One 247 sports analyst is talking up Wisconsin football as a potential playoff sleeper. We examine whether or not to buy the Badgers as a playoff team.
Wisconsin football is one of the teams that has undergone a dramatic transformation this offseason, hiring away Luke Fickell from Cincinnati.
That was a huge move and it showed that Wisconsin football is serious about winning. Fickell then went out and hired Phil Longo from North Carolina. The Badgers then landed a trio of quarterbacks in the transfer portal led by former SMU standout Tanner Mordecai.
Mordecai threw for over 3,500 yards and 33 touchdowns last season and for the first time in a few years, the Badgers can be excited about who their starting quarterback is going to be.
The guy has thrown 76 touchdown passes. Wisconsin football also added CJ Williams from USC and he was one of the top wideouts in the 2022 class. He should play right away and with Braelon Allen running the ball, Wisconsin’s offense no longer looks like a weakness.
Fickell surely wanted Jim Leonhard to stick around as defensive coordinator, but in the long run, it’s probably better for Wisconsin football and Fickell’s never had a problem producing elite-level defenses.
Brad Crawford of 247 sports talked about the Badgers as a playoff threat looking ahead to the 2023 season and he is certainly buying what Wisconsin has going on.
Is Wisconsin football a playoff contender?
While I agree with Crawford that the Badgers are going to be a strong team in 2023, I don’t think see them making the playoff.
It wouldn’t shock me to see Wisconsin make the Big Ten title game. The schedule isn’t all that hard and neither is the Big Ten West. Purdue has a first-year head coach and a new quarterback. Illinois should be solid and Nebraska too, but Matt Rhule is in his first year there too.
Minnesota and Iowa are also going to be contenders. Wisconsin could win the division though, but I don’t see the Badgers beating Ohio State at home and whether it’s the Buckeyes, Penn State, or Michigan in the Big Ten East, I can’t see the Badgers beating them for the Big Ten title.
Could Wisconsin do something similar to LSU last season and reach the Big Ten title game? They could even have a shot at the playoff going into that final game, but I think 9-10 wins are the ceiling next season and anything above that would certainly qualify as a surprise.