National Title Hopes Have Never Been Higher
The 2017 season was magical for the Wisconsin Badgers. From going 13-1 with the only loss coming from the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Big 10 Championship game, fans can say they were pleased with what they saw. Fans can also say though that it wasn’t enough, the state of Wisconsin is hungry for more and the team is foaming at the mouth at the possibility that maybe this is finally the year. Getting to the College Football Playoffs is no easy task. It takes precision and being almost near perfect to earn the right to play for the National Championship. With one of the best defenses in the nation and an All-American and Heisman hopeful in Johnathan Taylor, this overlooked program may make their mark come bowl time.
Coming in ranked number four in the AP Poll at the start of the season is a boost the Badgers need to make their mark. The rank gives them a head start, but it falls on them to get things done and collect the wins all season long. Looking at the Badger’s 2018 schedule, there is a clear divide among the games that there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Wisconsin will go into these games and come out with a W. Then there is the other half, games in which will give the Badger’s the ultimate test that will prove if they rightfully belong among the nation’s best.
A Long Road Ahead
The season begins with three games that overconfidence has me sleeping on. Western Kentucky, New Mexico, and BYU are the teams I don’t believe have a chance at even slowing down the Badgers to the point of a close game. Anything can happen though, but I am putting these in the category of there is a very slim chance. When it comes to Big 10 play, these games are a completely different animal. Of course, in the conference exists Purdue, Minnesota, Rutgers, and Illinois. The Badgers play all four of these teams, but P.J. can keep rowing that boat for however long he wants, the ax is staying in Madison along with the victories over the other three.
Now comes the part where we must talk about the games in which make me do a little second look at how the Badgers compare to these teams. Although Wisconsin is avoiding Ohio State once again, Michigan, Penn State, Nebraska, and Iowa all appear on the schedule. There is difference between Nebraska and Penn State, but to overlook this group of Big 10 schools would be Bucky’s downfall. These games may come with nerves, but it is exactly what this football team needs to show their dominance among the nation and show why they belong in the CFP. It must be remembered that the Badgers must travel to the Big House, along with Beaver Stadium and playing on the road will be the ultimate test. Does that mean the Badgers are in trouble? Nope! It means they just might come out of the 2018 season as the toughest team around.
Wide Range Of Talent
There are several players to point at in regards of Wisconsin’s success, but none might be more important than how Johnathan Taylor performs this season. The defense is a well-oiled machine with Defensive Coordination Jim Lenohard, who impressed the nation last year in making Wisconsin the best defensive team around. Most should have faith that nothing will change too much this season on the defensive spectrum. The offense on the other hand is a whole different story. Breakout freshman running back Taylor burst onto the scene. With a total of 1,977 yards and 13 touchdowns, Johnathan Taylor secured his spot as the one to watch when it comes to 2018.
At the top of several Heisman watch lists, Taylor has an opportunity to do something special, make the Badgers an offensive power house. With an offensive line that is one of the best in the nation, that is a prime hint that a Heisman is not out of the answer. If Alex Hornibrook can pass the way he did in the Orange Bowl, then the skies are the limit. He must be consistent though. That is the only way everything will come together to reach the playoffs. As it has been said time and time again, anything can happen. Especially in college football is that true. The road will be long for this Badgers team, but if they can come together and give it all they got game in and game out, there is no reason they should not be able to make the College Football Playoffs.