With the Badgers on a bye this past weekend, it’s only appropriate to check in with all the opponents they have played so far this season.
1.) Northern Iowa Panthers (3-6, 2-4)
Result Against UW: 26-21 loss at Camp Randall
Thoughts: When they opened the season in Madison, UNI was considered one of the top teams in the FCS. That didn’t change after their close loss to the Badgers, but it has now. They’re not getting blown out, but they have stumbled into a 3-6 record.
2.) Oregon State (7-1, 5-1)
Result Against UW: 10-7 win at home
Thoughts: The Beavers have emerged as arguably the best story in college football. They are currently ranked #11 in the BCS Standings and have one of the best defenses in the country. Wisconsin’s inability to put points on this team doesn’t look so bad now. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Oregon State could make it to the Rose Bowl. Could it be a rematch with the Badgers?
3.) Utah State (8-2, 4-0)
Result Against UW: 16-14 loss at Camp Randall
Thoughts: This is a team which really should have beat the Badgers if not for a missed field goal. Their only losses on the season are against UW and BYU on the road. However, their best win is against Utah, so the verdict is still out on this team. What we do know though is that they allow only 13.5 points per game which ranks 5th in the country.
4.) UTEP (2-7, 1-4)
Result Against UW: 37-26 loss at Camp Randall
Thoughts: When you look at the score, it’s hard to fathom how this team put up the second-most points on the Wisconsin defense so far this season. They are by far the worst team the Badgers have played this year and are one of the bottom-dwellers in Conference USA.
5.) Nebraska (7-2, 4-1)
Result Against UW: 30-27 win at home
Thoughts: With much respect to Oregon State, this could be the best team the Badgers played all season. Wisconsin controlled the game early because of critical Huskers’ mistakes, but it was QB Taylor Martinez who led his team back from dead to win a thriller in Lincoln. With some comeback wins versus Northwestern and Michigan State, Nebraska appears to have the inside track on getting to the Big Ten Championship where they would probably play the Badgers.
6.) Illinois (2-7, 0-5)
Result Against UW: 31-14 loss at Camp Randall
7.) Purdue (3-6, 0-5)
Result Against UW: 38-14 loss at home
Thoughts: After a successful non-conference slate where they went 3-1, the Boilermakers have completely veered off track with five straight conference losses. Not only are they losing, they are being embarrassed. It’s pretty much a sure-thing that Danny Hope will be looking for a job at the end of year.
8.) Minnesota (5-4, 1-4)
Result Against UW: 38-13 loss at Camp Randall
Thoughts: The Gophers had no shot at Paul Bunyan’s axe, but in contrast to Illinois and Purdue, Minnesota is one of the mediocre Big Ten teams. After falling to the Badgers, they went on to beat the Boilermakers and initially compete with Michigan. With a game against Illinois, this team probably becomes bowl-eligible.
9.) Michigan State (5-5, 2-4)
Result Against UW: 16-13 win at Camp Randall
Thoughts: Due to a below average offense, this team has wasted a season of premier defensive play. Four of their five losses are by four or fewer points. This team will most likely go bowling, but they can hang their hat on spoiling the Badgers 21 home-winning streak with a thrilling overtime win.
What do you think of the Badgers previous opponents at this point? Does it tell you anything about the team? Let me know by commenting below.
Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. He also enjoys to share Fantasy Advice and pretend to be a Golf expert from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best. If social media is not your thing, shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.