We are a little over four months until the kickoff of the 2014 season. The Wisconsin Badgers football team is entering its second year under head coach Gary Andersen. Undoubtedly, they are eyeing a return to the Big Ten Conference Championship game in Indianapolis.
In order to get there, Wisconsin must work its way through its schedule. Yeah I know, we are still pretty far off from the beginning of the season, but it’s never too early to take a peek.
Thus, we did just that. Without further ado I present to you the Badgers’ 2014 schedule game-by-game breakdown.
WEEK 1: Wisconsin vs. LSU
Wisconsin’s season kicks off in quite a dramatic fashion. The lights will be brighter than ever before for a Badgers season opener. Wisconsin’s first action will be at 9:00 PM on ESPN down in Houston, TX., versus LSU. The winner will have a major piece of their playoff resume in place. Remember college football is switching to a four-team playoff this year. Expect more high-profile matchups like this in the coming years for all teams hoping to impress the committee; which will select the four teams at the regular season’s end.
Wisconsin will name a starting quarterback over the summer; that will be fun to watch. LSU will most likely go with sophomore Anthony Jennings at quarterback, an athletic quarterback who the Badgers must contain. This game will also be the ultimate showcase for Melvin Gordon III’s Heisman Campaign. If he has a big game, win or lose, he will have a chance to be the Badgers’ third winner of the most famous individual award in all sports.
LSU will undoubtably have more fans at the season opener as the game is being played infinitely closer to its Campus in Baton Rouge, LA., than Madison, WI. The hype for this game will be relentless and could be a real statement not just for Wisconsin but for the Big Ten as a whole. Look for a lot of plays designed to get to ball into MGIII’s and Corey Clement’s hands — especially catching passes out of the backfield. That is something I think Andersen will implement more of this summer. If the Badgers can execute that, they might just come away with a huge win.
WEEK 2: Wisconsin vs. Western Illinois
Wisconsin welcomes Western Illinois to Camp Randall for what should be a demolition. Regardless if Wisconsin beats LSU in the prior week they should have this game well in-hand by halftime. The Leathernecks…yes that is their real school mascot, went 4-8 last year and show no reason why they should be any better in 2014. It will be a disappointment if Bucky doesn’t win by at least 30 points. But hey, Wisconsin scheduled LSU in week one, if it ever deserved a cupcake it’s this week.
WEEK 3: BYE
WEEK 4: Wisconsin vs. Bowling Green
This game could actually be somewhat of a challenge for the Badgers. Bowling Green went 10-4 last season, 7-1 in the MAC, which is somewhat of a decent conference. Not to mention, the Falcons have a pretty damn good quarterback in Matt Johnson. As a sophomore he threw for 25 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions. He will be better this year and could present some problems for Wisconsin’s inexperienced defensive backfield. Plus, Bowling Green should have some decent fan support at Camp Randall because of their good season last year. Although, they won’t really impact the play on the field even if they sell all of the tickets they’re given. Wisconsin should win this game handily but don’t expect the Falcons to lay down from the opening kickoff.
WEEK 5: Wisconsin vs. South Florida
This is somewhat of an interesting contest. South Florida has shown flashes of greatness in recent years but was absolutely awful last year. I’m not exactly sure what kind of team they’ll bring to Madison. It’s tough to say although Wisconsin will be hefty favorites regardless. The Bulls also scheduled Big Ten newcomer Maryland and NC State for this season; respectable at the very least. They don’t really have a single offensive player that should really create fear in the hearts of the Badgers. But an easy win shouldn’t be taken especially for granted given but it is expected…at least by me.