for the regular season finale (at Minnesota) as that game will probably have Big Ten Championship Game implications.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Illinois (Oct 21)
This game pops up in a sandwich between massive battles with Iowa and Ohio St. Illinois is tougher than a NIGHT IN JAIL and we’ll almost certainly avoid backing the favorite on this occasion.
Season Win Total
Market consensus July 24
Over 8.5 -140
Under 8.5 +110
The Big Ten West is a competitive division but it’s hard to find four losses on the Badgers’ schedule. We have them rated a cut above their main competition. They’ve got a good shot to run the table in non-conference play.
DEGENERATE NATION take notice. Wisconsin is 26-14 ATS (65%) vs non-conference foes over the L10Y. New HC Luke Fickell should be a good match in that regard as he booked a 19-13 ATS (59%) mark vs non-conference opponents whilst with the Bearcats. BULLY BALL, yo.
Wisconsin ends up being the team that finally lured HC Luke Fickell away from the Group of Five ranks. The situation looks very promising as the offense will likely confound opposing defenses well into the season (“Wait, they can PASS now?) and the defense will be one of the best in the Big Ten (again). We like the way the schedule sets up as they should be able to bust out to a 5-0 start before the nasty part of the schedule pops up. It’s not a HOT TAKE, but they’re our PICK to CLICK in the division. ON WISCONSIN!