Southern Football Report Preseason Top 25 – Team #16




#16 – Wisconsin BadgersWisconsin Logo
Madison, Wisconsin
Camp Randall Stadium (80,321)
2013 Record: 9-4 (6-2)

There was a lot of speculation heading into the 2013 season on how the Badgers would be under new head coach Gary Anderson but when all the dust settled, Wisconsin had won more games in Anderson’s first year than they did in Bielema’s final season. The offense kept rolling along with over 280 rushing yards per game, including a 554 yard performance against Indiana, and the defense got even better with a 16.3 points per game average as a defense, good enough for 7th in the nation. The Badgers do lose 8 starters off of that stellar defense but always manage to reload on that side of the ball which will be led by junior strong safety Michael Caputo who was 2nd on the team in 2013 with 63 tackles. On offense, when you think about Wisconsin football you think about the offensive line and in 2014 the Badgers return four of five starters from a year ago and average 6’5, 317 at those five spots. Historically when the Badgers return a lot of starting linemen, the running back position benefits the most especially when there is a good one coming back. There is in 2014, junior Melvin Gordon was third in the Big Ten last season with 1650 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns with a game average of 123.8.

Junior running back Melvin Gordon is primed for a break out season for the Badgers in 2014.
Junior running back Melvin Gordon is primed for a break out season for the Badgers in 2014.

Wisconsin opens the season in Houston against LSU, a team many believe could be a dark horse for the SEC Championship and when they face off, the Badgers will have a 16 game season opener winning streak on the line. The rest of the schedule is extremely manageable as the Badgers dodge the top four teams from the East division. In the West division, the Badgers have to play Northwestern and Iowa on the road but Wisconsin beat both of those teams in 2013 by a combined score of 63-15. When you look at 2013’s record and 2014’s schedule, none of the four teams that defeated Wisconsin in 2013 are on the Badgers schedule this season.

The Badgers head into the 2014 season as the front runner for the Big Ten West and shouldn’t have any problem with the teams in their division. They return one of the top running backs in the league and one of the best offensive lines in the country and should be able to run over people again in 2014 as they did last season (the Badgers rushed for over 250 yards in six games in 2103). The defense will take a few games to come together but by the time the meat of the Big Ten schedule rolls around Wisconsin will be able to outscore most of their opponents.

Camp Randall Stadium

Stay logged on to Sowegalive.com for Team #15 on Monday and tune in to the Southern Football Report every Saturday from 10am-Noon starting on August 23rd! Here is a hint for Team #15: This team was the first college football team in the country to fly to a game in 1937. 

#15 – ?????????
#16 – Wisconsin Badgers
#17 – Stanford Cardinal
#18 – North Carolina Tar Heels
#19 – Florida Gators
#20 – Texas Longhorns
#21 – Iowa Hawkeyes
#22 – Arizona Wildcats
#23 – Boise State Broncos
#24 – Northwestern Wildcats
#25 – Michigan Wolverines




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