Wisconsin Badgers 2017 Schedule Analysis
The 2017 college football season is mere months away from beginning. From the high profiled non-conference clashes to the traditional rugged conference rivalries, the schedule is jam packed with great games. The slate for the Wisconsin Badgers is no different.
Head Coach Paul Chryst enters his third year as leader of the program, and while the schedule isn’t nearly as tough as the gauntlet of last season, it still presents numerous hurdles for this years team.
Here’s the 2017 schedule:
Week 1: vs. Utah State
Week 2: vs. Florida Atlantic
Week 3: at BYU
Week 4: Bye Week
Week 5: vs. Northwestern
Week 6: at Nebraska
Week 7: vs. Purdue
Week 8: vs. Maryland
Week 9: at Illinois
Week 10: at Indiana
Week 11: vs. Iowa
Week 12: vs. Michigan
Week 13: at Minnesota
Week 14: BIG Championship Game
There is no denying that this schedule is unique in that none of Penn State, Michigan State, or Ohio State are on tap this season. However, Michigan visits Camp Randall for the first time since 2009. Also, the season begins on a Friday night against Utah State in a controversial new Big Ten initiative. From away games at Nebraska, BYU, Minnesota, to hosting Lane Kiffin and Jim Harbaugh respectively, the 2017 slate offers a very intriguing blend.
Toughest Out of Conference Game
This one is easily BYU. The Badgers will be on the road in Provo, presumably a night game. Mark it down: this game will go down to the wire game. BYU’s Tanner Mangum is a talented QB, and the Cougars will fuel off the home crowd to try and knock off the Badgers. BYU might not be what they used to be, but they’ll still give Bucky a run for their money.
Nobody knows how to win in Camp Randall quite like Kirk Ferentz. All things considered, his Iowa Hawkeyes have came home victorious in four of their last five trips to Madison. It seems as if every Wisconsin/Iowa game is a one possession game. This recent history adds to the element that this game could give Badger fans a scare. Furthermore the unpredictability of Iowa football teams will only add to the intrigue of this game.
Wisconsin has dominated Indiana historically. The last four meetings have been decided by 48 points or more, all in favor of the Badgers. However, Indiana’s football program has been on the rise lately, even with the firing of head coach Kevin Wilson (which is a whole different topic). Richard Lagow returns in addition to a talented core around him. As a result the Hoosiers have the talent to give the Badgers a stingy road test.
Most Hyped Game
On one hand you could go with Minnesota here. While I’m sure the “Battle for the Axe” with the Gophers will be a dandy, it will not match the hype of Michigan’s visit to Camp Randall. Assuming both teams are as good as advertised, this one will most likely be a prime time showdown between two Top 15 teams. Add in the element of Harbaugh’s first crack at Camp Randall as a coach, to go with two top defenses and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a great college football game.
Division Decider Game
First and foremost, this game will happen in September, but it may go a long way in deciding who represents the West Division in the Big Ten Championship game. In addition to that, this match-up had a very controversial ending the last time these two teams met in Madison. Whoever comes out on top of this game will have a leg up not only on the other, but on everyone else in the division as the top dog for the time being.
Ultimately, the Wisconsin Badgers 2017 schedule is much easier than last year, at least on paper. However, on paper, the Badgers were supposed to be in store for a tough season. There is no telling how the season will unfold, but one thing is for certain.
It will be an exciting one.