Last year, sports fans in America’s Dairyland probably thought things were as good as they could possibly get. But 2011 is looking a whole ‘nother level can be reached. You have the #5 Badgers at 5-0, the reigning Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers as one of the NFL’s two undefeated teams (the Detroit Lions are the other), and the Milwaukee Brewers about to eliminate the Arizona Diamondbacks in their NLDS series.
Sure, the Bucks are still a train wreck, but the NBA is on lockout, so we won’t really see that.
Yes, there’s something in the water right now; and the state is half-bordered by great lakes.
In the short-term, the Brewers take precedence as their games are obviously more do-or-die. The Brew Crew has entered into beast mode, as they hold a 2-0 lead in the NLDS. The Brewers earned their first division title since 1982, and then picked up right where they left off with a Yovani Gallardo dominating performance in game 1.
2010 was pretty special for the Wisconsin Badgers as they set a school record for wins, went to the Rose Bowl, and won numerous national individual awards. But with the addition of dual-threat QB Russell Wilson, as much of a Heisman Trophy front-runner as anyone, the Badgers aren’t playing for just Big Ten dominance, but national relevance.
Fresh off their destruction of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, ranked in the top ten at the time, the Badgers are looking like a true national title contender. Russell Wilson leads the country, averaging 12.5 yards per pass attempt. The FBS record is 11.1 yards per attempt set by BYU Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer in 1989. Follow the official Twitter feed of QB Russell Wilson’s Heisman Trophy campaign, @RussellManiaXVI
Then there is the NFL champion Pack. Offensively, the Packers are unstoppable as they’ve averaged a ridiculous 37 points per gameon their four game winning streak.
Aaron Rodgers has shown he’s the premiere quarterback in the NFL and a legitimate MVP contender with another near-perfect performance including six total touchdowns.
The only state competing with them is just across Lake Michigan, the Great Lakes state which has the #11 Wolverines at 5-0, the Detroit Lions as the NFL’s other undefeated team, the #22 Michigan State Spartans at 4-1 and the Milwaukee Brewers winning their NLDS series. (Go here for more on this)
So it’s all about the upper midwest right now, huh? Well, have you seen Minnesota’s teams records? Not to mention things in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio are just as miserable as usual.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
He does regular weekly radio spots in Chicago and Cleveland and has appeared on live shows all across the world from Houston to New Zealand. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.Follow paulmbanks