When it comes to the 2014 Wisconsin Badgers schedule, do not even think of calling it an easy one to head coach Gary Andersen. At the annual Big Ten media days on Monday, Andersen quickly shot down the thought of Wisconsin playing an easy schedule this season.
Asked if he and his coaching staff consider themselves lucky to have an easier schedule given the youth of this team, Andersen had this to say via BigTen.org:
First of all, I think the schedule is challenging; people can say whatever they want about this or that but we have a great schedule that’s highly competitive and we’re playing very good teams out of our schedule. LSU is LSU, one of the best in the country year in, year out. Bowling Green is picked to take their conference and was a great team last year, then we get into the Big Ten. So there is no easy Big Ten games. Anybody who thinks there is is sadly mistaken, and I’ll debate that with you as much as you want to debate it because you better strap it on and be ready every week in the Big Ten.
So as far as the schedule goes, I disagree it’s an easier schedule or what have you. That’s my opinion.
I can see where the reporter asking the question is coming from as Wisconsin does have the easiest schedule in the Big Ten based on last year’s win-loss totals. However, it is the Big Ten. And anything and everything can-and usually does-happen. So as far as the Badgers having an easy schedule, statistically yes it is. But if you happen to take a day off, be ready for an upset.
The nonconference schedule is tougher than it has been in recent memory. Taking on a very tough LSU Tigers team to kickoff the season will be a big test for this young Badger team. The Tigers could be a team that surprises a lot of people and maybe even make it to the SEC championship game at least.
And don’t sleep on Bowling Green. They are picked to win the MAC and could be a team to cause some trouble at Camp Randall Stadium this year. So between LSU and Bowling Green, along with the Big Ten schedule and I tend to agree with Coach Andersen.
Honestly though, would you want to disagree with him?