Sunday, November 16, 2008

UW Football: Ending with a Whimper

The turning point of this University of Wisconsin football season was the second half of the game at Michigan. The Badgers squandered a 19 point halftime lead only to lose that game.

Wisconsin’s Homecoming victory 27-17 over Illinois and 35-32 over Minnesota were reminders of how the Badgers have so dashed expectations in the 2008 season. So this team is bowl-eligible at 6-5. Big deal. Four wins were against non-conference patsies and a blow-out of hapless Indiana.

The Badger offense can not sustain time-consuming drives to wear down superior Big 10 defenses and scored mostly on field goals by Philip Welch. This means that the defense is on the field too much. Although the Badger defense is good, they have a tendency to give up the big play, especially against the spread offenses which now dominate the conference.

Previous Badger football teams found new ways to win close games. This team finds new ways to lose. Home field advantage meant little this season. True, the Badgers kept it fairly close to Ohio State before losing badly to Penn State. The drama of the Badger Band this year mirrored the drama on the field. Jump Around, indeed.

I am old enough to remember when the Badgers coached by John Jardine were bad enough to open the seasons of college football powerhouses. The home game scores were so one-sided that everyone came to see the band and stayed for the Fifth Quarter even if the buzz had worn off.

As I said, I’m looking forward to the end of the football season so we can again focus on men’s and women’s hockey. Basketball is here.

1 comment:

thesentientbeing said...

Only one Big Ten team won their Bowl game. What does that say about the Big Ten?