Wisconsin has essentially dominated the Big Ten appearing in the last two Rose Bowls and perhaps losing both of those over the time frame has finally caught up to them.
Losing six (now seven) coaches over the offseason was a lot tougher than anybody anticipated and their offensive line lost some of its best players as well over the last few seasons (Joe Thomas, Josh Oglesby, Peter Konz, John Moffitt, Gabe Carimi, Kevin Zeitler).
Montee Ball is a legit running back, but he isn’t and wasn’t my choice as the greatest back in the nation (Marcus Lattimore, De’Anthony Thomas, Kenjon Barner). Ball received only a third-round grade according to the NFL Draft scouts and the lack of blazing speed certainly is the main liability that we have seen through two games.
Oregon State absolutely obliterated the Badgers offensive line in a game where we are accustomed to seeing UW dominate. Instead it is the other way around and nothing will change if Danny O’Brien and the passing game fail to improve.
Wisconsin had their worst rushing performance in seemingly forever as they were limited (worst under Bielema) to 35 yards and 1.5 yards per carry!
This Wisconsin offense was limited to 207 yards and Danny O’Brien is a bit overrated if you honestly think he was the best quarterback in the ACC two seasons ago.
He is still a respectable threader in the pocket, but the loss of Nick Toon certainly has affected this offense this season. Toon was a prime talent for Big Ten football, and the loss of a deep threat is not easy to just reload with.
Jared Abbrederis, Jacob Pedersen and Jeff Duckworth need to do a much better job getting separation since O’Brien is still working on his game. The schedule is not easy with road tilts against Nebraska and Purdue, which both may cost them a chance at the Big Ten title.
Plus, with the Boilermakers looking legit against the Golden Domers, it shouldn’t come to a shock that things are looking brutal for the Badgers right now.
While the world is not coming to an end despite the firing of their offensive line coach, the weapons on defense (Mike Taylor, Chris Borland) are still solid enough to challenge for a third consecutive trip to Pasadena (have to win division first).
Still, a ton of work is ahead since the Badgers are shockingly 90th in passing offense and 103rd in rushing offense, which might be the biggest surprise in all of college football right now.
If they cannot fix their issues, a 7-5 regular season is possible with Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Nebraska and Ohio State all licking their chops right now.