2018 College Football Playoff Fraud – The Wisconsin Badgers
It’s like clockwork – every year, the media falls in love with one team or the other in the offseason and nine times out of 10, that team is a fraud come the end of the season.
We’ve seen this time and again with the likes of Notre Dame, Auburn and Jeremy Johnson or even last year with Kentucky labeled as a dark horse for the SEC Eastern Division. It rarely pans out and 2018 will be no different.
This year’s media love fest is with the Wisconsin Badgers out of the BIG10.
And – on face value I get it. The Badgers have built a solid foundation and averaged 10.15 wins per year since 2005 – for a grand total of 132 wins. They were an Ohio State loss a year ago in the BIG10 Championship from punching their ticket to the college football playoff; return a ton off that team, a starting quarterback and a solid head coach. So what’s not to love right?
Well allow me to dissect as only we can why Wisconsin is a fraud in 2018; and I didn’t say a bad team, but a College Football Playoff fraud they are. We have them pegged at 9-3 this year, second in their division and we will explain why on that as well.
Again – Wisconsin looks impressive on paper, and they will take you out on a Saturday if you aren’t ready, but they are hardly ready for the big stage. For comparisons sake, we will compare Wisconsin with BIG10 giant Ohio State and all data is from 2005 to present.
Since 2005, Wisconsin as we stated has averaged 10.15 wins per year and their BIG10 counterparts, the Ohio State Buckeyes have averaged 11.15; just one game more. So that stat by itself would have you believing, that Vegas has done due diligence by pegging Wisconsin as a legit National Championship contender.
But, there are several problems with these numbers. The first is the strength of schedule numbers over this time frame. Since 2005 Wisconsin has played the 31st hardest schedule in college football on average, while the Buckeyes have played the 17th hardest.
Wisconsin has played 45 top 25 teams in this stretch and has a losing record of 21-24; conversely, Ohio State has played 58 top 25 games and has a massive winning record of 41-17.
But – again some let facts get in the way, like a recent piece by Alex Kirshner of SB Nation titled, Wisconsin’s long been elite on the field. It’s becoming elite on the trail (recruiting), too.
I love SB Nation’s college football coverage, but this is just buying into the hype machine that is the Wisconsin Badgers in 2018.
Let’s take a quick revisionist history course shall we? Since 1998, the average four year recruiting ranking of the National Champion in College Football is 6.5. The average four year recruiting ranking of the runner up in college football is 10.2. The lowest recruiters to make the College Football Playoff so far were Michigan State and Washington and both were high 20 recruiters.
This is why we tier our recruiting on our metric with the Realistic National Champions contender line on talent (1-16), then our realistic College Football Playoff Bust Line (17-30), and finally no shot to get to the party.
Wisconsin comes in this year with our 40th best roster talent in the country. They have zero shot on talent alone of making the College Football Playoff.
Since 2005, the Badgers have again, the 40th best roster talent in the country. Conversely, the Buckeyes have the 17th best talent on average since 2005, but that has sky rocketed to number one for 2018 on our metric.
Currently Wisconsin has the 27th best class per 247 Sports.com in the country, so yes, the Badgers are improving in recruiting, but to call their efforts elite is futile.
Finally, for 2018, you have to look at the Badgers schedule. While the Badgers have had mass success, most of their losses since 2005 have come on the road. Since 2005, the Badgers have lost 42 ball games, and 30 of those are on the road. That’s a 71 percent chance if they lose, it’s on the road or on a neutral field.
This year the Badgers play at Iowa on September 22nd, at Michigan on October 13th and at Penn State on November 10th. I have them losing all three. Not to mention, if they were to win the division, they would again likely face Ohio State in the BIG10 Championship, and the Buckeyes are 18-6 against the Badgers since 1998 and hold a six game winning streak. The longest such streak for Wisconsin was three games against the Buckeyes from 1913-1915.
Wisconsin is a fine story, but they are hardly elite; nor will they make the College Football Playoff.
They are on par with Oklahoma State from a talent stand point, another media love fest from a year ago, and we knew they wouldn’t make it either.
Cheer for the Badgers all you want, but if you throw money on them to win the trophy, just give me your cash, or burn it.