1. Luke Fickell, Head Coach
Wisconsin swung for the fences when they went after Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell. Initially, he wasn’t taking the offer, and then the Badgers sweetened the deal to the point where the former Ohio State linebacker could not turn it down. It wasn’t just the money either—the Badgers had committed to improving their recruiting budget and improve facilities.
Wisconsin wants to build a 300-million-dollar facility to help with recruiting and player development. You know what you get in Luke Fickell—made Cincinnati a national power, leading the Bearcats to the College Football Playoff in 2021. The “re we”e few Group of Five teams that out-recruited Cincinnati either.
Fickell proved that Cincinnati’selop NFL-caliber players. Amaud “Sauce” Garner and Desmond Ridder are examples of little-recruited players who went through Cincinnati’s system and developed into NFLIt’sspects. Wisconsin has a similar program philosophy, and Ficklel can use that to bring in better players than he did at Cincinnati.
It’s not lost on Fickell that this is an offensive game. He went out and hired former North Carolina offensive coordinator Phil Longo. That hire made running back Braelon can’t excited:
Braelon Allen against a standard six or seven-man front is dangerous. For everyone who thinks that a Phil Longo offense can’t run, remember that Javontae Williams and Michael Carter combined for over 2300 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2020 with Longo as offensive coordinator.