Wisconsin’s senior class may be the greatest class in the history of UW Football. Unfortunately tomorrow, Madison has to say goodbye.
Coming into the year, this senior class of 26 athletes had already won three consecutive Big Ten Championships. Those championships included the inaugural and the following Big Ten Conference Championship games in Indianapolis. Not to mention, they went to three consecutive Rose Bowls for the first time in school history.
What have they done this year? Well, they overcame a brutal controversial loss early in the season and responded by putting up a 9-2 (6-1 in Big Ten) record with two games left to be played.
The Badgers’ senior class has a lot on the line as they take the field in their final game at Camp Randall. They enter the game against Penn State 6-5 (3-4 in Big Ten) with a chance to tie the all-time Wisconsin record for wins in a four-year span, which is set at 40.
Of course a win against the Nittany Lions on Saturday would present this senior class a chance to become the winningest class in school history, with 41 wins; if they went on to win their bowl game.
That is not all that they can accomplish on Saturday though, with a win they can break the all-time school record for conference wins with 24 in four years. On top of that the Badgers can secure an undefeated regular season at home and a coveted 10 win regular season if they defeat the Nittany Lions.
The Senior class is highlighted by linebacker Chris Borland, wide receiver Jared Abbrederis, running back James White. As well as linebacker Ethan Armstrong, nose guard Beau Allen, offensive lineman Ryan Groy, defensive end Tyler Dippel, tight end Jacob Pederson, safety Dezmen Southward, defensive end Ethan Hemer, defensive end Pat Moldoon among others. Many of these players have contributed for 2-3 seasons before this year as well; this will be a class worth remembering for years to come.
You cannot forget about quarterback Curt Phillips as well, who suffered numerous terrible injuries and still led the Badgers within one drive of a Rose Bowl victory. He’s been a great leader for Bucky and an example to many younger players; including sophomore quarterback Joel Stave who took his job.
As you can see the Badgers are losing three of their top playmakers on offense in White, Abbrederis and Pederson but they are losing a plethora of talent of the defensive side of the ball. Losing Chris Borland will hurt but losing Armstrong and so many quality defensive linemen will be a real test for the Badgers to recover from next season.
But we’re not here to talk about next season; the next two games are about the seniors that have led the Badgers into contention of an unbelievable fourth consecutive BCS game. If Wisconsin can beat Penn State tomorrow in Madison it should be in line for an invitation to the Orange Bowl. This would give these seniors one last time to shine on national television while wearing the cardinal and white.
It’s going to be an emotional senior day but hopefully a day of joy and hope as the Badgers conclude another phenomenal regular season with this group of guys that impressively never lost a trophy rivalry game while representing the Badgers.
Thank you senior class, you have brought UW unprecedented success and deserve a senior day win against Penn State and then an invitation to a BCS game.
Speaking for all Badgers fans, we hope you get what you deserve. Because after all you’ve been through, you deserve it.
Senior Day can be viewed on ESPN at 3:30 PM ET on Saturday, Nov. 30.